Food truck owners say they shouldn’t need a lottery.

Food trucks have become a wildly popular business in Boston, which was lacking mobile eats until about last year.

While Mayor Thomas Menino is excited to roll out season two of the Boston Food Truck program, some mobile eateries said the influx of competition and uncertainty of schedule hours could put a strain on business.

Tiffany Pham, co-owner of Momogoose, said the lottery system, used this year to pick vendor spots and time slots, might hinder the eatery’s operations.

“Imagine going to a lottery to find out if you’re going to open,” said Pham. Pham said operating a few days a week in different areas is “very difficult.”

“For our business, we just cannot deal,” she said.

Menino announced yesterday that the new food truck schedule would start April 1, boasting his administration’s work with departments and truck operators to create a program that “continues to give opportunities to small businesses.”

Pham, however, said the system used doesn’t cater to every truck owner.

“We prefer to stay in one location, but right now they require that you have to move around,” she said. “The system of moving people around, you cannot run a business like that. No business can survive like that.”

Pham thinks the city should consider a “mixed policy” that helps both trucks that need to move and those who need location-consistency to prepare more intricate meals.

Momogoose won’t be returning to its spot on the Greenway this season, either, which has the company searching for a retail store in the area.

But not all vendors are upset with the lottery process and upcoming season.

Adam Gendreau, co-owner of the Staff Meal food truck, said he felt the city listened to ideas voiced by vendors last season, like clustering trucks in popular areas.

“We thought it was much better than how they handled it last year … it’s a move in the right direction,” he said.

New vendors for Greenway

While Boston begins its food truck program, the Greenway will also be getting a slew of new on-the-go food choices. “Greenway Mobile Eats” includes seven locations, 16 vendors and expanded food choices. There will also be seven first-time vendors setting up this year along the stretch of land.  

Customer cravings

Hundreds of food truck customers flocked to Dewey Square yesterday to try some of the tasty items from vendors.

“I’m glad to see more options for a quick lunch. It’s good to see more competition, too,” said Robert Shivers.

Some customers said they wanted to see more promotion of the trucks.

New locations

Menino said yesterday that the city added additional spots for food trucks around the Hub.
Copley Square at Stuart Street and Trinity Place will have the city’s first three-truck cluster site
The China Trade Building at Boylston Street across from the Registry of Motor Vehicles
The Financial District will accommodate two food trucks
In the South End at Tremont and Berkeley streets

Follow Steve Annear on Twitter @steveannear


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