Purchasing meals from food trucks and food vendors has been a staple of big-city life for a couple of decades, however the trend has only come to downtown Riverside in recent years.
As a result of this trend, the city of Riverside’s Community and Economic Development department are hosting two virtual roundtables. The first will be held today at 2 p.m., which is targeted at food trucks and food vendors. The second on April 8 will be targeted at restaurants and businesses. The purpose is to encourage discussion around the creation of laws for food trucks and vendors.
Downtown businesses have expressed the need for these local laws to be established, because some of the food trucks park near restaurants in downtown Riverside, which takes some potential customers away from the businesses.
City Councilman Chuck Conder, who represents District 4 on the city council, said although he likes food trucks, Riverside is not a big enough city to support food trucks as an everyday part of its downtown experience.
“I love the concept of food trucks, I’ve had plenty of really good meals from food trucks,” Conder said. “But they really create an unlevel playing field here in the city for our established restaurants. I’m hoping the community input will be that the food trucks do not fit in our downtown area because we do not have the population to do that. But I’m not against food trucks at special events. But they should not be in our downtown in front of these businesses that could not handle that kind of loss.”
Conder added that the reason food trucks and restaurants both work in larger cities is because sky-scrapers have thousands of workers coming in and out every day, which Riverside lacks.