Friday, 30 Jul, 2021

NYC food trucks are a microcosm of the changed economy. Mondays and Fridays are their slowest days and many have changed locations.

Food cart in NYC.Noam Galai/Getty ImagesThe work-from-home economy is hurting NYC food truck vendors, the NYT reports.Many had to switch locations,..

title Food cart in NYC.
  • The work-from-home economy is hurting NYC food truck vendors, the NYT reports.
  • Many had to switch locations, Mondays and Fridays are the slowest, and pre-pandemic profits are gone.
  • Although June jobs data showed remote work declining, a return to pre-pandemic levels is unlikely.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Before the pandemic, stopping at a food truck on the way to and from work was a New York City staple. But the work-from-home economy changed that, and vendors are suffering.

Even as the economy is slowly returning to normal, office culture may never return to what it once was, given that many companies are now offering employees the option of continuing to work from home. The food-truck vendors who rely on business from workers commuting are worried their sales may never be as strong as they once were.

Nicko Karagiorgos, the owner of Midtown Manhattan's Uncle Gussy's food truck, told The New York Times that even as more employees are returning to work and tourists are reappearing in the city, business is still not at pre-pandemic levels.

"I'm never going to make what I made pre-Covid again. That's game over," Karagiorgos, 44, told the Times. "We have to accept that and hustle a little harder. This is a young man's game. The hours are long. I'm on my feet all day, but I'll do anything. If you want me to juggle, I'll juggle."

He added that Mondays and Fridays are the worst days for business because fewer people tend to go into the office on those days; those might become permanent work-from-home days in a hybrid economy.

And the profit losses are significant. MD Alam said he pays $18,000 every two years to the person who holds the permit to operate Royal Grill Halal Food, his food cart. Before the pandemic, he racked up $3,000 a day, but now, he's barely making $50 a day in profits after paying the $350 operating expense.

"I need the offices to be open so I can go back to how I was before," Alam told the Times. "The city is dead because everyone's home."

In order to maximize profits, some vendors said they've even had to switch locations if the area they typically frequent has not fully returned to the office yet.

The June jobs report had some positive signs for these vendors. Insider reported that despite an increase in jobs reported in June, the number of people working remotely decreased, signaling a possible end to the work-from-home economy.

Specifically, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, 35% of people were working from home in May 2020, but by June, that percentage was cut by more than half, with only 14% doing remote work.

On the other hand, a Morning Consult survey found that 39% of workers would consider quitting if their bosses weren't flexible about working from home, suggesting a complete return to pre-pandemic levels of office work is unlikely.

"We raised our prices," Karagiorgos told the Times. "We're almost at $10 a gyro right now, but what are you going to do?" Karagiorgos did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

One answer may be food-truck vendors working from home themselves. Selling food virtually has become an option for them. For instance, Karagiorgos not only caters big events, like Bar Mitzvahs, but offers a range of products on his website that people can order from home.

Read the original article on Business Insider


By: [email protected] (Ayelet Sheffey)
Title: NYC food trucks are a microcosm of the changed economy. Mondays and Fridays are their slowest days and many have changed locations.
Sourced From: feedproxy.google.com/~r/businessinsider/politics/~3/t_-OY0tIO0M/nyc-food-trucks-work-from-home-economy-vendor-carts-postpandemic-2021-7
Published Date: Tue, 20 Jul 2021 15:33:55 +0000