Montreal’s Food Truck Business Finally Takes Off Despite Wobbly Start
Montreal city’s food truck business is finally taking off despite initial setbacks says the co-founder of Quebec’s food truck association.
Montreal gazette, reports an interview with said Gaëlle Cerf of the Association des restaurateurs de rue du Québec, who says that even though the food truck business in Montreal has had its issues coming to maturing, the sector is finally growing.“There is always room for improvement, of course,”, “but the industry is doing well. The trucks are becoming adults.” She says
The co-owner of the Grumman 78 taco truck says the people behind the running of the trucks have shown more organization, better decision making skills and are getting more and more private patronage which is a huge source of income in the food truck business
The food truck business in Montréal had been banned for over a century, the ban was put in place in 1947 for sanitation reasons and had continued to exist due to the lobbying of high end restaurants. However, in 2013, street food was given a chance with a pilot project. Subsequently, in 2015, a bylaw governing street food was adopted by city council. Food trucks can now operate but must follow strict rules and procedures.
Montreal auditor general Michèle Galipeau observed that, based on results of the 2017 street food season, “we find that the activity is on the wane.”, reports the Montreal Gazette“If the intention of the administration is to maintain or increase the presence of street food trucks in the public domain, a reassessment of the operating procedures and the selection process should be undertaken,” she wrote.
Cerf acknowledged this report to be true of 2017 and gave reasons for the bad business.
She blamed the bad weather of 2017 as contrasted by the beautiful summer experienced this year which is good for outdoor businesses.
She also blamed the allocated sites for the food trucks claiming they were not busy enough, she said this year, the businesses have been assigned new sites which are busier and bringing much better patronage. She says the organization still targets much busier spots, even though they have been unable to get this request granted by the city.
Trucks can park only in specific areas and are not permitted within 50 metres of restaurants. “The restaurant lobby is very strong,” said Cerf. “But I don’t think we steal business from restaurants: Our competition is indoor food courts.”
Cerf said her association wants food trucks to have access to such spaces as parks or vacant lots. “We could use them as pop-ups,” she said. She compared the food truck scenes in New York and Texas, setting them as standards for what she expects for Montréal.
Robert Beaudry, member of the city’s executive committee responsible for economic and commercial development and government relationship said he has had three meetings with the association led by Cerf and spoken with numerousfood truck operators. He said some alterations are already underway to make business better for the operators.