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Amarillo food trucks prepare for busy summer after COVID restrictions lift

Updated: Apr. 22, 2021 at 7:53 AM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - With COVID restrictions lifted and large events coming back to Amarillo this summer, local food trucks are preparing for what they expect will be a busy and profitable few months.

Throughout the pandemic, local food trucks missed out on attending large events such as festivals and weddings.

Food truck owners say their profits nearly triple when attending events compared to sitting on a street corner.

“It’s been really slow. Even now it’s still slow,” said Anna Lisa Ramos, owner of Cocina on the Go. “Once we go to events, I think [our business] is going to more than double. This summer, all the events, it’s going to be a big boom. It’s going to help every food truck out there.”

COVID restrictions were especially hard on new food trucks, who relied on large gatherings to build their customer base.

“They are really helping me get my name out. If I didn’t have events I don’t know if my name would be out there,” said Antonio Terry, owner of Gladys Rib Shack. “The events are a big, big key. If I get an event my name gets put out there. My name gets brought up, and then that’s another door open for me, then that’s another door open for me. It’s a blessing.”

Not only do large events allow them to expect their audience, but guarantee a profit after a difficult year.

Food truck owners say they are accepting any event they can this summer.

“We are already booked through April, May, and we’re already booking June and July,” said Ramos. “There’s going to be a lot of events out here in Amarillo as everyone wants to be out. We have double bookings and triple bookings and the other day my assistant said [I am] actually quadruple booked.”

YOLOs Food Truck owner, Yolanda Grazier, agrees, adding that although they are grateful for their regular customers that kept them going throughout the pandemic, they anticipate business will increase in the coming months.

“On a normal day we might make 500 or 600 dollars through lunch...but with events you can make several thousand,” she explained.

Cheesecake HSTL owner, Joshua Gonzales, says they anticipate their profit multiplying up to three times, as they make more money attending events than parked on a street corner.

“The events are huge and we love doing events because most of the time it’s a lot of people,” Gonzales said. “I would say we make twice as much. Last year we set up at Wolflin Village for Fair on the Square, that day we made probably three times what we would normally make in a day.”

With COVID restrictions lifted, local food trucks can also attend private events, such as weddings.

“Catering is our favorite,” Gonzales explained. “This summer, with the weddings coming back and people being able to get together after the pandemic, we’ve definitely been booking a lot more. It was tough for us with a lot of cancellations last year, but this year everything’s looking up. We’ve actually booked some events into September and taking some deposits.”

Ramos says she has had to hire additional employees to keep up with catering plans and public events.

“I had to hire some assistants to help me in the back,” Ramos explained. “Right now we’re actually looking for cooks...and I’ve actually scheduled three interviews. Because I think in the summer, it’s a time for food trucks to shine because everybody wants to be outside.”

In addition to the extra money, food truck owners say they are thrilled to interact with the community on a larger scale once again.

“It’s not really about the money its about serving the people and we absolutely love what we do so its fun every time we get to go out were excited,” said Grazier.

“I’m stoked to see people again,” said Terry. “Especially when they come back and sit there and tell you they like your food and that Gladys [is] the best in town it’s like...wow. It brings tears to me sometimes.”

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