Saturday, February 4, 2012

Restaurant Association Responds to Food Truck Rules

According to Young & Hungry, the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) is against the new regulations I discussed here. While they aren't ideal, most food trucks have come out in favor of the new rules, viewing them as a step forward from the old regulatory framework. Unsurprisingly, then, RAMW is against them:

In a press release, RAMW tells city officials to "go back to the drawing board," calling the new regs "inadequate and woefully short of actually adhering to the existing law that plainly requires the assignment of designated vending spots for food trucks." 
The group is referring to a 2009 statute, which states, "The Mayor shall designate the specific vending locations on sidewalks, roadways, and other public spaces where a person may vend."
The new regulations, released Jan. 20, specifically allow food trucks and other vending vehicles to "park at any legal parking space," which RAMW contends is not specific enough under the law.
In its statement, the organization, which represents mostly brick-and-mortar restaurants, tried to clarify its position as not anti-food truck or anti-small business, per se, but rather about promoting fairness for all operators, big or small, rooted or mobile.
It's pretty clear to me that the restaurants are in fact anti-food truck; they view food trucks as competition, and so want to deny them a spot at the table. Despite being a fan of the half-smoke wagons, I like having the variety of options that the relaxed regulation of food trucks has allowed. Perhaps instead of complaining and trying to use the government to stifle competition, the brick and mortar restaurants ought to try and produce better food?

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