Young and Hungry

Tell D.C. Council Not to Restrict Street Food Vending in the District

DSCN4468_opt

If you've been following Twitter today, you know that local food trucks have been asking more of you than usual. These new mobile vendors are collectively banding together to make their voices heard at the DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs and, by extension, the D.C. Council.

And they need your help. They realize their futures are at stake.

You see, some BIDs, food-cart depot owners, ANCs, and business associations have been trying to make life harder on the new street vendors. These groups have reviewed the draft regulations proposed by DCRA, and they don't like them. They think these mobile newcomers will squash the brick-and-mortar businesses that pay taxes, support the community, and heal the sick. So they're proposing more onerous regulations or, at the very least, more review and comment processes that will further delay the improvement of D.C.'s street food culture.

Don't let them get away with it.

These businesses are merely trying to legislate competition away instead of relying on the free market. If a brick-and-mortar restaurant can't compete with a mobile vendor, it should improve its food, plain and simple, not try to shoo the competition away. Some of these same business groups have worked their voodoo before: They effectively hijacked a food vendor task force that was supposed to include all stakeholders, including new truck vendors, who were not allowed to vote. They also convinced Councilmember Jack Evans to slip language into last year's law to limit the number of vending sites in Ward 2, the area where most trucks want to sell their food.

The only thing that will counteract the muscle of these moneyed groups is the power of public opinion. If you haven't already, you should contact DCRA today and let them know you don't want the agency to introduce any language into the regulations that will restrict food trucks on D.C.'s streets.

You can review the draft regulations here, along with all the public and business comments. Then you can either e-mail Helder Gil at DCRA with your comments or visit this page if you're not sure what to write. It offers a suggested letter to forward to the D.C. Council, which has the ability to rewrite the regulations that DCRA will likely present as is to the body later this year.

But whatever you do, don't wait. I spoke with DCRA today and the agency said that it will accept comments through the end of business tomorrow, rather than the end of business today.

  • http://www.TBD.com Dave Jamieson

    TC, I'm loving your foray into food-truck advocacy. Hear, hear!

  • Nick

    I'm a big food-truck fan, but I'm reluctant to dismiss the brick-and-mortar folks.

    It's not easy to run a retail food or restaurant brick-and-mortar as it is, with high rent and other overhead costs, which run higher for more 'prime' locations. Now to add a food-truck factor to the mix, and you can understand why there'd be a push-back. I'm sure things will shake-out appropriately in the end; just don't broad-brush-demonize the brick-and-mortar restaurateur.

    It's kinda like going to bed with your gf/wife each night, and every so often, there's a young, nubile, scantily-clad man or woman who shows up unannounced, hanging out in the corner of your bedroom, Twittering for your attention.

    Okay, it's nothing like that, but I'm just sayin'.

  • TJ

    @Nick, I was thinking the same thing. It is easy to simplify this argument to say that the brick-and-mortar restaurants are just angry because they can't move around, but there is a much, much higher overhead that they have to contend with.

    However, what's stopping the brick-and-mortar establishments to start their own truck business? They can still compete, if their food is good.

  • DC Resident and Taxpayer

    Let's support regulations that ensure that these food trucks pay taxes, keep honest books, and abide by the same food health and safety regulations as the brick and mortar restaurants.

    And let's make sure they shut down by a reasonable hour, because food inspectors don't work at 3AM and people who live nearby don't want to hear music and put up with late night clubbers with the munchies. At 3AM, you should eat inside.

    I'm all for Sweetgreen and Fojol and all that....we have to find a way to allow them to succeed without killing the brick-and-mortar places. I don't want to see a bunch of trucks sitting in front of vacant storefronts that used to be restaurants.

  • Darth Turnip

    Can we get a list of brinks and mortar restaurants that have gone under due to food trucks?

  • http://freshhealthyvending.com/ Fresh Vending

    Fresh Healthy Vending Blog - Fresh News on Healthy Vending Foods news on Fresh Healthy Vending Recipes for Kids,Soft Drink Company,School Snacks,Diets for Losing Weight,Healthy Vending Machines in Schools and all fresh health related news

    Fresh Healthy Vending

  • http://recipes.freshvending.com/ fresh vending reviews

    Fresh Healthy Vending provide you breakfast,lunch & dinner recipes Muffin Breakfast Pizzas with Egg can be just what you’re looking for. Toast two whole grain English Muffins, lightly brush with olive oil and then top with a slice of tomato, some hard-boiled egg slices and then top with low-fat mozzarella.
    fresh vending recipes

  • http://fresh-healthy-vending-locations.com/ fresh healthy vending

    Fresh Healthy Vending is the only vending franchise company that offers locations 100% juices, fresh vegetables and fruits, smoothies, and yogurts in every one of its healthy vending machines. potato chips and low fat popcorn like Pirate's Booty.

    fresh healthy vending reviews

  • http://schools.freshvending.com/ schoolfresh3

    The new senate bill plans to bring fresh fruit juices, whole grains, dried fruits, and organic selections to fresh vending machines. Not only will these fresh healthy vending machines be available for children at schools, but they will also replace traditional vending machines found at sports venues, amusement parks, and movie theaters.fresh vending reviews

  • http://collegehealthyvending.com/ schoolfresh2

    Fruit juices are mostly packed with sugar, making the fresh fruit the better bet for the health conscious. Fresh healthy vending using vegetable juices are often tart to the taste and put a lot of people off drinking them. Combine the two, however, and you have a naturally sweetened drink that fills people up and contains a pound of fruit. The ingredients in fresh vending of Naked Green Machine, for instance, are listed as spirulina, chlorella, broccoli, green tea extract, spinach etc.Fresh healthy vending machines

  • http://fresh-vending-jobs.com/ Fresh Vending Careers

    Fresh Healthy Vending addition the company not only belongs to the traditionally recession-resistant food industry, it is also in the healthy and natural foods category which has been expanding in recent years as more and more consumers have America is eating by joining the team.

  • http://health-food-vending-machines.com/ fresh vending

    Fresh Healthy Vending provide you breakfast,lunch & dinner recipes Muffin Breakfast Pizzas with Egg can be just what you’re looking for. Toast two whole grain English Muffins, lightly brush with olive oil and then top with a slice of tomato, some hard-boiled egg slices and then top with low-fat mozzarella.
    fresh healthy vending reviews

  • http://collegehealthyvending.com/ fresh healthy vending reviews

    Healthy School Vending Program fee was introduced to allow students of all ages have the opportunity to buy natural and organic products healthier by doing and the state of the art systems for machines.

  • http://twitter.com/freshvending Fresh vending locations

    Fresh Vending - Locations, food franchise business, you will receive the help you need with advertising and promotion, invest in Fresh Vending franchises. After all, this brand is becoming more and more popular around the world.Fresh Healthy Vending program was developed to support businesses owners, employees, colleagues, friends and consumers in your community in making improved dietary choices.

  • http://twitter.com/freshvending fresh vending reviews

    secure way to start a business, then it is wise to invest in Fresh Vending franchises,committed to assisting locations across the US provide healthy snacks conveniently Fresh Vending machines have succeeded in a host of common areas across the country .

  • http://elementaryhealthyvending.com/ Fresh vending

    secure way to start a business, then it is wise to invest in Fresh Vending franchises,committed to assisting locations across the US provide healthy snacks conveniently Fresh Vending machines have succeeded in a host of common areas across the country .

  • http://twitter.com/freshvending Fresh healthy vending locations

    vending services isn't something you've got to tackle all on your own either. American healthcare is at the forefront of international news,Fresh Healthy Vending has to offer and do your part in making America feel better about itself committed to assisting locations across the US provide healthy snacks conveniently.

  • http://fresh-healthy-vending-food.com/ fresh vending reviews

    Fresh Healthy Vending products usually dictates that operators visit and restock,Fresh Vending machines have succeeded in a host of common areas across the country,Fresh Healthy Vending is committed to assisting locations across the US provide healthy snacks conveniently through state of the art vending systems.

  • http://fresh-healthy-vending-food.com/ Food franchise

    vending services isn't something you've got to tackle all on your own either. American healthcare is at the forefront of international news,Fresh Healthy Vending has to offer and do your part in making America feel better about itself committed to assisting locations across the US provide healthy snacks conveniently.

  • http://schools.freshvending.com/ Fresh vending franchise

    This is a great post . thanks for sharing with us .

  • http://schools.freshvending.com Fresh healthy vending

    Nice post! They're very influential and useful. Thank you very much and thanks for post it!

...