As the classic saying goes, necessity drives innovation. The idea of selling food from a mobile vehicle began more than 100 years ago, but the recent boom in the mobile food industry over the past 10 years has led to food trucks nationwide quickly becoming a staple in our everyday lives. From fairs and festivals to wedding treats, food trucks provide both guests and operators with flexibility that cannot be attained from a brick and mortar business. But what happens when the festivals come to a screeching halt and weddings are canceled because of COVID-19? Without events that boast hundreds or even thousands of attendees, mobile food operators have been forced to find new ways to reach customers to keep their businesses rolling.
DonutNV (pronounced donut envy) started as a mall kiosk at the Philadelphia Premium Outlets in 2014, slinging hot mini donuts and fresh squeezed lemonade. Founders Alex and Amanda Gingold were looking to escape the rat race of Corporate America. They first explored countless local restaurants for sale, but nothing fit their mold of happiness. “We love to travel, and we wanted to be able to set our own schedule” says Amanda. The dynamic duo are self-proclaimed foodies and decided that donuts were their golden parachute to starting their own business.
Shortly after opening in 2014, they saw a need to go mobile after they opened their first kiosk. “We were constantly approached to serve our donuts at parties and events from the day we opened,” says Alex. Their experience of designing, building, and then operating their donut trucks quickly mixed with their passion for travel. A solid relationship with the Simon Premium Outlets took them up and down the East coast, popping up at shopping centers in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and even Florida. As they evaluated the success of their business in these new markets, they made the decision to go entirely mobile in 2016. “We knew that if we could offer a one-of-a-kind experience paired with delicious and refreshing product offerings that brought the party to your door, we would be a hit.”
Although COVID-19 has forced many businesses to limit their operating capacity or even shut down entirely, DonutNV franchisees have been able to capitalize on the demand for mobile treats by continuing to bring the party (and sweets) directly to their guests! “We have seen an influx of demand for individually packaged servings of donuts for socially-distanced events,” says Alex. Demand to vend at new types of locations and events has emerged industry wide. The flexibility of food trucks has allowed operators to flawlessly continue operating their businesses, and have even helped to keep other businesses open, such as bars now required in some states to serve food with their brews. 2020 has taught us, the “new normal” is here to stay for the immediate future and having a business that can easily pivot operations is the difference between thriving and closing your doors forever.
Explore franchise opportunities at www.DonutNVFranchise.com.