Food trucks and carts enjoyed a renaissance after the 2008 financial crisis. During that time, some of the chefs that lost their restaurants made their operations mobile¹, bringing bougie food to the streets. Will we see a similar boom in 2021?
Timmins (pictured above) is a former sushi chef. He and his partner Sarah run The Wandering Bagel, and serve the tastiest sushi bagel in Rincón. Does a sushi bagel sound strange to you? Well, you’ve had lox on your bagels before, right? Try their fresh tuna or wahoo. Dip it in a bit of ponzu sauce and you’ll come back for more.
The Wandering Bagel is a food cart, but due to steady expansion, hasn’t changed locations since settling in across the street from Pool’s beach. But in contrast to their fixed address counterparts, food cart vendors have flexibility. They can relocate in the face of curfews, outdoor dining bans, civil unrest, hurricanes, or fires. They are aligned with macro trends in connectivity, power generation and storage, and cost of capital.
Biden’s $1.9T “America Rescue Plan” is unprecedented, and it will be criminal if it doesn’t reach the people that need it most. Since February 2020, the restaurant and hospitality industry has lost four million jobs. As of January 2021, 16% of the industry’s workers remain unemployed — more than any other industry².
Meanwhile, software developers and other office workers have been able to work from home — or from a tropical island. Economists have categorized this disparity as a “K shaped recovery”, where different parts of the economy recover at different rates³.
I’d like to see mobile food businesses thrive, alongside the ongoing boom in technology. I recently learned of a cryptocurrency called PancakeSwap. The significance of this virtual cuisine is probably best left for another article. However, a revolution in finance, if it’s worth having, should mean better pancakes (and bagels) for all.