No Cry Babies Allowed!

Well……Mom has been a fun-loving gal over the past year. Lots of smiles and love! However, the smile turned to a frown yesterday after hearing about Glen Korstrom’s article in Business in Vancouver entitled Proliferation of food carts irks city restaurateurs. Hey, Glen is just the messenger, it’s more about the cry baby whining from restaurateurs in the article that has street vendors shaking their heads.

Complaints came from Romano’s Pizza owner Kenan Gov and Brooke Bestwick of PitaPit,  accusations about unlawfull operating hours….which were pooh-poohed by the hard working Scott Edwards, who is the City’s manager of street activities. Keep up the good work Scott! Brooke Bestwick of PitaPit comments sounded like sour grapes, or sour pitas, with her comment about street vendors not paying provincial and federal tax dollars……pretty serious accusation Brooke! Sorry to hear you have to pay approximately $830 in patio, business and garbage collection fees. Guess what? We have to pay food commissary fees, daily street parking fees and my truck cost $100,000 to get on the road! That’s a lot of pitas.

When people are lined up at Mom’s Grilled Cheese Truck 20 deep in the rain (or any other street vendor), it is a pretty strong indicator that it’s what the people want, and the people have spoken. Maybe these whining restaurateurs need to step-up their customer service, the quality of their food, the customer experience and respond to what the market is demanding. It’s a free enterprise economic system here in Canada. If these restaurateurs had a product that was unique, made people want to stand in a rainy line up and was competitive…….perhaps they wouldn’t be complaining. It’s time to look in the mirror and ask…..do the lunch buying consumers really want another repetitive and mundane food experience? The answer is no, and the proof is in the pudding.

When the City launched the street food cart scene a couple years ago, there was a strong demand for a wider range of foods. They did their research and they’ve done a hell of a good job with this initiative. Beth Bestwick asked “Why should they be allowed to be on a street that already has 100 different food options?“. I’ll tell you why, because 2 years ago the 100 options were all pita, pizza and the same old things that people had grown sick of. Today, Vancouver’s food scene and options are world class! If you want to be world class…..you’ve got to make yourself competitive and offer something that consumer’s want. Oh, and Happy Halloween too!

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