The wildly popular food truck went from experiencing long lines of supporters during the pandemic to a significant drop in business in recent months at its brick-and-mortar location.
Why it matters: The decline in business was just one of the business’s obstacles, according to Barnes and Williams. Inflation, labor costs and the rising price of food also played a large part in their decision to close up shop, the owners tell Axios.
- Barnes said their main dish — potatoes — nearly tripled in price within the last year.
Zoom out: What The Fries joins a growing list of local businesses needing to close recently.
- The Stanley, VelTree, Soul Gastrolounge and Sister all closed in 2022.
- Most recently, we reported about Your Mom’s Donuts closing due to the rising cost of eggs.
- Yes, but: The popular doughnut shop reopened under new ownership two months later.
“We are grateful for everyone that did come through our building,” Barnes said.
State of play: After their brick-and-mortar closed, Barnes and Williams shifted their focus back to what made them popular — their food truck. But about three weeks into their transition, they got into a car accident with the food truck.
“I thought this was the sign to end it,” Williams said.
Yes, but: Barnes and Williams say they hope to reopen in some capacity, but they’re not sure if the food truck or restaurant will reopen first.
- They hope to connect with an investor to help them open their restaurant again.
- “In a perfect world, we would like to reopen our food truck and restaurant. In the meantime, we are working hard to open so when we open again we just want people to come out and support,” said Barnes.