Mayor and Councillors,
I’ve been watching the food truck debate for a year now with anticipation and frustration. As a business owner, I’m trying to reconcile some things and perhaps you can help.
1. City Hall is making great efforts to say that London is Open for Business yet this protracted debate is sending the exact opposite message. When you talk about lowering the bar to starting a business can you please tell me what you mean by that?
2. I can think of no situation in which I would approach council to provide our business special protection from competition, nor can I easily identify any other business that would do so. Can you please explain to me how brick and mortar restaurants are afforded such protection?
3. Several councillors have said “let the market decide” on the topic of menu vetting (something that has been quite successful in other cities) yet refuse to “let the market decide” on the number, location, hours and even the concept of food trucks. Can you please explain under what circumstances the market is allowed to decide?
4. I love London. This is a fairly recent thing for me. I want London to be a world class city. London isn’t a special and unique snowflake, other cities are doing this successfully today, why can’t we?
5. If you’re worried about retaining youth then you have to pay special attention to every little thing that youth are asking for. Better London delivered a petition of over 1000 signatures yesterday (many of which are youth) so I hope you’re listening.
One brush stroke doesn’t make a beautiful painting. Food trucks aren’t the solution to all of our problems but taking calculated risks and letting different business models push us forward almost certainly is.
Please remove the cap on the number of trucks, loosen the hour restriction and reduce the distance limit back to 25 metres (or less).
Let’s get this done tonight, not kick the can down the street again, and move forward with the next brush stroke. We have more painting to do.