|Food trucks are charging just as much or more than a sit down|
conventional brick and mortar restaurant with the same type of food items...
This blog also appeared as my bi-weekly column
in the Kaua'i Garden Island News on 02-10-14;
Please click on the link below and hit recommend on the top right of column;
Kapa'a is starting to look like a ghetto-The Food truck revolution
Imagine wanting to open a restaurant and share your culinary art only to find rents for commercial restaurants on Kaua'i are a hard nut to crack, and in many cases cost prohibited without already being a person of wealth.
Fast forward to Kauai 2014.The last few years on Kaua'i have brought us an array of all wakes of ethnicity in regards to street food by means of the 'food truck.' There are Mexican, Greek, Italian, Thai, Chinese, American style steak and burgers, crepes,and the all popular Hawai'ian style plate lunch, lau lau,shaved ice and malasadas.
Most people I know enjoy street food. Street food used to be sold by means of hot dog carts, pretzel stands and musical ice cream trucks.
Food trucks have not only taken over for street food vendors, but for the conventional restaurant as a popular means to open a restaurant on Kaua'i. Kapa'a town is starting to look like a ghetto with all these old step-vans converted to food trucks. There is a food truck revolution going on.
Food trucks were originally known and famous for large portions of food at very reasonable prices. Food trucks do not have all the overhead of traditional restaurants, while some pay minimal rent, others set up on the side of the highways and roads and pay nothing or a nominal fee to their local city or county. Food trucks plain and simple do not have the expenses of a conventional restaurant.
The food trucks I have witnessed do not even have porta potties or a place to wash your hands? It makes me wonder where the owners and employees relieve themselves during a shift of work. How can a restaurant pass a board of health inspection without restrooms for their patrons and employees?
Therefore one would think the savings in overhead would be passed onto the consumer, as I have witnessed on O‘ahu and many other places. I often visit a locally owned restaurant that has an excellent wait staff, awesome food, large portions and restrooms, plus their menu prices are less than the food trucks I have witnessed on island.
The food trucks I have visited on Kaua‘i are priced way too high with tiny humble portions of food. Food trucks in many instances are charging more than a full fledged sit-down restaurant serving similar food items.
There’s a relatively new food truck I bicycle by every day. However, after looking at the menu, it was the same old story, high prices.The only thing that looked reasonable was the kid’s menu; however, you must be 12 or under. Isn't that discrimination?
I understand being an entrepreneur and wanting to live your dream, and that dream may be to open a restaurant. You may not have the funds to open a restaurant in a shopping mall, or you may just like the concept of food-trucks. However, when a burger plate is $12-15 plus tax served on a paper plate with no wait staff or restrooms-- and with the audacity to have a rusted lid mayonnaise jar on the counter with sloppy handwriting that says “TIPS.” This is just insanity.
I want the Kauai fleet of food trucks to stay in business and make money. I would like to offer some solid advise. Here's my tip, not in a rusted lid mayonnaise jar but from the heart. Please serve larger portions, think volume and stop charging fine dining prices in a fast food environment.
Believe it or not the next fad in business is fashion trucks, they are gaining popularity in mainland markets. Who knows, before long there will be no need for shopping centers or strip malls in Hawai'i, just good old converted step vans everywhere. Welcome to paradise!
"The Food Truck Revolution appeared in the 02-10-14 edition of the Kaua'i Garden Island News. If you like it please click recommend on the top right orbottom of page. The link is below. Hope you enjoy! James "Kimo" Rosen. AKA Jimmy, JR or Jim.
P.S. they even included my photo in the online edition!
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