On Wednesday, a group of seven food truck owners met with city planners to discuss Orlando's new food truck pilot program (for details, see previous reporting here
According to Dan Pollock, the local lobbyist who's been donating his time to help Orlando food truckers work with City Hall to make sure the pilot program is fair and equitable, the meeting went well.
"It was a positive step in the right direction, and the city got to hear from food truck owners how detrimental this could be to their business," he says. "We now have a seat at the table, they heard the dissent, and they are open to making changes. When we left it was said that we’d meet with them again in 2 or 3 weeks. What they're going to do is take a couple of ideas and run them up the chain of command."
That's not to say that the pilot program is put on hold or that the changes food truckers would like to see – for instance, a lift on the complete banning of food trucks from the downtown core, elimination of the provision that only allows a private property owner to host a food truck one day per week, an expansion of the areas in the city where food trucks would be allowed to do business – will be made. In fact, no promises were made at all. But, says Pollack, the city is listening. And that's a start. All along the city has said that since this is a pilot program, it is willing to listen to concerns from stakeholders and make changes, and that's what Pollack and the food trucks he represents are hoping for.
"This is going to be a long process," he says. "If they did make some changes, they’d have meetings with some more brick and mortar restaurants and make sure everyone’s side is heard."
To keep up with the food truckers on this issue, check in with the Food Trucks for Fairness