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Kansas City-area food trucks feeling pinch at gas pump

High fuel prices forcing business changes
Danny's Burger Stand
Posted at 6:57 PM, Jun 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-07 23:30:08-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — On a typical day, the afternoon rush at Danny's Burger Shack brings drivers to west 79th Street and State Line Road in Kansas City, Missouri.

Danny Kidwell, owner of Danny's Burger Shack, says his food truck won't be around this neighborhood much longer.

"I hate to lose the customers down here in the South," Kidwell said.

He keeps cooking in his truck, but has been crunching numbers recently.

"We're about $1,400 a month just in fuel," he said.

Compare that to what he says is $1,600 in rent for a brick and mortar location.

"I thought for sure rent would be two or three times more than fuel; it was double when we started," Kidwell said. "But now that they're comparable, it just makes sense to move into a building."

His truck is for sale, with those high fuel costs coming off the books.

Everyone is experiencing sticker shock at the pump these days, but especially food trucks, who rely on the road.

That group includes Jeremy Long's Dispatch Pizza.

KSHB 41 first met him last month as he waited on his brand new custom-made truck to launch his business. It's finally here, and with it, a big gas receipt.

"I filled up the other day, it was $200," Long said. "Soon, it'll be $300 with the way it's going."

Long burns wood for his pizza, which involves burning more fuel.

"A lot of the event and wedding spaces we work with are in rural areas that are pretty far away," he said.

According to Long, there could be additional charges for customers in the near future.

"[It might] Force us to have a travel surcharge, right? " Long said. "If people are outside a certain range of our location, we're going to have to add some sort of cost."

In spite of those costs, he's already securing reservations.

"[It's been] A year of planning for this, but a lifetime of work and experiences that have lead to it," Long said. "Myself and family are overall beyond excited."

These are business owners committed to their craft, and serving their customers, however they can.

"The brand and food is what I care the most about," Kidwell said.