Chefs On Wheels Vs Chefs In Restaurants – The Fight Goes On
This is a classic example of the eternal fight between the chefs on wheels vs chefs in restaurants, which is being fought between the top restaurateurs and food truck owners these days in Michigan. The chefs in restaurant are not happy with the chefs on wheels and they are making it apparent with various press statements. Grand Rapids is the place where this fight goes on.
As of now, the Grand Rapids is out of bounds for food trucks but that may change soon because the City Planning Commission is considering allowing these trucks to operate in parking lots and other private properties through the downtown area of the city. This has the restaurant owners up in arms against the decision, if it comes.
The owners of various eating outlets in the city are visibly unhappy over the development and they want the authorities to put brakes on the food trucks and not support them. One such bar owner said, “I don’t want the food trucks to be promoted at the expense of existing restaurants that have been established with a lot of hard work.”
Most of the downtown restaurateurs are not sure as to what is the main reason for their angst though. Some say that it is competition while others are concerned about the uneven nature of the playing field, as they claim that while established restaurants pay all their taxes, the trucks come into business paying nothing. Most of them feel that comparing food trucks to restaurants is like comparing apples to oranges.
Food Truck Owners’ Say
The food truck owners feel that it is competition that has the restaurant owners in a tizzy because the food trucks come into business with little frills - Just a kitchen on-the-go and a few hands to serve. They believe that their presence makes the dining options more diverse for the public and that should be considered while deciding upon their extension to the downtown.
One of the customers, who frequents a food truck during the lunch hour said, “I’m all for diversifying dining options and I’m certain these things can co-exist.” Such customers who support the food truck businesses explain giving examples of other cities, like Portland in Oregon, where food trucks fill up the parking lots while the “brick and mortar establishments”, i.e., the established restaurants, do business in the same environment. In the Greenwich village, in the SoHo streets, gourmet food trucks like the Kimchi Taco, Big D’s Grub, and Korilla BBQ, have generated a loyal fan base while they go about their business in its new age avatar, supported by Twitter and Facebook.
While there seems to be no end to this classic fight, what comes across is that the food trucks have their own loyal fan following while the traditional restaurants are also enjoying a long run at business. In this scenario, what is required to break the stalemate is a middle ground, where we can park the food trucks. For more details on this issue, watch this video:
Video Courtesy: youtube.com
Image Courtesy: durangotexas.blogspot.com