Where is the proof that food trucks are causing financial distress to brick and mortar establishments?
Day after day, and article after article, the consistent theme written by the mainstream media is the same. When brick and mortar restaurant owners are discussing their various points against food trucks and other mobile food vendors it appears to be that these mobile eateries are the cause of numerous restaurant closings. Or at least that’s what they say.
Unfortunately, it appears the mainstream media has taken these comments by restaurant owners as fact, and consistently publish them as if they were the truth without any type of follow up question to verify these claims.
We all know the country has been in a recession since 2008 and restaurant goers have less disposable income to spend on going out to eat, but to tie fewer sales at a fine dining establishment to food trucks who serve gourmet tacos or grilled cheese sandwiches seems a bit far-fetched to us. Has there been a study released that shows that those who choose to eat out have chosen food carts over restaurants? Have any of the closing eateries tracked their sales since food trucks have begun operating in their areas?
Our main question is this, who and where are all of these restaurants that have been forced to close their doors due to the traffic of food trucks in their city? In researching this question, we have scoured the internet looking for some proof that this is happening. From Los Angeles to San Francisco, from New York to Miami we were unable to find a single case where a restaurant closed based on the fact that they were run out of town by food trucks, food carts or even street vendors. Yes there have been numerous restaurant closings since the start of this recession, but at the same time we found that for every closing there appeared to be at least one restaurant opening in those areas in the last year.
Cities across the country are currently looking at food trucks and other mobile vendors to help spark their floundering economies and restaurant owners seem to come out en mass when the discussions start. What we would like to see happen, is instead of the politicians taking the restaurant owners word that food trucks will force them to close, is for them to ask these owners to provide backup to their claims. Instead of allowing these restaurant lobbies to stifle competition with government backing, ask them to show statistics of cities where trucks and carts have been operating to prove their point.
Before the local newspaper writes an article describing the fear and frustration of the brick and mortar association, instead of assuming what they are giving you as fact can actually be backed up by proof, not opinion. Not that they should need to be reminded, but news agencies should verify the information they print to make sure it is factual.
Honest debate should always be part of the due diligence done by municipalities before writing laws which open up new avenues for mobile vendors to operate. The big problem is that one of the first talking points used by restaurant owners in the debate is false or yet to be proven.
If you are a restaurant owner that was forced to close because of mobile vendors, please let us know, we would love to hear from you. We promise to share your story, but only after we are provided with evidence that the sole or primary reason for your business closing was from all of the sales you lost from these restaurants on the go.