INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Old man winter has hit Hoosiers hard this year, and one segment of the business community is really taking it on the chin.
The snow and frigid temps are making it nearly impossible for mobile food businesses to keep on trucking.
Chef Dan Carter’s Southern Comfort food truck did not expect any customers Friday. Bryan Monroe’s Der Pretzel Wagen didn’t expect customers either. That is because Der Pretzel Wagen and Chef Dan’s were parked in their owners driveways – it was too cold to open.
“It freezes the water line. Therefore, you can’t operate your water system so your stuck in for the day,” says Chef Dan, explaining why his truck is idled by the cold.
The water lines are needed to keep health department mandated sinks running.
Old man winter is freezing local food trucks out of their livelihoods. Usually on social media the trucks tell you where you can find them to enjoy their food. But on subzero days, you see tweets that let you know they have had to cancel.
“We’ve scheduled 23 stops this winter up to today, and we’ve cancelled. We’ve only done nine,” says Der Pretzel’s owner Bryan Monroe.
And when the trucks sit idle, the cash register doesn’t ring.
“This is basically the business. So, if you don’t go out, you don’t make money,” says Chef Dan.
And Chef Dan has actually spent extra money this year replacing the water pipes in the truck.
“It doesn’t freeze and crack. The water might freeze, but the line doesn’t crack,” he says.
Bryan has the same kind of pipes in his truck. But anything below about 25 degrees is just too cold to go out. So, the trucks sit and wait.
“This winter is really tough,” says Chef Dan.
“But you know, the demand is still there and we’ll keep plugging away until we can get out there,” says Monroe.
Despite the very slow season, both Chef Dan and Bryan say their businesses will survive. Bryan’s wife has a full time job and Chef Dan does catering and serves food in the atrium of the main library downtown. That, they say, will get them through until mother nature gives them a break.