Warm weather extends business for Cincinnati food trucks

Posted at 11:00 AM, Feb 18, 2017

CINCINNATI -- Cincinnati food trucks are reveling in our warm, dry winter.

The average temperature from December through February has been a balmy 36.5 degrees, 3.4 degrees above average. So far this winter, Cincinnati has seen 35 days during which the temperature never fell below freezing.

With warm days still coming in February, Cincinnati will easily surpass the 38 above-freezing days we saw last winter. And if the weather is above freezing, food trucks can continue serving, said Cincinnati Food Truck Association board member Shane Coffey.

About 10 percent of the 60 food trucks that are members of the association, including Coffey's Street Chef Brigade, serve year-round, and they are reporting increased business thanks to the unseasonably warm weather.

Street Chef Brigade, for instance, has been at about 20 locations each month. That's twice as many as last winter and about half the business Coffey said he would do in the peak summer season.

"January was awesome," said Coffey. "I expect February will be even better."

Bones Brothers Wings has booked about 20 more events this winter than last year, said operator Jim Dowery. The truck is finding new customers and has added a delivery service so it can serve food on even the cold, wet days.

Of course, those are few and far between this winter. Cincinnati has seen just eight inches of snow this winter, according to the National Weather Service. That's nearly 10 inches below normal, assuming no major accumulations through February, and nine inches less than last year.

Breweries and other businesses that use food trucks also are benefiting from the warm weather.

In addition to having more nice days to have food trucks out, the warm weather means a wider selection of trucks to choose from, said Ron Sanders of Darkness Brewing in Bellevue. Like many breweries, Darkness relies on food trucks, instead of an in-house kitchen and staff, to feed customers and keep them around and drinking.

"Without food trucks, we'll slow down during the dinner hours," Sanders said.

Total Quality Logistics brings food trucks on site to offer employees variety during their lunch hour. Last winter, trucks were out twice a week, said employee engagement specialist Katie Simms. This winter, TQL employees have been able to grab food from trucks nearly every day.

You can see what food trucks are out and about on any given day at Street Food Finder.