DENVER — These are tough times in the service industry, especially in the food truck sector.
While business has dropped dramatically, many food truck owners want you to know they are still open for business in Colorado.
That's the message Molly and Connor Hollowell are sending to anyone who loves good food, and to good-hearted Coloradans who are digging deep to help feed front line employees at local hospitals and supermarkets.
The Hollowells founded Truckster, an app that helps you find food trucks, and are now using their web and business savvy to help the industry weather the COVID-19 storm.
"We work with over 100 food trucks locally, and they’ve been reaching out to us, really concerned about what’s going on," Molly said. "How they're going to keep their businesses afloat, and how are they going to stay busy."
Holly said food truck owners worked hard earlier this year to fill their calendars.
"The best way for a food truck to be out there making money is to be somewhere where there's a lot of people congregated," she said. "Obviously, that's not happening right now, so their calendars, which they've worked so hard to fill, are completely empty."
Scott Morgan, the owner of BurgerChief food truck said his business dropped nearly 98% after the stay-at-home order was issued.
But he's not throwing in the towel.
"As my dad always said, 'Every problem is an opportunity,' and that's what we're looking at right now," he said.
Morgan added that he's reduced his menu and is focusing more on neighborhoods with condominium and apartment complexes.
His specialty? Burgers.
"We use our own proprietary blend for our burger patties," he said "They're sirloin and brisket. I'm not telling anybody the mix there. And our own seasonings. I'm not telling anybody that either. "
Morgan said he's proud of his burgers, which have won a few recent awards.
"That makes us very happy," he said.
BurgerChief is one of the food trucks listed on the Truckster app and GoTruckster.com.
The Hollowells say a friend of theirs, Tim Fielding, learned about another food truck owner who was struggling, and came up with the #ServeTheIndustry campaign.
The Hollowells, who have industry and web experience, added energy to the campaign.
"The goal is to pair essential industry workers in need of a hot meal with food trucks struggling to generate revenue, supported by good-hearted Coloradans," they said.
"You can come on our website and purchase a meal or two," Molly said. "We give that money to a food truck, who then comes to a grocery store, or somewhere else where we have essential workers, and feeds those workers."
On Wednesday, Morgan parked his truck outside the King Soopers at 2750 S. Colorado Boulevard, and fed quite a few store employees.
"It's great to work with GoTruckster," he said. "We're on the front lines as well, so it's neat to be able to get out and help other people."
Conor said it's rewarding to hear feedback from the food truck staff as well.
"How their hearts are filled by feeding their local grocery store employees," he said.
Morgan said he was glad to be a part of it.
"Hopefully we're going to be able to weather the storm and make it through to the other side in a better position that we were when all this started," he said.