What the Truck: Boston’s mobile food vendors speak up

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Although the City of Boston, as well as the MBTA, is making an effort to drive more attention to Hub Food Trucks with the release of their latest contest, it seems some vendors are unhappy with how things have been going for the industry as a whole.

Originally posted on UniversalHub, an entry on a blog called “The Greater Boston Mobile Food Collective” popped up this weekend, written by a co-operator of one of the city’s famed travelling food vendors.

In the post, Adam Gendreau, who identifies himself as the co-owner of the Staff Meal food truck, complains about some obstacles the industry faces here in the Hub.

 Gendreau writes that Staff Meal is “struggling to get enough meal periods and survive as a small business.”

He chalks this issue up to the idea that Boston “hasn’t implemented a system that will allow food trucks to succeed.”

“The model of deciding where food trucks would be successful isn’t currently working well,” writes Gendreau.

Gendreau suggests centralizing the trucks in the more popular areas, like the Back Bay, rather than spreading them thin throughout Boston.

“Clustering would be a simple solution to help the food truck industry expand,” he wrote. “I fear that if more spots aren’t made available, the industry will see 2012 with little to no cultural growth, if it sees much of anything at all.”

Gendreau said several other vendors have voiced this disposition as well.

In fact, the Metro got an earful about food trucks and certain city restrictions in an e-mail last week.

Following the announcement of the “MBTA & Boston Bikes Developers Challenge,” an effort to get developers to build apps to connect transit spots with food trucks, an additional vendor voiced his complaints.

The person, who asked not to be identified, questioned the motive behind the launch of the recent competition, saying “I find it funny that the city of Boston is having another  competition to see who’s idea and product is best.”

“Do you remember the ‘food truck challenge,’—trucks with the most votes won a spot to operate on City Hall Plaza,” the e-mail said.  “Not knowing that 8 months later they would all be kicked off and not invited back to operate.”


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