MEDFORD, Ore– For William Snyder, serving the local community good, high quality food is what pushes him every day as a chef.
“I love to cook and I have always wanted to run a kitchen,” said Snyder, the owner and chef of the Curbside King Food Truck. “I enjoy seeing the people who come through my truck.”
But in recent months, Snyder says keeping his dream alive has become a lot more challenging with all recent spikes in the cost for gas, propane and even food.
“It’s cost almost doubled to operate our setup as it did in the past,” said Snyder.
With gas in the Medford area now at more than $4.71 per gallon, as of Thursday, April 7, Snyder says it costs him more than double to fill up his food truck. Going from about 70 dollars to fill up his truck to more than $150.
“We go through a whole lot more gas than we would like to, and the prices have hit pretty hard, I think for us and for other food vendors locally,” said Snyder.
For a business that uses a large amount of propane for their cooking, the increasing is also adding yet another hurdle for Snyder and his wife to adjust to.
“It’s generally a $1.50 or less for propane, you know, some places were charging up to $2, but now on average it’s $3 a gallon,” said Snyder.
But what’s impacted their food truck the most, according to Snyder, has been the rising costs of food.
“Price per pound bell peppers cost as much as brisket used to,” said Snyder. “Not to mention chicken which went from $40 for a 40 pound case, which is what it was for the first five years I operated, to now $120.”
On top of it all, a shortage in food products during the last several months has at times even forced Curbside King to shut down. Cutting into their funds needed to keep them going.
“Our actual profit for the year will be about 50% of what it was in pervious years,” said Snyder.
Still their business is pressing on and is making adjustments each day to stay afloat. Even opening up a breaking menu to slash costs and regain some of the revenue lost during the last several months.
“If you’re not willing to make adjustments, you won’t make it in the food industry right now,” said Snyder.
Even with these adjustments, Snyder and his wife have had to increase their food prices to keep going, but say that even with these changes it’s still not enough to cover the difference of a doubling food price.
Even still, the couple refuses to increase their prices even higher, right now, to meet the rising costs because of their loyalty to their customer base.
“We have people who have grown to love and rely on our food as a healthy option,” said Snyder. I don’t want to nix them out from the equation because it becomes an unrealistic price point.”
And that it will be those same loyal customers that will keep them going during these difficult times.
“Fortunately, we have a great following and we are going to get by on that,” said Snyder. “It’s keeping us in the game.”