Mobile food, drink units are common in Chico, but are they otherwise different than stationary restaurants? – Chico Enterprise-Record

CHICO — Hungry customers love it because it’s easy to find, fast, and relatively cheap. Owners prefer to operate these properties because they are easy to move around and cheap to rent.

Of course, they’re mobile food units — sometimes called “taco trucks,” but there’s no limit to what they can offer. increase.

Jose Quintero, who owns Tacos Super Tonaya with his wife Ana, has been living in the same location at 1456 Mangrove Ave. since June 24, 2014. There is plenty of room for their truck and his table with four chairs.

Tacos Super Tonaya has occupied this location at 1456 Mangrove Ave. since June 2014. This unit is on display Thursday, January 12, 2023 in Chico, CA. (Ed Booth/Enterprise-Record)

Jose Quintero speaks primarily Spanish and has asked his son Sergio to act as spokesman. Sergio Quintero said he and his two brothers and his two sisters work in the unit with his parents. Completely family run. He said there are advantages to his family owning a mobile food unit.

“We don’t have to pay for electricity,” said Sergio Quintero. “If you’re lucky, you can find a spot outside the store and get to know the owner. There’s no extra charge.”

This is in contrast to what “brick and mortar” restaurant operators face. On-site insurance, utility bills, maintenance, and more. Additionally, the stationary restaurant has many tables plus plates, utensils, large refrigerators, and more. “Taco trucks” typically serve food on disposable plates with plastic utensils and paper napkins.

The shortcomings are considerable. First and foremost is the fact that the truck is a restaurant and if the truck breaks down it will be difficult to operate. The Quinteros unit was built in his 1982 and the family has maintained it properly, keeping it attractive and clean inside and out, but like any vehicle it needs care.

“Motors, transmissions, smog checks, oil changes… all these things have to be done,” said Quintero. And when the unit fails? “It happened to us before,” he said.

Quintero also said the weather could make the track uncomfortable.

“The heat in the summer can get pretty bad,” he said. “It’s not bad when it’s raining, but when it’s cold, you’re still outside. Also, customers can’t wait outside for a long time. They get impatient.”

Quintero also said many customers appreciate the convenience of having their food readily available and ready to eat. However, some people think the speed of service should be like a fast food restaurant where food is waiting and ready to be served quickly.

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