What Happens When Food Carts Close in the Winter?
by Barb Fitzgerald
Recently, as I drove through Portland Oregon, I passed several food carts that were closed for winter. It got me wondering what the operators of these carts do for income while they wait for better weather to re-open in the spring. It also makes me wonder why these people chose to open a food cart rather than sell seasonally at special events with a food concession. I assume the need for a full-time income is the main reason. But, if a food cart is forced to close for lack of sales, what is the advantage of having a food cart? Do they prefer to sell from a stationary location, regardless, rather than set-up at temporary events? Or, are there other reasons?
I suspect that many food cart operators want a full-time income but didn't know in advance of opening how well they would do month-by-month. It is no small thing to design a food cart and menu, become licensed, and commit to a location. And, it is not until the cart has been open through the seasons that they learn if their location and menu will produce a steady income. At that point, if their location doesn't sustain adequate sales, it is difficult and expensive to move a food cart to a better location.