As Calgarians continue to practice social distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic, food trucks are gathering at the Southcentre Mall to bring local food to residents, with a unique drive-thru experience.
Last weekend, YYCFoodTrucks held its first event of the year to help keep local vendors afloat after the pandemic forced the closure of many businesses across the city.
“The food truck drive-thru has allowed our businesses to continue,” Canadian Bear Balls owner Jeremy Andrews said.
“We rely on direct sales and even though we do some delivery service… which has also been great — we craved some normalcy just like our customers.”
The first drive-thru events were held over the weekend and were so successful that organizers brought the event back for another appearance on Tuesday.
“This weekend was gigantically successful and part of the success for us was in the smiling faces of the customers,” Andrews said.
“They thanked us over and over again and told us how nice it was to feel some normal again in their lives.”
So far, three drive-thru events have been held in the city, and organizers said more than 3,000 cars stopped by to support the local vendors.
Barry Holmes with Calgary Mini Donuts was another vendor in attendance over the weekend. He said the public’s willingness to support local amid the pandemic means a lot to small business owners.
“I think it’s very important that we support local small businesses and keep our money close to home,” Holmes said.
“The public response has been overwhelming. We have had hundreds of drive-thru customers that have been so excited to experience the food truck drive-thru.
“This will be the new normal for the food truck industry for the time being.”
The YYCFoodTruck drive-thru will return to the Southcentre Mall this weekend, on Friday from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., and both Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m. until 8 p.m.
With nine different vendors in attendance, Holmes said Calgarians have the opportunity to experience family-favourite foods whilst remaining safe in their cars.
“This was a fantastic idea from YYC Food Trucks and we appreciate how much effort was put in to make this a successful event, from getting AHS approval, to assisting cars with how to use this unique drive-thru concept,” he said.
YYCFoodTrucks said while there are no more scheduled events beyond this weekend, they hope to make these drive-thrus a weekly occurrence as long as residents continue to want them.View link »