COVID has been a challenging time for most businesses, but for others, it’s been their time to shine.
The rapid increase in demand for food delivery presented an opportunity, which HungryBear food van owner Lindsey Scott saw as too good to refuse.
After initially being reluctant to join Uber Eats, the inability to serve food in-person during COVID – including from his food van, usually parked on Kingsway – meant his small business had to try something new.
MORE ON LAUNCESTON’S FOODIE SCENE DURING COVID:
“It was basically adapt or die. We gave Uber a crack and it worked really well for us in the end,” he said.
In fact, food delivery apps worked so well that he quickly outgrew the van, where he specialised in bao buns and burgers.
As the orders piled up day after day, Mr Scott had to find a bigger space for food preparation. That’s where Launceston nightclub Bakers Lake stepped in to lend a hand, offering its kitchen which was sitting underused during COVID.
“We also wanted a bigger space and to try to do more types of food, not just easy takeaway,” he said.
“It was like with seafood. I’m a sucker for seafood, but if you want to sell it from a van, then the whole menu has got to be seafood given the small space you’re working in.
“So having the kitchen space of my own, I can do more smaller sides, dining food as well.”
At the start of September, Bakers Lane was able to reopen under strict COVID guidelines, including that punters sit down while drinking. It created the perfect atmosphere for Mr Scott’s casual menu – and the two business’ relationship was formalised.
“It worked better for the both of us. Our themes and aesthetics work well together,” he said.
“Bao is something where you can really mix and match flavours, try out some of the menu, and it pairs well with having a few drinks.”
Having set up an initial menu that largely follows his tried and true HungryBear offerings from the food van days, the two businesses were looking to collaborate even further in the future.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Bakers Lane co-owner Stella Thomson said they were looking to expand the menu, and introduce themed food nights as well.
“We’re working on collaborative specials, food that matches well with cocktails, and to make them all in-house,” she said.
Mr Scott said he was looking forward to expanding his range of food offerings and reaching more customers.
“My aim is to get people to try things that they wouldn’t normally try,” he said.
And of course, HungryBear is still available on a range of food delivery apps.