Metro Sees More Food Trucks During the Pandemic


DES MOINES, Iowa — Many in the restaurant business have worked to find new ways of generating money outside the four walls of their storefronts.

The city of Des Moines has issued 20 more food truck permits in a three month span, compared to months leading up to the pandemic.

Based on numbers from a 2020 U.S Census Bureau article, sales from food trucks increased by 79% between 2012 and 2017, rising to be a billion dollar industry. 

The Iowa Restaurant Association said that the food truck business does help restaurant owners extend their business beyond their four walls and provides a lower cost entry investment to aspiring owners. 

Gary Dameron and Teonte Smith are Des Moines’s newest owners of the food truck, What The Fries DSM, that specializes in this side dish. 

Ten years ago Smith had a clothing store and knew the challenges that came with a brick-and-mortar business, such as paying for electricity, internet, and a rented space. That’s why the duo decided to go mobile. 

“I feel like storefronts and restaurants can work sometimes but if the location doesn’t work out for you, you’re stuck there,” Dameron said.  “If the location doesn’t work out for us we could try different things and you try to figure something else out.” 

The grand opening for What The Fries DSM is this Saturday starting at 11:00 a.m. at 2701 Ingersoll Avenue.

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