The other day I wrote how local-operated food trucks were apparently coming to the beach this summer (read- food Trucks are coming to the Beach this Summer). Newsday posted article on the topic as well (read- Long Beach to allow food stands at the beach). Of course this is Long Beach, so with any plan comes great controversy. While most agree that the beach needs more food options, some feel these beach-side food trucks will hurt our downtowns.
The following was sent in by a concerned LB resident:
With this new proposal, anyone with 20 or 30k to get a food truck can open up shop on the most prized real estate in town and reap the benefits essentially rent free. Why would anyone spend hundreds of thousands (upwards of a million for something like corbin and reynolds) to renovate and equip any of these empty store fronts, then pay 10+ thousand a month in rents and taxes just to compete with gypsies who would now have the advantage of better location. Most long beach businesses only make money in the summer months. Lucky ones break even in the off season…most lose money. While it is undeniable that most beach goers would welcome these food trucks and they would create a draw to the beach that is greatly needed right now, in the long term it would lead to more and more vacant storefronts.
I’ve been a proponent of food trucks, but this argument is a valid one. Of course, you can say “have great food and you don’t have to worry about it.” But, the convenience factor alone might be enough to hurt our two downtowns.
Keep in mind: we don’t know all the facts on these food trucks just yet. If it’s true that they are coming this summer, maybe there is a way we can at least tell people about other places around town. Perhaps a bulletin board with a food map? A restaurant directory? Allow places to advertise beach delivery service? I’m just throwing a few ideas out there…