Food truck companies in Groningen die at work: “But not everything is hosianna”

One of the Javanese Eetcafés food trucks in Stad. Photo: submitted

They must regularly say ‘no’: the Groningen food truck companies. After some miserable corona years, the agenda is now completely full, although it is not always hosianna.

Paul van de Vegte owns the Javanese Eetcafé in Stad. The company drives three iconic food trucks through the three northern provinces. “We’ve turned three old fire trucks into food trucks,” says Van de Vegte. Do you know why we drive old German fire trucks? We serve spicy food in our trucks that can be turned off afterwards, haha. ” The company has been busy in recent months: “I now have three trucks driving, I can also drive ten. Inquiries come every day. And those are requests from people who want something at the end of the week. I see it as a luxury problem. ”

“A cultural change is underway”
According to Van de Vegte, the reason is quite logical: “People want to celebrate a party again. Very little was possible in the last two years. There were no festivals, company parties and special moments. And that is what we are now focusing on. Delivery of a project, a party at a company, but also many weddings. ” And there is another reason: “There is a cultural change on the way. In the past, you were content with a bag of fritters and spare ribs. Today, there is much more focus on healthy eating. The quality of food at festivals has increased markedly. I’m really happy with the sale of Indonesian food. ”

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The Burgerlijke Stands food truck is an old Austrian army truck used mainly to drive through Belgium. Photo: submitted

De Burgerlijke Stand: “Most of the money goes to the organization at the food truck festivals”
Annet de Jonge runs the food truck De Burgerlijke Stand together with Hugo Pronk. She recognizes her colleague’s story: “Yes, we get a lot of orders. It’s exploded considerably since the corona. “De Jonge and Pronk are driving an old Austrian army truck through the country.” We are mainly located in Belgium. Yes, it sounds a little crazy, but we do not like the food truck festivals held in the Netherlands. “At these festivals, most of the money goes to the organization. Here in Belgium, it’s a little more humane and friendly for us as entrepreneurs.”

“A hamburger of 6 euros is quickly considered too expensive in the Netherlands”
And there is another reason: “The Belgians are more Burgundian. In the Netherlands, a hamburger is quickly considered too expensive. We pay six euros for a hamburger. And then you are told that a hamburger in the snack bar only costs three euros. But what we do is a completely different branch of the sport. We work with fresh meat from the butcher, we travel with our food truck, it takes a lot of time to build the food truck, the meat is cooked in the wood stove. It is part of the overall experience. The Belgians understand this a little better. They see it well. That is why we have so much to find in Belgium. ”

Van de Vegte: “I cut myself when I go to a food truck festival”
Van de Vegte recognizes the story of the food truck festivals: “I do not go there anymore. As I said, I focus on parties and weddings, among other things. I do not want to burn down the food truck festivals, but I will cut myself if I go there. So I get there and there are three trucks selling satay which is my specialty. You would not put three burgerjoints next to each other, right? With our company, we are at a high level, where we have established our own concept. Sawing the level of a caravan and selling food in it, we have grown from that level. ”

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The Javanese Eetcafé’s food trucks focus on spicy food. Photo: submitted

Chamber of Commerce: “The number of food trucks doubled”
Last weekend it turned out that the number of food trucks in the Netherlands has more than doubled in the last five years. In 2017, there were about 1,200 food trucks, now, according to the Chamber of Commerce, it is almost 2,500. An increase of 110 per cent. Annet de Jonge from the Registration Office: “The demand is great. After the corona years, a lot needs to be done. If we look at our own business, we see that we receive about thirty to forty emails with inquiries every week. The demand is great. And many entrepreneurs are jumping into that hole. Although here in Belgium we see that the number is actually declining. Many people do it for fun, as a side job. Now that the economy is on the rise, permanent jobs are on the rise, such initiatives are at the expense of such initiatives. ”

“Many people have a romantic image of it”
Van de Vegte from the Javanese Eetcafé acknowledges this. “Many people start a food truck, but you also see that the throughput is very large. Many people have a romantic image of the food truck world. But it’s really hard work. You do ten to twelve hour days. Sometimes you have to travel far. And the economic aspect. For it must be possible. I need to be able to make a living from it. But if you ask me if it’s fun work. I’ve been in the hotel business for over thirty years, but it’s an absolute pleasure. ”

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