Heatwave: how the professionals stay cool behind the grill

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Despite the heat, some cooks are choosing to stay in the kitchen here. By lunchtime Monday, the regular group of food trucks and stands were setting up shop and working up a sweat at Courthouse Square in downtown Dayton.

“It sure makes you appreciate having air conditioning when you get off work,” joked Dave Parker, the owner and operator of Dogs for Dogs hotdog stand.

Parker said he tries to maximize the shade of his umbrella, stay hydrated and catch any hint of a breeze near the steaming hot dog trays on his stand. He explained braving the elements is part of the business.

“In seven years of doing this, I’ve never missed a single day because of the heat. Wind is actually a whole lot worse for me,” Parker said.

While Parker can benefit from the occasional breeze, neighboring food truck operators Robin and Tony McDaniel said it’s difficult to contain cool air in their Claybourne Grille truck.

“(We use) a lot of fans and a little air conditioner, but with all of the windows and doors open, it’s kind of hard to hold all of that in. So we just do the best we can,” explained Robin McDaniel.

The couple said their food truck typically measures 15 degrees hotter than the actual outside temperature.

“Yesterday our thermometer wouldn’t even read… it was over 100 degrees in there,” said Robin McDaniel.

The food workers said they prepare for the heat by drinking plenty of fluids and watching for any signs of heat exhaustion. Some said the rising temperatures can drive down business, but they still planned to spend several hours cooking and preparing food for hungry customers.

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