There has been an increasing debate on where food trucks belong in New Orleans. For some, these mobile restaurants should be banned from the CBD and Warehouse District. For others, food trucks offer a much needed addition to the limited food options for lunch in the business district. As polarizing as this issue may be, here are 10 reasons why we need food trucks in New Orleans.
1. For lunch, sometimes you just want a quick, cheap bite to eat. The options for a meal in less than 10 minutes for less than 10 bucks are few and far between.
2. We have the space. Lafayette Square is literally the perfect location for at least a dozen trucks without creating any massive traffic jams or unnecessary clusters of starving masses.
3. Competition is good. So long as a food truck is not blocking the sign of a permanent building, I think the metered spaces should be fair game. In fact, during the CBD Food Truck roundup, Merchant restaurant reports that sales went up.
4. Food trucks are a national phenomenon. While visiting DC, I walked through a popular park with 50-60 food trucks lined up every weekday. If it works in DC, Austin, New York, and Los Angeles, why shouldn’t we do it here?
5. Grabbing a quick meal at a food truck will increase foot traffic in areas, offering opportunities for new business development. How awesome would it be to have a few new clothing stores in the Warehouse District?
6. For client meetings and office lunches, people will still go to sit down restaurants. In fact, many people would never eat at a food truck…ever. If a business can’t compete with a food truck, they should cater their offering to the market’s demand.
7. With our skittish economy, it actually makes sense for small business owners to start small. All you need is little ambition and $50,000 and you can test your concept. With our food culture and growing start-up movement, it only makes sense that our culinary entrepreneurs should have room to flourish.
8. Food trucks are the healthy answer to fast food chains. I’d much rather see people eating a taco made with fresh local ingredients than chomping on a McFatty burger.
9. The people have spoken. With a number of food truck rallies, pop-up events, and festival series, the market has shown that we genuinely support food trucks.
10. For our city to grow, its actually ridiculous to think that we would turn our heads on innovation in any form. We can maintain our historic culture, while still having sustainable progress. Change is scary, but we’re the NEW New Orleans…right?
If you believe in the cause, here are the people to know:
- New Orleans City Council President Stacey Head
- My House: Empowering Culinary Entrepreneurs
- New Orleans Food Truck Coalition