Covid-19 was not going to take into account Bylewski’s growth plans, even though food trucks were seen as essential businesses. There was just too much uncertainty and too much to dig.
“We have lost 95% of our sales this year,” said Bylewski. “The [Buffalo Niagara] Medical Campus was the only place that wanted us to come to lunch all the time. “
Instead of trying to find other ways to keep the truck afloat, Bylewski turned to a familiar source of income: he accepted a position as sous chef at the Buffalo Chophouse. He’s grateful for the job, but even with the gap year, Bylewski remains hopeful that the city’s wave of food trucks hasn’t stopped.
“I am optimistic for when things will get back to normal,” he said. “People will come back.”
The flaming fish
If there is one saving grace for the Flaming Fish Food Truck, it is a common bond between employees – they are part of the family.
“Lucky for us, our staff live in our house,” said Deanna Johnson, who has run the fried seafood truck with her mother, husband and daughter for the past 5 and a half years. Family responsibility has made staff safety a little easier and also eliminated the worry of workers disappearing to collect unemployment.