The Great Food Truck Debate

22 Jul

A guest post from Betsy

Over the past two years, there has been a great food truck revolution across America; dishing out some amazing, tantalizing quick serve meals to the working force that drives the country. I had been curious why this revolution had not made the sound in Raleigh that it had in Durham, so I started digging for answers.

Before we get into the whys, take a look at the current regulations on food trucks in the Raleigh area from our local Raleigh Public Record reporters.

I quickly found out why this rapidly growing food culture doesn’t get much leeway in the City of Oaks. It starts with our City Council and the restauranteurs who show up to fight against regulations allowing the trucks more freedom and visibility. Their argument is that by allowing food trucks outside their business, within 100 feet, customers will be driven away or kept on the streets — either way, ultimately keeping “would be” customers from eating at their fine dining establishments.

My first thought was, when people decide to go out to a restaurant, they expect and desire a sit-down meal with coworkers, significant others, friends, etc. It isn’t just about the food. It’s about the atmosphere, the experience. It’s a specific choice that a doubt would often be swayed by the option to order (while standing) and eat (while standing or sitting on the curb) from a food truck. Likewise, people would eat from a food truck knowing that there will be no service, no table and no chairs.

Think of how many more people would come downtown to not wait in a line, not pay extra for service and overall, just be able to walk the streets unimpeded by the need to get a drink or bite to eat from inside. Day and night. What could that do for our local economy?

I also think that a lot of working people who get a moment to spare for lunch would relish in the opportunity to pick from a variety of food truck food options, rather than the wasteland of fast-food or the same old turkey on wheat from home. Check out one of my favorites, Only Burger.

credit: onlyburger.com

Food Trucks have been the great debate these past few weeks in Raleigh, and the Indy reports that we’re back to square one.

I hope you’ll join me in raising your voice and keeping the conversation going! There are many reasons why food trucks can be viewed as a great way to grow a city, involving creative and innovative chefs, trying new fusion foods, and connecting with the people. Check out this NY Times article for more.  And, the City Council will be meeting again this coming Tuesday, which is open to the public.

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One Response to “The Great Food Truck Debate”

  1. Kim Wike July 22, 2011 at 6:06 pm #

    I feel the exact same way – if you have plans to “dine out” then that’s what you are going to do. The only time I would see myself choosing a food truck over a restaurant is if I was going to a restaurant where I didn’t have reservations and they were so busy that I couldn’t get a table within 30min. If I want to eat at Remedy Diner for example – I wouldn’t choose a food truck instead because I would have my heart set on their veggie Reuben!

    Are you going to the public meeting on Tuesday? Where can we find details so we can attend if we want?

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