Restaurant owners turn to food trucks during the pandemic

Many in the restaurant industry are now turning to food trucks to help their business survive, and Wake Technical Community College is seeing a higher demand for classes that prepare students to take that leap.

Amrit Narula said he learned his lesson the hard way after opening his Mr. Cheesesteak restaurant during the pandemic on Miami Boulevard in Durham.

“Yeah, we actually opened in the middle of COVID,” said Narula, adding that many customers are more reluctant to come inside a traditional restaurant for fear of coronavirus exposure in a closed space.

“Commonly, we’ll have only two or three of these tables filled,” said Narula, referring to his normal lunch rush.

Fortunately, before opening the restaurant, Narula had the wisdom to invest in and operate two food trucks. The food trucks are what has helped him stay in business.

According to business consultant Ted Bachman, who offers lessons

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Wauconda restaurant’s new menu item supports local food pantry

When Joe Kafka, the co-owner of Bulldogs Grill in Wauconda, heard the local food pantry had vegetables that go unused, he created a tasty way to help.

For the past few Fridays, Kafka has been using squash and other vegetables from the Wauconda/Island Lake Food Pantry as ingredients for a new menu item he sells for $4 a bowl, with proceeds going back to the pantry.



“I’ve been calling it a farmers pantry vegetable soup,” he said. “I want people to know what they’re buying is going to a good cause.”

On Friday, he loaded a giant zucchini, yellow and acorn squash, tomatoes, peppers and other ingredients into a box to take to the restaurant kitchen.

“I probably won’t make this until tomorrow morning,” Kafka said. “I’ll keep going as long as it makes sense to do it.”

So far, soup sales have generated about $150 for the food pantry,

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U.S. Rep Jim McGovern implores Congress to pass RESTAURANTS Act to provide $120 billion in grants to food services industry to pay rent, mortgage, utilities and more

Standing outside of El Patron, a restaurant in Worcester’s Canal District, U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern took aim at his Republican colleagues in Congress, specifically Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell.

McGovern expressed confidence the U.S. House would be able to pass the RESTAURANTS Act to provide financial help to establishments that are bracing for a winter without outdoor dining. But without senate approval, the bill helps no one.

“We have to get it through the United States Senate,” McGovern said. “And if it were to move there, it would require Mitch McConnell to get off his ass and take up something that is important to the American people.”

McGovern is a co-sponsor of the RESTAURANTS Act, which is a $120 billion grant program to provide relief to restaurants through the end of the year.

The program would be administered by the Department of the Treasury and available to food service or

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Food delivery apps are more popular than ever. But can they help restaurants survive?

Food delivery regulation has taken on new urgency during COVID-19 <span class="copyright">(Pearl Shen / For The Times )</span>
Food delivery regulation has taken on new urgency during COVID-19 (Pearl Shen / For The Times )

How much should delivery companies be able to charge restaurants? It’s a question that has been brought into sharp relief by COVID-19, as restaurants have seen takeout and delivery orders, which might have previously made up a fraction of their sales prepandemic, become essential to their survival.

Nationwide, among the “Big Four” apps that make up an estimated 95% of the third-party delivery market — Postmates, Grubhub, UberEats and Doordash — most charge restaurants a commission fee of 15% to 30% per order. Business owners usually negotiate a contract when signing up for a delivery app: If a restaurant chooses to use multiple delivery services, it might be charged a higher commission than if it signed an exclusive agreement with one app.

At one point, as the pandemic’s devastating toll on restaurants became

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Homeless relocates in Killeen behind fast food restaurant | Local News

Some of Killeen’s homeless population have set up camp behind a Jack in the Box near Trimmier Road after being forced out of nearby Interstate 14 overpasses by police.

Per city order, people who had been living under the I-14 overpass at Trimmier Road have relocated from that location on Sept. 13.  One homeless man told the Herald he did not know where to go next.

“The department received information about some possible unsanitary health conditions at the Trimmier underpass,” Killeen Police Department Spokesperson Ofelia Miramontez said by email on Sept. 12. “We coordinated with the Solid Waste Department for assistance in removal of the debris at that location. The individuals that had property at the underpass removed what belonged to them and what was left behind was to be destroyed. The Killeen Police Department respects all citizens no matter their situation or circumstance.”

As reported on Sept. 12, shopping

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Controversial Houston restaurant serves up comfort food to Katy

Another Houston restaurant has set its sights on Katy. Federal American Grill will open its third location in a former Mason Jar at 727 West Grand Parkway S., according to a press release.

The 9,000-square-foot restaurant will undergo an extensive set of renovations to match the look and feel of Federal Grill’s locations on Shepherd Drive and in Hedwig Village, including the installation of a glassed-in kitchen, private dining rooms, and an expansive patio. All told, the restaurant will seat more than 250 people. Expect an opening in the spring. 

“When this opportunity in Katy was shown to us, it made a lot of sense,” Federal Grill owner Matt Brice said in a statement. “We already had customers who drove in from Katy to our Hedwig location. This offered us a chance to serve a built-in customer base.”

With dishes like kung pao calamari, chicken fried

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Food Truck-Formed Restaurant Features Fair Food

FRIEND FOOD FRENZY. Dig into food-truck inspired fare at Anderson's Chic-n-Fish in Chippewa Falls.

FRIED FOOD FRENZY. Dig into food-truck inspired fare at Anderson’s Chic-n-Fish in Chippewa Falls. (Contributed photo)

If you’re missing FRIED FAIR FOODS, Look no further than Chippewa Falls’ new hit restaurant, Anderson’s Chic-n-Fish, 615 W. Park Ave. This family-owned business began as a dream of John Anderson, who initially began vending at local fairs when his children were extremely young.

“I was basically born into it,” said Tiffany Nesja, Anderson’s daughter. “I always got to travel around all the fairs when I was younger. … I always had a blast.”

About 15 years ago, Anderson became exhausted by the late nights and long hours of the concessions business and shifted gears to selling used cars. But, one day, he decided enough was enough, and he followed his dream of opening a restaurant, building much of the inside of his restaurant with his own two hands.

“I was basically born into

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Fighting Food Insecurity, One Block at a Time

Community Fridges Are Popping Up Across America for Mutual Aid Amid the Pandemic

Artwork on a New Orleans fridge by artist Sydney Calderon.

On one side of a refrigerator that stands on a sidewalk in New Orleans, two alligators encircle a woman with dark mocha skin wearing a tattered white slip. Her hair is a single braid that reaches the ground. She stands with her right foot on top of an orange snake. Above her, white birds seem to be flying toward a celestial body. Below her, two white Bengal tigers prowl between two halves of a papaya. This is just one of several paintings created by artist Sydney Calderon in support of New Orleans Community Fridges (NOCF), which is a mutual-aid effort setting up refrigerators around the city that offer free food to community members, many of whom currently struggle with hunger.

Twenty-four-year-old Calderon, originally from Richmond, California, says

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7 Food Delivery Trends Driving the Future of Restaurant Industry in 2020

Grubhub, UberEats, and Just Eat have set new milestones while capturing a lion’s share in the food delivery market. A new entrant or a startup owner can find it hard to withstand the intensifying competition and keep pace with the ever-changing expectations of customers. There, the latest market trends and integration of technological advancements can lend a helping hand for food delivery startups.

Food Delivery Trends

Before moving forward, let’s go through some interesting facts about the online food ordering-

  • Food orders placed via smartphone and mobile apps will reach $38 billion by 2020
  • 34 percent of consumers spend at least $50 per order in online food delivery
  • 60 percent of restaurant owners have accepted that online delivery can increase sales
  • 33 percent of consumers are willing to pay a higher fee for faster delivery

Here are the top seven food delivery trends that shape the future of a restaurant business in the

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Dead insects, noxious odor, encrusted food remnants: Lancaster County restaurant inspections

The following Lancaster County restaurants were found to have violated Pennsylvania’s health and safety regulations during inspections between Aug. 23-29.

Inspections are overseen by the Department of Agriculture. The department notes that in many cases violations are corrected by the restaurant before inspectors leave.


22 N. 7th St.,Akron

Date: Aug. 28, 2020

Type: Regular

Compliance: In


–Gummie Bears made with CBD oil, an unapproved source, are being sold in this facility.


4311 Oregon Pike, Ephrata

Date: Aug. 28, 2020

Type: Regular

Compliance: In


–Thermometer in back refrigerator is inaccurate by sixF.


363 S. 7th St., Akron

Date: Aug. 28, 2020

Type: Regular

Compliance: In


–Observed a residue on ice machine deflector plate.

–Ice scoop observed stored on top of unclean ice machine.


200 Luther Lane, Columbia

Date: Aug. 28, 2020


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