Friday, December 3, 2010

Planning bites: Food truck

Across the state two big issues seem to be fighting over the planner’s spotlight; internet sweepstakes and food trucks

Since its the holidays and that gets me excited about food- let’s tackle the food trucks:
More and more triangle residents who aspire to own a restaurant are starting their food empires in the backs of trucks. The food truck scene is nothing new; it’s reawakening has been brewing for quite some time. A visit to the grub-centric city San Francisco will confirm this. However, here in the tar heel state, these nascent food truck chefs are running into one major roadblock- they can’t park on the street (can you imagine ordering your thai tempeh wrap from a moving vessel- yeah, that wouldn’t be pretty). So at the urging of these aspiring entrepreneurs, both Raleigh and Chapel Hill are considering changes to their regulations on street vending. Even though food trucks aren't banned on all streets or on private properties, owners say heavy restrictions on city streets keep them from making money. In Durham, where the food truck scene is exploding, food merchants are free to park on most city streets and students can even use their meal cards to buy from some truck (wow)….

Entrepreneurs argue that starting a business in the triangle markets is costly, that food trucks can be comparable to a business incubator- if you would -a test ground for their operations. I’ve also heard that it not allowing food trucks would be a disservice to those that are enchanted by the idea of eating food from a truck (I must admit that I fall into this category.) Some restaurateurs that pay heavy property taxes fear that someone with little or no overhead can slice into a prime piece of the real estate pie without the same fiscal responsibility to the community.  And of course, there’s the notion that food truck vending is can be unsightly and unsanitary.  As local planning committees hash over the idea of equitably distributing culinary vending rights, you can learn more about how other cities “cook the food culture contest”  or link to the N and O article that inspired this post

No comments:

Post a Comment