NEW HAVEN, CT – Every week, residents and Yale students purchase hundreds of slices of pizza from the two trucks stationed regularly on campus, but local pizzeria owners are calling the situation unfair.
Since mid-October, New Haven Pizza Truck has set up outside Sprague Memorial Hall on College Street, while Big Green Truck Pizza has parked outside the Apple store on Broadway every Monday since the beginning of the school year. Both trucks are stationed less than one block away from sit-down pizzerias, whose managers claim that the food trucks present them with too much competition.
“Sometimes I don’t think it’s fair for them to be around where there is another pizza place,” said Marilda Marrichi, co-manager of Wall Street Pizza.
Before New Haven Pizza Truck arrived just around the corner from Wall Street Pizza, another pizza truck had been set up in the same spot.
George Koutroumanis, owner and manager of Yorkside Pizza, said that the situation is unfair because his business has to comply with laws from which the street vendors are exempt, such as sanitary regulations and higher fixed costs. In total, he said he pays around $110,000 per year in overhead.
In contrast, street vendors are only required to pay around $500 in itinerant food service fees to the city, according to the city of New Haven website.
To protect small independent restaurants, Koutroumanis suggested that the city increase the licensing fees for street vendors or limit the areas in which they are allowed to operate.
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