Romayo's have given meals on wheels a whole new meaning with this double decker food outlet just off the N11.
Located right next to Pluck's restaurant in Kilmacanogue in Wicklow, the Romayo’s Roadster is a fully-fitted foodie venue which took the family-run chain 12 weeks to convert. It's believed to be the largest mobile food operation in Ireland.
It opened up a few weeks ago and Dario Macari, Romayo’s operations director, has explained the inspiration for the innovative drive-in: "When the pandemic hit, opening up new outlets became very difficult because construction activity was halted," he said. "So we thought we would create an American-style drive-in and treat it as a destination so people could escape their homes. It is still a public service vehicle - but in a very different way!”
The project has created 12 full and part-time jobs and serves up burgers, pizza, fresh fish and chips and more from the regular Romayo's menu. The initial public response has been positive and Romayo's are now considering opening a sit-down restaurant in Kilmacanogue and using the bus to feed crowds at festivals, concerts and major sporting events.
Dario explained that "we were at loggerheads over whether we’d do dining on the bus, or have a bus with a full kitchen with dining outside.
“Covid helped us to make that decision as people eating inside was a no-no under Level 5 restrictions, but the site is fully Covid-compliant and we will have outdoor seating once guidelines allow.
“The idea is pretty simple: if people want to get out of their house and go for a walk in the mountains, they can have lunch or dinner on the way back. The good thing for us is that it’s one of the last food outlets as you come into Dublin from the south.”
The Romayo’s Roadster is fitted with a 21-appliance commercial kitchen, including pizza oven, grill for burgers and kebabs, a full frying range, chicken machine, refrigeration units and sinks, all of which have passed health and safety standards. It takes its power from a temperature-controlled support truck which houses the water supply, refrigeration and freezers for holding stock.
Be sure to check it out on your next trip up or down the N11!