Bill Casey | Indy Week

Bill Casey 
Member since Apr 22, 2011


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Re: “Food truck operators still fighting for a place in Raleigh as restaurant owners try to defend turf

I don't know Dub, but they tend to set up in Durham in areas where there aren't many options for eating (like down by Full Steam and Motorco). Not really a good comparison to trying to set up along Glenwood Avenue and Fayetteville Street.

I'd be curious to here what the owner of Kings Sandwhich Shop and the soon to be Open Geer Street Garden think about food trucks being set up near them and how it impacts their business. If they support the trucks it would be wise for the food truck vendors to tap them for support. Why that approach hasn't been taken is a shock to me. Durham is pretty cool but they have their own problems that can't be solved by food trucks alone.

Posted by Bill Casey on 04/23/2011 at 12:56 PM

Re: “Food truck operators still fighting for a place in Raleigh as restaurant owners try to defend turf

Troy -

I disagree that if the rules were rewritten the trucks abd B&M would be able to compete in the same way. The trucks would pay a nominal fee to operate downtown while the hoops and costs the B&M places face are much more significant. I don't beleive your assumption that the B&M stores get a better return on their investment either. Is there a reason you think Bada Bing Pizza makes more profit per slice than Klausie's pizza does per slice? That is a flawed arguement.

Your point about the B&M stores being off as food trucks is well taken. That is exactly what the guy from Amra's meant when he said if the ordinance passes he would close his restaurant and open up a food truck because it is cheaper. I'm sure the city council would be thrilled. Who wouldn't want to see all that empty retail space in their downtown. Why open up a shop if your better off with a food truck. Pretty sure that is not the message the city wants to send to people looking to invest in downtown. As the guy from Solas pointed out - maybe next time he should look to open his next restaurant in a location like Brier Creek, North Hills, or Cameron Village where he wouln't have to deal with food trucks. Again, not the message the city council wants to send. These arguements don't help the food truck vendor's cause and actually hurt it. It's too bad the food truck vendors didn't come in to the meeting last week having already met with restaurant owners to try and work out their differences.That was the wrong time to have that conversation. I think if they had met ahead of time that would have gone a long way and given the city council something to grasp onto to justify moving forward. By not meeting ahead of time the food truck vendors handed the council a perfect excuse to delay.

Posted by Bill Casey on 04/22/2011 at 5:40 PM

Re: “Food truck operators still fighting for a place in Raleigh as restaurant owners try to defend turf

I was at the meeting. The Food Truck operators did a terrible job making their points and appeared very disorganized. Kind of surprising given they have known about this meeting for months. I think they would be better served by planning what they want to say in advance of future meetings and coordinating with each other so they don't all say the same thing. One truck operator after another stating how food trucks add diversity and appeal to the creative class will only get them so far.

FWIW, I support the food trucks but am dissapointed how they disparage the restaraunt owners on the facebook pages. The owners aren't against competition - I think they would glady compete with a rival restaurant that opened up shop across the street or next door to them. The restaurant owners main arguement is equity. They are required to invest 100's of thousands if not millions in property improvements per the city. Then they are required to pay higher property taxes on those improvements. That is just one example of the hoops they have to jump through to bring a new business to downtown Raleigh. Where as the food trucks aren't required to do much more than apply for a couple 100 dollars worth of permits. I don't think Valentino's comments about wanting to "test" a site for his food truck before being required to buy a permit helps the food truck arguement either.

The restaurant owners concerns over trucks parking within 50' of their place is valid too. Where were food trucks 10 years ago when Glenwood was a ghost town? It seems now that others have spent millions revitalizing the area the trucks are conveinently popping up and willing to mooch off others efforts. It is also not very helpful to listen to current food truck vendors make empty promises how they will not park by restaurants. The ordinance isn't just for the 20 or so vendors the currently exist - it is for ALL FOOD TRUCKS that will come down the pipe in the future. I like Mike Stenke and Valentino, but they don't speak for all food trucks and they can't make promises about how future food trucks will behave. Will there be 2 trucks set up 50' away or 25? That is a good question and not one addressed by the new text.

Frankly, I am surprised the Food Truck vendors haven't already reached out to the restaurant owners to work out their difference. Remember, it is the truck operators who need the text changed, not the restaurant owners. I was also shocked they didn't bring reps from businesses like Big Boss and LoneRIder to speak to how food trucks have helped them. Or bring people from businesses who support the trucks. They food truck people are simply not doing all they can to be effective with their arguement and it is showing in that the ordinance language was bounced back into committee.

The Food Truck operatora need to get better organized and do a better job making their points. Right now they are good at getting press and have public support on facebook but are failing where it counts. They need to bring clear concise arguements supported by facts and numbers to provide to the committee. It is a shame that at the last meeting the best speaker with the most clear arguements was an owner of a McDonalds.

I expected a better showing from the food truck operators and they owe it to themselves to get their act together.

Posted by Bill Casey on 04/22/2011 at 7:07 AM

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