NOLA Restaurants Worry Food Trucks Will Steal “Their” Sales

NEW ORLEANS, LA – An expected attempt by New Orleans City Council President Stacy Head to liberalize city regulations for food trucks is drawing opposition even before Head formally presents her proposals. Head has indicated she will introduce an ordinance to ease restrictions on food trucks at Thursday’s council meeting. The council could not vote on the issue until next month at the earliest.

New Orleans City Council President Stacy HeadThe ordinance is expected to propose expanding the area where food trucks can operate, increasing the total number of permits for such trucks and allowing them to stay longer in one spot.

The prospect that food trucks might for the first time be permitted to operate in the Central Business District and to sell their wares near regular restaurants apparently is raising the ire of some restaurateurs.

Head reportedly wants to double the number of food truck permits from 100 to 200, increase the time the trucks can park in one spot from 45 minutes to four hours and allow them into parts of the CBD. She is expected also to propose reducing the required buffer zone around restaurants from 600 feet to as little as 50 feet.

Rachel Billow of the New Orleans Food Truck Coalition, a network of food truck operators, told the Baton Rouge Advocate there has been a positive response from many restaurants to the idea of loosening the existing regulations. She said the goal is to bring dining options to neighborhoods that lack them and to promote a form of small business that requires little overhead to start.

However, an online petition opposing Head’s expected proposals claimed to have gathered almost 200 signatures by Wednesday afternoon. The petition, begun by Reuben Laws, warns that if Head’s ordinance passes, “restaurant owners in the CBD are about to have their sales invaded on by the food truck industry.”

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2017-03-31T08:42:23+00:00 By |Off the Wire|

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  1. Dandelions Coffee Jan 24, 2013 at 9:17 am

    I’m all for private, small business but also pro healthy competition. First off if trucks are running large chain restaurants out of town? Good! That opens those spaces for more entrepreneurs to move in and create better ones that treat food, customers and staff with the respect they deserve. As for trucks affecting sit-downs? Maybe. So maybe those sit-downs need to reevaluate their businesses. If a truck can serve better food, quicker with better customer service it’s time to step up their game. Then it turns into may the best business win. But trucks also fulfill a need that most restaurants above the diner level really can’t and that’s fast, take-out. Especially break times and lunches for local workers. They don’t have time to sit-in and eat. They also would love an option tastier and healthier than corporate fast food. I feel if sit-downs feel threatened by trucks not just in NOLA but everywhere then the owners and managers need to really take a long hard look at their businesses and either commit to investing some time and money into improving so they can compete with a truck or admit that they’re just too cheap and don’t care, that they wish to continue to serve sub-standard food, hire second-rate staff that gives lousy customer service and over-charge for that.

  2. Michael Jan 25, 2013 at 7:44 am

    I agree with Dandelions above. It’s all about competition and making your offer better than the guy’s on the street.

    Trucks are quick and easy. Restaurants create more of an experience.

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