The fight for your lunch dollar is heating up in downtown Minneapolis. Some businesses claim that food trucks are hurting their bottom line, and they say the city is giving street food vendors an unfair advantage over brick and mortar stores.
“The trucks park in front of our doors and hijack our customers,” said Doug Sams, founder of D. Brian’s Deli & Catering. Sams says food trucks have hurt his sales by about five percent.“A five percent drop in sales could be all of your profits, could be fifty percent of your profits, it’s a major impact on the way you’re doing business,” he said.The biggest complaint Sams, and some other downtown business owners have made, is that instead of paying property taxes, all food trucks have to do is feed the meter. That’s an argument most food truck operators reject.“We all have to work in a licensed Minneapolis kitchen, so therefore we are paying property taxes, just not in the downtown area,” said Kyle Olson, owner of the Get Sauced food truck. “We also do pay the meter every day for the time that we are here; we also participate in sales tax as well.”
My libertarian in me says have at it food trucks. except for the fact that they use the very (expensive at that) infrastructure paid for by the restaurants and other for profit businesses.
Years ago, one of my banking customers complained to the city of Cincinnati for the street vendors lined up all along Race Street making it inconvenient for his customers to navigate the multitudes of knock off merchandise to get to his store.
The city made his decision for him as they decided to do nothing and he moved his operation to a store in Kenwood.
Walk Race Street today and see how many of those street vendors are there. No so many since race Street is practically a ghost town.