I felt the need to write this post upon reading about the Celebrities Mobile Boutique in Harlem causing an uproar with Upper East Side residents. It seems the trucks really have to fight for their survival. They started with food selections, but now, they sell items from clothes to jewelry to skateboards. There are shows devoted to trucks such as Eat Street and The Great Food Truck Race which do pretty well in ratings. Many of the trucks have opened traditional brick-and-mortar shops when they see their truck has a brisk business. I personally love the trucks, and I enjoy patronizing them when I visit the city. I came up with some pro's and con's of the trucks and hope you will comment on your opinion on the subject.
1. Allows business people to try their concept at a cheaper price than if they were to do a stand alone store.
2. Ability to test menus or merchandise to see what consumers are looking to purchase.
3. Be able to advertise all around the city, just by driving from location to location.
4. Offer customers a better price for products since overhead is less than if they had a stand alone store.
5. If many in one area, such as Columbus Circle, a nice assortment of food variety for folks who like different tastes.
6. When weather is nice, a great way to spend some time outside and enjoy your lunch along with some fresh air.
1. Where to park the truck is a huge issue, as parking spaces are very hard to find, without breaking any laws along the way. There are more trucks on the road now than every before, with new ones opening weekly.
2. On any every food truck, all employees must first obtain a food vendor license, then begin the process of earning their Mobile Vending ID Badge through a citywide system. It takes three months, and the process doesn't really start until a potential vendor is offered a job.
3. Damaging the environment.
4. Hurting businesses in the area where they are parked.
5. Folks who live in the neighborhoods where trucks park, feel it makes the area look horrible and dirty.
6. Sales on a truck are lower than that if they were in a stand alone shop.
I gave six of each, but I am sure I missed some points. I hope some of the New Yorkers who read my blog will leave their comments. I know the mobile trucks are also in other cities and my small town has one as well. I feel our local one needs to have more variety in their menu, and we need to be able to know when the truck is in what location. I really hope they can sort out the issues in New York City as I feel there should be room enough for everyone to make it work. (that was a Tim Gunn comment which came out naturally)
Today's Words of Wisdom: Freedom is it's own Reward
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