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Record gas prices pose challenges for food trucks

“We’re having a hard time either choosing between [more] staff or paying gas prices right now,” one owner said.

COLORADO, USA — Every day this week, Colorado set a new record for gas prices. That's the painful result when prices hit an old record and just keep climbing.

For the businesses that make their money on the road, it's eating into profits.

“Before the price increases, we paid about $10 to fill our generator, and about $60 to fill up the truck. Now it’s $110 for the truck and about $50 for the generator,” said Ryan Lopez, who owns El Jefe’s Smothered Brats and Tots with his wife.

Lopez said they had to make some difficult business decisions to adjust to the rising gas prices.

“We looked at our schedule and decided we needed to pare it down. That way we’re not driving all over town,” he said. “We stopped working during the week -- we just do weekends. We do large-scale events that are hopefully eight-hour events every Saturday.”

Credit: KUSA
Food truck El Jefe's Smothered Brats and Tots runs on a gasoline-powered generator.

Lopez reasoned if he booked fewer events but with higher customer volume, it's more profitable. That way, he spends less money on one trip, compared to traveling to multiple, smaller events that would bring in less revenue per trip.

“It has, of course, cut into our extra money we have for the food truck, but it helps during this time because gas prices were eating up entire days’ worth of business,” he said.

“We’re having a hard time either choosing between [more] staff or paying gas prices right now,” said Dillon North, whose family runs Chili con Quesadilla food truck.

They have two trucks, and one runs on diesel. During the summer, North said they’re working events six to seven days a week.

“Trying to double book and send out our diesel truck is a nightmare right now,” North said.

He said some gas stations have even limited the gas purchase to $75.

Still, he is optimistic things will improve. North said the business is getting more requests than they can accommodate – a good problem to have.

"You know what, I feel like if we put our head down and we get through this [inflation] of gas prices – I think we’ll be alright," North said.

RELATED: Average gallon of gas now $5, GasBuddy finds

RELATED: Average gas price jumps 10¢ overnight in Colorado


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