Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Food Trucks, False Facts, & Fair Play
According to several owners of these restaurants on wheels, the culprit behind this stagnant law is primarily the restaurant industry, fearful of the encroaching food trucks who will evidently steal their customers, lower the quality of food in the city, and probably poison large swaths of citizens. But if other major markets are any indication, nothing could be further from the truth. In looking to Los Angeles and New York it is clear that food trucks add innovation, spontaneity, and style to the dining experience of the metropolitan area to which they serve. If static stores fear food trucks, they must not understand the role that a food truck serves - a quick service experience, with full service flavor. The food truck is not going to take customers away from a well manicured Asian-Fusion restaurant, unless that restaurant failed to live up to the standards that it's patrons desired. Conversely, the presence of a food truck would require a sub-par restaurant to improve in order to compete with the street-side fare that was offered. When competition is present, all participating businesses prosper. If they choose not to innovate, they cease to be.
This law represents a fear of competition and therefore an inability to even show up to the conversation. Rather than fight the fair fight, existing restaurants are using their clout with city aldermen to kill their competitors before they can lace up their gloves. This defensive maneuver is sad, as it shows a clear lack of confidence in the product which the established stores produce.
This argument can be seen throughout history. The incumbent, satisfied with the status quo, grows soft and complacent. While established restaurants are always competing against one another for patrons, the industry seems to be lax in it's willingness to compete on a level playing field with it's new competitors on wheels.