Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Food Truck Links

1. DETROIT -- "It’s only fitting that a region called “The Motor City” is getting into the mobile food game big time.  The new Taco Mama Detroit is now in operation (see photo above)."

2. CANADA -- "Exotic food trucks, which have long been popular staples in such U.S. cities as Los Angeles, New York City and Portland, are slowly making their way to Canada. However, some operators in two of the country's biggest markets say municipal regulations often leave them spinning their wheels.

Montreal has banned street food for more than the last half-century. Toronto has had a moratorium on new food truck vending permits for almost a decade, although it is now reviewing its street vending bylaws. Vancouver, on the other hand, revamped its rules and now is in the midst of a street eats boom."

3. The Washington Post yesterday featured Bert Gall, the head of the Institute for Justice's food truck program, and described his job as "suing the living daylights out of cities that dare to limit the free enterprise of street vendors."

MP: Canada obviously needs a brach office of the Institute for Justice, or an equivalent organization to fight for economic justice! 

 
HT: Mike W.

21 Comments:

At 9/07/2011 10:56 AM, Blogger truth or consequences said...

WHAT is this fixation about food trucks????? Is it an uncontrollabe urge to eat standing up?????What's the big deal???

"Canada obviously needs a branch office of the Institute for Justice, or an equivalent organization to fight for economic justice!"????....oh please...

just wait till a hundred people in Detroit get sick (or worse) from food poisoning...before one rants against a regulation, one should have a little look back at to maybe WHY it was introduced in the first place....

those food trucks will look good in January when it's -30F and blowing at 30mph!!!! I bet the line ups will be short....and the "choices" available for people to actually get inside to eat will be limited....after all the little diners closed up shop after loosing business to these food trucks over the summer....

"tempest in a teapot" comes to mind...and "careful what you wish for"....

 
At 9/07/2011 12:01 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"just wait till a hundred people in Detroit get sick (or worse) from food poisoning...before one rants against a regulation, one should have a little look back at to maybe WHY it was introduced in the first place...."...

Well if people get sick from eating at food trucks (which could be hard to prove) then people won't spend their money anymore...

The regulation? Well it couldn't possibly be that some 'public parasite' was looking for a way that he or she was looking for a rationale to continue to leech off the taxpayers could it?

 
At 9/07/2011 1:00 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

truth-

i'd be careful accusing others of ranting if i were you. that's an awful lot of exclamation points.

food trucks have been around forever. we ate from them all the time in college. they were open late. no one got food poisoning that i recall.

trucks are inspected the same way restaurants are by the same inspectors. your rant there misses the point and demonstrates poor reading comprehension. it's truck vending permits that are controlled. there is ZERO about passing health inspections.

the best burrito in san francisco comes from a truck. so does the best grilled cheese.

lots of cites have great sidewalk food. the sausage carts on key west are amazing. somehow, the restaurants survive.

if you don't like them, don't eat there.

why try to foist your preferences onto others?

then you have this populist rant about little diners going under. puh-leez. this is the same argument made about the first supermarkets, the big discounters like costco, walmart, and every other example of competition that favors consumers.

if people want diners, there will always be diners.

what we wish for is more choice at lower prices. street vending accomplishes that.

 
At 9/07/2011 1:18 PM, Blogger truth or consequences said...

BS...juanny...surely you can't be saying that goverment jobs happen merely because somebody wants to "create" a job...

When the citizens of Dodge hired Marshall Dillon it was to "create" a job??? Of course not, it was because there was a need for that service.

"Well if people get sick from eating at food trucks then people won't spend their money anymore..." well yeah, especially if they're dead!!!

Brick and mortar restaurants get regular inspections to protect the public's health. Inspecting food trucks is still possible but will be harder...LOL, they'll probably have to hire more inspectors!!!!!

Maybe you got born two hundred years too late, maybe you would have been happier in the "wild west". Unfortunately you share this place with a whole bunch more people....and most of them would rather not pack their own bacteria testing equipment when they go to a restaurant... or fill the potholes in the street in front of their house themselves...or have to pack their own gun with them all the time for protection.....Ooooopps, I forgot I was talking to an American....never mind;)

 
At 9/07/2011 1:35 PM, Blogger truth or consequences said...

Ok, Morgan...no ranting...promise;)

you own and run a diner, you pay taxes as part of your rent, you're making a living....all of a sudden food trucks are allowed and one likes to park right in front of your place...you numbers start going down. You invested 200K in your restaurant, the guy in the food truck put in 30K for his rig.
You ok with that??? you don't complain???

For the record I'm no champion of regulation and public sector emplyoees....FAR from it...but let's be sure we're not "throwing out the baby with the bathwater"

 
At 9/07/2011 1:45 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Also, would be fun to de-license lawyers coast to coast.

Why these while-collar clerks make so much money is beyond me....well it is not. Entry to the law industry is regulated, and the regulated can drum up business the way glaziers can. By throwing bricks around.

 
At 9/07/2011 1:55 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"juanny...surely you can't be saying that goverment jobs happen merely because somebody wants to "create" a job..."...

Oh about 90% of the government workers are as worthless as tits on a boar hog I would guess...

"When the citizens of Dodge hired Marshall Dillon it was to "create" a job??? "...

Come back T&C, come back to the real world and not television fantasy land...

""Well if people get sick from eating at food trucks then people won't spend their money anymore..." well yeah, especially if they're dead!!!"...

Well now you're starting to understand the situation...

I knew that sooner or later you would...

"Brick and mortar restaurants get regular inspections to protect the public's health"...

So are you saying you have more faith in some loser-leech on the tax rolls making the judgement for you than you yourself making the call on where to eat?

"Unfortunately you share this place with a whole bunch more people....and most of them would rather not pack their own bacteria testing equipment when they go to a restaurant"...

You mean the majority of the people you're refering to are either to lazy, to stupid, or to incompetent to make a judgement on where to go to feed themselves?

Hmmm, sounds like a large pool of potential government employees to me...

You do realize T&C that there are private firms that can do almost everything we seem to leave to government employess, they can probably do it more efficiently and cheaply than the government can...

 
At 9/07/2011 1:58 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

"Oh about 90% of the government workers are as worthless as tits on a boar hog I would guess..."

Juandos: By this comment, I say you do not find female boar hogs attractive, and that we should eliminate 90 percent of the 3 million employees in the Department of Defense.

For once, we are in agreement.

 
At 9/07/2011 2:06 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"I say you do not find female boar hogs attractive"...

In pseudo benny's world hogs are apparently 'trans-gendered' but then again he's squatting out there in California...

A dose of Merriam-Webster for the pseudo benny: boar

 
At 9/07/2011 2:08 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

"you own and run a diner, you pay taxes as part of your rent, you're making a living....all of a sudden food trucks are allowed and one likes to park right in front of your place...you numbers start going down. You invested 200K in your restaurant, the guy in the food truck put in 30K for his rig.
You ok with that??? you don't complain???"

no. i compete, i don't complain.

you have a nice little software company. i start one and compete with you. what, you going to lobby to put me out of business? you were there first?

you are championing anti consumer monopoly behavior.

so what if i used Indian programmers and my costs were lower? you want to forbid me from doing business because my costs are low?

the best burrito in SF come from a truck. one of them parks right in front of a restaurant in harrison and 22nd. has for years. both are still in biz.

the same was true in providence. the white truck parked in front of my fraternity and sold 2 for $1 hot dogs. it had no effect on ruby's diner across the st. both thrived.

better still, customers (me) benefited most of all.

you seem to be taking this top down approach that there should be X participants in a market.

who are you to say that?

who decides how many and which?

it's anti consumer.

you are advocating fascist style monopolies.

downtown san francisco is getting lots of food trucks.

people love them.

i am unaware of any restaurant that has been driven under. they are not complaining. hell, several have used their brands to start trucks.

there is no baby getting thrown out, nor even any bathwater that i can see.

by your logic, we ought to ban amazon to protect your local bookseller.

it sounds eerily like you want to have government restrict competition and pick winners and losers.

customers are supposed to pick winners.

 
At 9/07/2011 2:12 PM, Blogger Dan Linstroth, Helloheroic.com said...

It's all about TIME. That's why people are eating up the idea (excuse the awful pun). When do people use them? During the lunch hour, when time is limited. People aren't making Food Trucks their Saturday night date destinations. American's value their time.

 
At 9/07/2011 2:48 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

here's another way to look at it:

you assume the diner is a good guy.

but perhaps he's not.

let's say you work in a neighborhood where that diner is really the only lunch choice. the food is bad. the prices are high, the place is filthy.

then, a shiny new truck shows up. it has great food. it's fast, it's clean, it's cheap.

you and the other workers in the area are thrilled and hope to attract a second truck to get even more variety.

then, the diner owner says "hey, you consumers should not be able to have cheap variety, it's putting me out of business! these trucks need to be banned! i demand the right to gouge you on price for poor food and service!"

how do you feel about him then?

these things can seem very different depending upon how you look at it.

 
At 9/07/2011 2:49 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Ersatz Juandos:

I stand corrected. I did not know the difference between a hog and a boar!

However, does that mean you like tits on a hog?

 
At 9/07/2011 2:51 PM, Blogger truth or consequences said...

Morgan we're not as far apart as you'd think...your software company makes perfect sense and I have no problem with it....just two companies competing on an even playing field....let the best man win...

the "fly in the ointment" with the foodtrucks is two fold...1) because of the heath issue providers of food must be licensed/inspected. Like it or not now you got the gov. involved....2) that guy with his diner contributes through his property taxes to maintain the street the "mobile diner" foodtruck uses...presumably for free

to make the playing field level you'd have to charge the food truck rent for the patch of pavement he parks on....just saying...Oh, and I can just imagine the howling when that would be proposed...

 
At 9/07/2011 3:30 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

I think public vending should be legal, period.

In Thailand they have push-cart vendors with excellent food.

Perhaps push-cart vendors should buy a modest-price license, that would, in effect, charge rent for the public space they use.

However, local governments across America positively repress free enterprise. They are in the grips of organized business or labor cartels, such as lawyers, retailers, real estate developers, liquor distributors, longshoremen, medical outlets,etc.

Local governments like free enterprise the way Texas cowboys like to wear beanie caps.

Why

 
At 9/07/2011 4:05 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Oh! Oh! Liberal logic strikes again: "to make the playing field level you'd have to charge the food truck rent for the patch of pavement he parks on....just saying"...

Leave it to liberals to decide what's fair....

What about the fuel tax the truck has to pay? What about the vendors's license most cities have in their quiver of extortion tricks that the truck owner or operator has to pay for?

I'm sure that there are other fees that are slapped on mobile vendors...

 
At 9/07/2011 4:11 PM, Blogger juandos said...

pseudo benny say: "However, does that mean you like tits on a hog?"...

Well I got to hand it to you pseudo benny, some of you Californians are awfully broadminded when it comes to loving animals...

When I see a boar hog I think, 'dog food' since their meat is mighty tough...

Amazing! Amazingly twisted from where I sit...

 
At 9/07/2011 5:12 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Juandos:

You are such a sissy. First you say you wont eat carp, it is too tough. Now you say you won't eat boar meat.

And now say you don't like tits on a hog. What next: You won't kiss an Irish girl?

 
At 9/08/2011 8:43 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

truth-

first off, i think your health issue is a red herring.

trucks are inspected in the same way that diners are. there is no health code gap.

we can argue over whether such inspections are needed (and i'm not sure they are. i'd prefer a voluntary program where they provide accreditation, but not mandatory regulation akin to a good housekeeping seal of approval) but the two are treated identically.

i think the tax issue is another red herring. property taxes do not go to roads in any great amount. gasoline and vehicle registration taxes do.

both pay sales taxes.

the truck will need a vending license (though i don't feel they or anyone should)

and what if the owner if the truck lives in the community and pays such taxes on his home? hasn't he already paid for the use of the road?

what is it that he is using that any visitor from out of town could not?

what is the great cost they create? they sit still, they are not wearing out roads.

there seems to be some questionable assumptions in the "they don't pay" line of thinking. they don't get city water, power, sewer, trash pick up, access to schools, libraries, etc that a physical resident gets.

what are they getting that any visitor from out of town does not?

the notion that every user must pay precisely for what they use is impossible.

if you go on vacation to park city, you use my roads and police etc, but you don't pay.

the same is true if i visit your hometown. that sort of reciprocity is inevitable. why single out food trucks?

just because they are a business?

what if i come to your hometown on business and sell life insurance or auto parts? how am i any different? the local insurance broker may not like my arrival and be upset that he has the costs of a local office whereas i work out of my car and have meetings in a park, but so what? his lumps.

why is food such a special case in your mind?

 
At 9/08/2011 10:01 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

also:

you could make the case that food trucks create MORE restaurants.

the barrier to entry is lower and it allows capital accumulation. opening a restaurant is expensive.

a truck lets you break into the business.

from the SF chronicle today:

"Portal to grub: Ryan Scott is a busy man. The former "Top Chef" contestant has been running his 3-Sum Eats truck (a second one is on the way) and showcasing his egg skills at Brunch Drunk Love, his weekend brunch at Bruno's.

He's now found himself a brick-and-mortar space, too. His still-unnamed place (68 West Portal Ave.) will be fast casual grab-and-go.

With a winter opening in sight, he describes it as a stepped-up version of Myth Cafe, where he made his name."

 
At 9/08/2011 12:40 PM, Blogger juandos said...

pseudo benny lives to put his foot into his mouth: "First you say you wont eat carp, it is too tough. Now you say you won't eat boar meat"...

No I never said carp was tough, carp being the boney fish that is makes eating it hard... I don't relish wasting time eating a bottom feeder when there's so many other and better fish to eat...

I guess you know fish like you know hogs, pseudo benny?

If you think boars are edible why don't you go out and buy one, dress it out and try out a piece then come back...

"What next: You won't kiss an Irish girl?"...

Not if she's been living in California....

 

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