Should The Tuscaloosa City Council Vote To Allow Food Trucks in Downtown?
Food truck vendors and restaurant owners in downtown Tuscaloosa are awaiting a decision from the city council that could impact everyone regardless of the outcome.
Currently food trucks are not allowed to operate downtown but, for the past six months, they've been waiting for members of the city council to weigh the information they've gleaned during public meetings.
If approved the changes could allow food trucks to operate within 150 feet from the front doors of brick and mortar restaurants who have been vocal in their opposition to food trucks.
Those who oppose their presence insist that a food truck's ability to operate downtown isn't fair because they're shielded from the challenges facing restaurants.
Bill Lloyd, owner of Wilhagans Grill & Tap, spoke to WIAT and said, “For someone in a food truck just to be able to roll in downtown and park on private property and not have to deal with any of the same restrictions the other restaurants do is just unfair.'
As the Tuscaloosa City Council weighs it's final decision, the debate continues to swell.
My personal opinion is that food trucks should be allowed to operate downtown. When I visit one, I'm not interested in sitting down in any restaurant. I want to grab my food, find a picnic spot with a friend outside or just go home.
I do sympathize with their concerns but I can't see how food trucks pose any additional competition to restaurants that they don't already face from other brick and mortars. Mellow Mushroom and DePalma's compete with each others delicious pizza and their tables are always full.
People eat at restaurants because of the food and if the entree presented to them them is delicious, they'll continue to return.
Competition is always a good thing, but suppressing the market place isn't what's best for the City of Tuscaloosa.
Should food trucks be allowed to operate in downtown Tuscaloosa or do they present an unfair advantage to established restaurants nearby?
Weigh in and vote on our poll below.