The B.C. Restaurant and Food Association will be hosting a conference call with nearly 25 Greater Victoria small food businesses to explore ways to best re-open their doors to the public once the provincial health authority gives the green light. (Facebook/Indecent Risotto)

The B.C. Restaurant and Food Association will be hosting a conference call with nearly 25 Greater Victoria small food businesses to explore ways to best re-open their doors to the public once the provincial health authority gives the green light. (Facebook/Indecent Risotto)

Victoria food truck owner sees 90 per cent decline in sales, looking for new ways to operate

Local food industry members to discuss best ways to safely re-open amid COVID-19

Andrew Paumier is struggling to keep his food truck profitable in the middle of a pandemic.

Normally, he and his wife would be serving their deep-fried risotto balls to a lineup of customers down a busy street corner or preparing their stock for an upcoming festival, but instead, they’re strictly limited to take-out or delivery apps.

So far, he’s lost 90 per cent of sales compared to last year.

“In the first two days of the provincial lockdown we lost $4,000 dollars in event bookings,” said Paumier, the co-owner of Indecent Risotto. “If we come out at the end of the year with 10 per cent in sales compared to last year, I’d be really happy.”

READ MORE: Royal Roads students launch quarantine cookbook, all proceeds benefit Our Place Society

Though he longs for the days before COVID-19, he said the business is waiting for the green light from the provincial government – and in the meantime, he’s helping lead a forum about it.

The BC Restaurant and Foods Association will be hosting Indecent Risotto and nearly 25 Greater Victoria food businesses in a Zoom meeting to discuss their ideas on how to re-open safely when time allows.

“The big piece is customer confidence,” Paumier said. “It will be our biggest stumbling block if we don’t get it right and show the public that our operations will be safe going forward.”

ALSO READ: No samples, live music or craft vendors allowed at upcoming West Shore farmers’ markets

When the couple’s food truck was hit by the COVID-19 regulations in March, Paumier and his wife immediately stopped their daily operations and self-isolated for two weeks to ensure they didn’t catch the virus.

Recently, Paumier sent a letter on behalf of Indecent Risotto to most CRD municipalities, asking to lighten their bylaws in order to allow their food truck to operate in public areas, specifically ones with high visibility areas “such as the Juan de Fuca Rec Centre parking lot.”

Even though the whole success of food trucks rely on the abundance of crowds, proper social distancing measures can be taken, said Paumier.

The forum, which took place on Monday, will give the chance for smaller businesses to voice their concerns, which can significantly differ from large restaurant corporations, Paumier noted. Most small businesses run on a small profit margin, sometimes between three to five per cent. When they don’t have enough of a buffer, small mom-n’-pop shops begin falling through the cracks.

As far as it goes for the food truck, Paumier said he’s glad he won’t have to deal with fixed overhead during the pandemic – but that can’t be said for most brick and mortar shops.


@iaaronguillen
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

aaron.guillen@goldstreamgazette.com

CoronavirusRestaurants

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The realignment of Highway 14 between Connie and Glinz Lake roads in Sooke will take more than a year to complete. (File - Sooke News Mirror)
The realignment of Highway 14 between Connie and Glinz Lake roads in Sooke will take more than a year to complete. (Kevin Laird - Sooke News Mirror)
Patience requested from drivers as work begins on realignment of Highway 14 in Sooke

Construction between Connie and Glinz Lake roads expected to take 1½ years

A spokesperson for the Peninsula Country Market is upset that their third and final Winter Market won’t happen this Saturday in Central Saanich’s Centennial Park following moves by the municipality. (Facebook/Peninsula Country Market)
Central Saanich postpones weekend Winter Market, organizers upset

Lorea Tomsin said municipality’s move runs counter to provincial direction

As cyclists and pedestrians pass by at Humboldt and Government streets, a garden of blooming black-eyed Susans brightens up the northwest corner of the Fairmont Empress Hotel property on a partially sunny November afternoon. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Keep your umbrella handy for the next while around Greater Victoria

November has lived up to its reputation as one of the rainiest months of the year

Victoria-Swan Lake MLA Rob Fleming moves to the role of transportation minister in the NDP’s new cabinet. (B.C. government file photo)
Greater Victoria MLAs claim key roles in new cabinet

Transportation, Indigenous relations, children and family development ministries headed by locals

Penny Hart is emotional outside the Saanich Police Department as she pleads for helpt to find her son Sean Hart last seen Nov. 6 at a health institution in Saanich. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: Mother of missing Saanich man begs public to help find her son

Sean Hart last seen leaving Saanich mental health facility Nov. 6

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 24

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(AP Photo/Haven Daley)
POLL: Do you think the current COVID-19 restrictions should continue beyond Dec. 7?

One week into the new restrictions to curtail the spread of the… Continue reading

Police in Nanaimo are looking for a suspect who wore a black-and-white striped hoodie and rode a yellow mountain bike when he allegedly stole three children’s backpacks from a daycare facility. (Photo submitted)
VIDEO: Thief steals children’s backpacks from daycare in Nanaimo

Suspect rode a yellow mountain bike and made off with backpacks hanging on fence

Arthur Topham has been sentenced to one month of house arrest and three years of probation after breaching the terms of his probation. Topham was convicted of promoting hate against Jewish people in 2015. (Photo submitted)
Quesnel man convicted for anti-Semitic website sentenced to house arrest for probation breach

Arthur Topham was convicted of breaching probation following his 2017 sentence for promoting hatred

Langley School District's board office. (Langley Advance Times files)
‘Sick Out’ aims to pressure B.C. schools over masks, class sizes

Parents from Langley and Surrey are worried about COVID safety in classrooms

The Klahoose First Nation village on Cortes Island is under lockdown until further notice due to a positive COVID-19 test. Photo courtesy Kevin Peacey.
Cortes Island First Nation community locked down due to positive COVID-19 test

Klahoose First Nation has had one positive test, one other potential case

Ladysmith’s 1st Avenue will be lit up until January 15. (Cole Schisler photo)
Light Up parade a no-go, but Ladysmith’s streets are still all aglow

Although the tradition Light Up this year was cancelled, folks can still enjoy the holiday lights

The baby boy born to Gillian and Dave McIntosh of Abbotsford was released from hospital on Wednesday (Nov. 25) while Gillian continues to fight for her life after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
B.C. mom with COVID-19 still fighting for life while newborn baby now at home

Son was delivered Nov. 10 while Gillian McIntosh was in an induced coma

Most Read