Restaurants say food trucks are killing business

Restaurants say food trucks are killing business

Good afternoon great foodie friends.

Are Food trucks / carts unfairly killing restaurant business?

First let me state clearly that culinary wonderment is served equally by great restaurants and food trucks alike. I have no bias against either business model, but on the contrary, I do believe that any and all businesses need to earn their patrons just as any retail or wholesale business should.

When I listen to the debate, it is clear that many facts are being overlooked or ignored. I do feel that the food trucks are unnecessarily on the defensive side of this debate, but believe that a healthy, factual debate can educate the general public, as well as hopefully dispel some questionable facts.

Lets ask the question-Why is there a debate about this issue at all?

It doesn’t matter what business you are in, you will always have competition nipping at your heels and that should fuel your fire and desire to earn and gain repeat business based on some basic business principles.

In this case:

*Good location or better known as-“location, location, location”
*Good to great food
*Great service
*Attention to detail
*Understanding your costs and your customer

I have always maintained that the only way to create great food with over the top flavors is through food that is made from the heart and the soul of the culinary master. The difference shown by the cook/chef that loves what they do and truly feels the passion for culinary magic, shows itself from the moment you see the food, then smell the flavours and finally taste the creation…… A little over top in my explanation maybe?…..I don’t think so.

Now lets talk about some of the arguments we hear from the BC Restaurant and Food Services Association who states:
The Restaurants have a significantly higher economic reality around leases and property taxes than the food trucks do.

While there may be some truth to this statement, the missing facts are as follows:

*Food trucks pre-pay for parking for all day when most are only able to operate between the hours of 11:00 am and 2:30 pm.
*Food trucks must have a commissary kitchen which can cost upwards of $2000/ month, they may not use a home based kitchen.
*Most food truck/carts must park their trucks in a secured, enclosed garage.
*Food trucks are supporting 2 kitchens between their truck and commissary and susceptible to 2 health food inspections.
*Most food trucks business is “seasonal” when it rains many patrons don’t come
*Food trucks have to start and maintain a marketing effort to garner patrons to try their new concept.
*Food trucks are at the mercy of the city when it comes to road closures for events or road work and may have to move their location at anytime with little notice

The debate needs to be heard, but on a fair playing field. At the end of the day, if you can’t offer customer satisfaction on many levels whether you are a food truck or a restaurant you won’t earn repeat patrons. People work hard for their money these days and will vote with their dollar when it comes to where and when they will eat.
Due to where they are situated in downtown Vancouver, many food trucks or carts become destination locations for those patrons not working in the surrounding towers. At first my thoughts may have been that the food trucks would give some restaurants a run for their money but as I searched harder for who comes to the trucks, I found that it is mostly the surrounding business towers occupants, who would at many times be bringing a bag lunch or may opt for fast food. The fact that they have only so much time for lunch likely precluded them from making a restaurant meal a daily ritual in the first place. Many of the food trucks offer them a healthy unique alternative to a bag lunch or fast food.
When we want to sit down with friends or for a business luncheon, most – if not all- would make their way to a favorite restaurant.

Basically what we need the city to do in regards to this issue, is understand that restaurant saturation needs to be monitored and licences issued in areas that aren’t over loaded already with food trucks or restaurants.

The two business models can co-exists if they all play to their strengths and earn the repeat business $ that they all search for. Lets not blame the restaurants or the food trucks for these debates, lets try and consider all the facts and support our favourite restaurants and food trucks….. Lets be proud of the Culinary Mecca that Vancouver has become. We are so lucky to have so many talented chefs in our great city…..lets embrace and support the deserved.

In conclusion, have you now noticed some successful food trucks have also opened a brick and mortar location?
I think that it begs the question, who is the debate really with.

Tags: Food trucks, restaurants, controversy, are food trucks taking restaurants business

Categories: you ask for it and I’ll find it out!

About Westcoast Foodie Blogger

Husband, father, coach, volunteer, foodie, amateur of food from the soul, true flavors that come from heart and soul, Love all things Italian, love to travel to new places as well a familiar spots....dare to dream, experiment and expand your palate and embrace how food from the soul connects friends, family and new aquaintences. share ideas and wanderlust travel experiences with my blog...let me know if there is something that you want me to blog on or write about....Enjoy every moment of everyday. Follow me on Twitter @BCfoodieblogger and Facebook

Posted on November 20, 2012, in great vancouver spot, Vancouver street food, you ask for it and ill find it out and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Interesting. I wouldn’t have thought food trucks would make *that* much of a dent in regular places’ profits!


  2. Great article, and as always appreciate your passion for our city and the fantastic foodie options out there.
    This is certainly a two sided debate, but for me when choosing local, fresh and healthy options for lunch I will more often then not choose to dine at a local food truck. If eating out for dinner though, since food trucks are not operating during the evening, of course the option is a dine-in establishment. In my opinion this is an opportunity for a lesson to be learnt. I LOVE to cook and my family appreciates my time, effort and passion behind these meals. Unfortunately some restaurants employ servers who feel that a tip is “guaranteed” regardless of the service, and more often the not you end up paying for quantity over quality. This is when I feel ripped off. Food trucks on the other hand offer less variety, but in return guarantee fresh ingredients which is then lovingly and thoughtfully being prepared by the owner and investors for our enjoyment. I would rather pay more for this kind of service.
    At the end of the day, like some restaurants, some of the food trucks may fizzle out due to inferior quality, and then we can revisit the argument and discuss quality vs. longevity and profitability.


  3. You blog post is just completely quality and informative. Many new facts and information which I have not heard about before. Keep sharing more blog posts.


  1. Pingback: Foodtruck vs restaurant blog |

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