Why Food Trucks Are Not Evil
|Please, please, PLEASE come to OC, Dessert Truck!|
I read through the post (and Nancy, you're a food truck tease) and am excited by what I read, but the comments! The comments made me cringe.
You'd think I'd have learned by now never, ever, ever to read comments on any story at all on the Register's website. There has to be some kind of OC corollary to Godwin's Law, whereby the chance of someone ranting, usually completely off-topic, about illegal immigrants increases exponentially with the length of the comment thread.
The comments on Nancy's post weren't as xenophobic as normal for the Register, but they still made me cringe. They contain nearly all the stereotypical, misinformed objections to food trucks. Read on, dear readers, as I tackle the big ones in turn:
|Courtesy of Bill Esparza|
|It's hard to be unsanitary when your customers can see everything about your operation.|
The simple fact is that there's nothing to hide about the sanitation of a food truck, because food trucks are almost always small mom-and-pop operations that succeed or fail based on word of mouth. If a food truck (I'm sorry, leasing people, I'm not going to call them "road stoves") poisons someone, it is the kiss of death for that business, so they are going to make absolutely sure that they don't. They're under constant inspection by their patrons, who can see exactly what is going on in there. If they engage in unsanitary practices, people will just leave, and they'll tell others, and it's curtains for the owner.
2. Neighborhood disturbance
|joits @ flickr.com CC BY-NC-ND 2.0|
|Parking trucks away from homes helps keep the peace.|
This is one complaint, however, where the food trucks can take a step to make sure they're being good neighbors. Don't stop in parking lots adjacent to residences (such as the weekly Kogi stop at Luigi's D'Italia in Anaheim); pick a spot that isn't going to keep people awake in their houses until the wee hours. Provide trash (and recycling) receptacles.
For those people who choose to flout the rules, the answer is simple: fine them. Fine customers for littering, or fine the trucks for not cleaning up after their patrons. We already have laws about littering: enforce them. There will always be people who don't want to be good neighbors, but the solution is not to ban food trucks completely. Fine the bad ones and let the good ones sell food in peace.