Food Trucks Adapt to Social Distancing

Before the coronavirus crisis, patrons of the Cousins Maine Lobster food truck wait for their food. The popular mobile eatery has seen its business increase since March.

Food trucks thrive off of large crowds and gatherings at bars, concerts and other events. With new guidelines to avoid big groups of people, local food trucks are shifting their businesses to serve customers safely.  

Cousins Maine Lobster

Once North Carolina’s stay-at-home-order was announced, Raleigh location owner Deb Keller felt the uncertainty for food trucks.

“I took it one day at a time,” she said. 

During the past few months, Keller says the company has actually experienced increased demand. 

The popular food truck took a digital approach during the virus. The new mobile app limits contact by ordering ahead and paying ahead. A bonus for customers is that it also tracks loyalty points. In addition, customers who pick up orders are assured they are in a safe environment as Cousins Maine ensures employees have necessary protective gear in order to comply with stringent social distancing and sanitary practices.

At Cousins Maine Lobster food truck, warm lobster is tossed in butter and lemon then piled onto a split-top bun.

Bond Brothers Beer Company

An employee serving beer with protective gear. Courtesy of Bond Brothers Instagram.

On a normal night, the Cary brewery works with various food trucks for customers to enjoy dinner as they drink their beer. With the coronavirus, Bond Brothers had to re-think the way it serves its customers. The business brought beer to clients with curbside deliveries and to-go orders. The brewery also coordinated with food trucks to deliver food along with beer orders. 

To simplify orders, the brewery limited the number of food trucks it partners with, focusing instead on a few trucks such as the Humble Pig and Bulkogi Korean BBQ. 

Laura Eischen is the Fun Coordinator for Bond Brothers. She ensures that sanitary measures are being taken for the health and safety of customers and employees. 

“The truck really is an extension of the brewery, it’s a reflection of our business,” Eischen said.

Corner Boys BBQ

Owner James Sampson was frightened by the virus and how it would affect his business. The truck got creative to find new customers, partnering with Lowe’s Home improvement once a week to serve food. On the weekends, Corner Boys also travels to different neighborhoods. 

Customers enjoy their meal from Corner Boys BBQ.

Sampson says customers are practicing social distancing by standing 6 feet apart to order food, and employees are wearing protective equipment.

“The city has really stepped up and kept Corner Boys BBQ going,” said Sampson. “If it weren’t for the customers, we wouldn’t have a business.” 

Cheesecake Lady

For the dessert truck, the first thing owner Tayna Steele did was provide employees with face masks to create a safe environment for staff and customers. Prior to the coronavirus, the truck parked in commercial complexes. Right now, Cheesecake Lady books apartment complexes and neighborhoods. To prevent the spread of the virus, employees make sure there are no gatherings around the truck and that the payment machines are disinfected. The truck also offers a drive-through option for customers. 

“I’m sad about what’s going on right now, for people who have lost jobs and for food trucks who have lost work,” said Steele. “I’m hoping that things will get better for trucks to make the money they were making before.”



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