North Texas bars teaming up with food trucks to get back open amid COVID-19 restrictions

Texas bars are still on the closed list, but there is a work around to open their doors and help other hospitality businesses stay afloat too.

The Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission is allowing bars to partner with food trucks and other companies so they can re-open as restaurants.

Local food truck owners say the extra business is one positive outcome in a tough year full of obstacles.

“This year, we’ve probably lost about 60-80% of our business,” said Terri Mooney, co-owner of Jack’s Chow Hound.

Any other year, Mooney’s food truck would have a calendar full of events, festivals, and corporate lunches.

But this year has been unlike any other.

“A lot of the corporations working from home, festivals being canceled,” he explained. “We had probably 30 something events back in March and April that were totally wiped off from our books.”

In August, the TABC started allowing bars to partner with businesses, like food trucks, to meet the requirements of having at least 51 percent in food sales to be able to re-open as restaurants.

It’s proven to be a win–win for both businesses.

Bars get to open their doors, and food trucks get a little extra business.

“We’ve gotten some requests in Arlington and Dallas, and we’ve sent some trucks out, it’s starting to get some momentum with it,” Mooney said.

The North Texas Food Truck Association said their members have seen a slight uptick in business thanks to partnerships with bars, but as more bar owners work to figure out the regulations and what works for them, they hope to see even more business.

“People are just trying to find new ways, be creative, come up with a strategic plan on how to recover from 2020 and what their future looks like,” Mooney said.

For Tutta’s Pizza, their food truck business has tripled.

“It’s a blessing for me, I have about four different bars I'm working with right now that would like to get us out,” said Jeremy Scott, owner of Tutta’s Pizza.

Their food truck business going so well, they're putting all their efforts there while their restaurant remains closed.

“We tried to reopen the restaurant for a little while, about six weeks, and we were just hemorrhaging money,” Scott said.

Hoping to keep these partnerships and stay connected to help each other survive.

“It’s paramount for me. As a small business owner, you understand that it’s not always an ‘us vs. them’ game,” he added. “Bars are a part of that, it’s all connected.”