DENVER — Food truck employees found themselves working in extreme heat as they cooked countless orders over a sizzling stove.
On Tuesday, Denver reached a record-breaking 101 degrees. Food truck employees described the working conditions as miserable as they worked without air conditioning for hours.
Josh Carrera and his brother Ryan Carrera own Carrera’s Tacos. The food truck specializes in West Coast Mexican-style food. The brothers say they’re staying hydrated and taking plenty of breaks to cope with the scorching heat because closing isn’t an option — the food truck is their only source of income.
Carrera felt a blanket of hot air as he stepped into the food truck. He predicted it was about 110 degrees inside as he prepared their specialty, a Cali burrito.
In 2019, more than 700 food trucks were registered in Denver. The same year, Penelope Wong and her sous-chef opened Yuan Wonton, a food truck known for their signature chili-garlic wontons and dumplings.
Wong and her sous-chef quit their secure jobs to open their business.
“This is our livelihood. We work for ourselves, and if we are not out there, there is no paycheck coming in,” Wong said.
The triple-digit temperatures can pose health risks, which include heat exhaustion or heat stroke, for Coloradan’s working in hot conditions. Wong and Carrera say they’re making sure everyone in their food truck has plenty of water to drink to stay safe.
The thermometer inside the Yuan Wonton read 110 degrees by 4 p.m.
“We are melting like candles,” Wong said.
She admits working in the heat has been tough, but her customers have been incredibly supportive and understanding.
“We’ve had some amazing people who have said, ‘You know, we understand if you have to cancel tonight,’” Wong said.
Carrera and Wong both plan to keep their business open as Denver braces for potentially record-breaking temperatures on Wednesday before it cools off on Thursday.