Food Trucks, Skyway Eateries Find Compromises
Feuds between food truck owners and Minneapolis skyway restaurateurs appear to be dissipating after committees from both sides have discussed compromises.
Skyway restaurant owners’ primary complaint was that the concentration of food trucks along Marquette Avenue was detracting from their businesses.
In March, Twin Cities Business investigated if, and how, food trucks were hurting skyway businesses. Restaurant owners discussed the difficulty in luring customers inside when nice weather hits and noted decreased sales of anywhere from 15 to 40 percent.
The Downtown Food Committee, which represents restaurant establishments, and the Minnesota Food Truck Association, which represents local food trucks, are coming up with ways to address challenges while encouraging business for both trucks and establishments, according to KARE 11.
The compromises include food truck expansion to parking lots and additional designated street locations. This would help to eliminate street congestion near skyway restaurants. The committees plan to take their suggestions to the city council for approval, according to the local broadcast network.
An increase in designated areas for food trucks will be mutually beneficial for truck owners and skyway restaurateurs.
“We want to do it the right way,” John Levy, head of the Minnesota Food Truck Association and co-owner of the AZ Canteen truck, told KARE 11. “We want to have intelligent regulation rather than haphazard regulation.”
The feuds between skyway establishments and food trucks caught the attention of local food industry leaders. Bizarre Foods host Andrew Zimmern, who owns the AZ Canteen truck, sided with food trucks when he told the Star Tribune in February that the competition food trucks provide gives established restaurants a reason to improve.
Meanwhile, several mobile eateries have gone the brick-and-mortar route. Last year, Twin Cities Business reported on the growing trend of truck owners, such as Smack Shack co-owners Josh Thoma and Kevin Fitzgerald, opening stand-alone restaurants. The incentive to open a permanent location lies in year-round patronage and a larger variety of menu offerings.