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Food Trucks Hurting Downtown Jackson Restaurants?

One "brick and mortar" restaurant owner tells us how food trucks impact his business, hoping for a more considerate approach to permitting them
Posted at 6:43 PM, Jul 09, 2024
  • Restaurateurs say food trucks hurt business for Downtown Jackson restaurants.
  • Some look on the bright side, assuming a rising tide lifts all boats.
  • Watch the video to hear Dowtown Jackson restaurateurs explain the problem...and propose solutions.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

Food trucks. Who doesn't love 'em?

They're convenient, they bring variety, and can enliven even the dullest of areas.

But how do you feel if you're a "brick and mortar" Downton Jackson restaurant owner…and this happens?

"They brought in ten food trucks, put them literally right in front of my business, shut my business down all day — we didn't do any business at all," says Nite Lite Owner Joe Brandeberry, recalling a recent special event in Downtown Jackson.

He says he's not against food trucks...but hopes for more consideration for businesses that pay overhead.

"Nobody's come to me and said 'how's this impacted your business?'," he notes.

His answer? Thousands of dollars in lost sales when food trucks are nearby.

I talked to several other "brick and mortar" establishments who also confirmed big dips in revenues when food trucks are out.

But some are looking at it from a different lens.

Jackson restaurateur Carlos Perez acknowledges there is a finite number of Downtown restaurant customers. He just thinks a rising tide lifts all boats.

"We are not a tourist town. We share the same customers one another day," says Perez. "And the more options…invitation for customers to come here to Downtown…I think it is pro-Jackson to give another option."

Brandeberry thinks a better balance could be struck:

"I say bring in four trucks, you know, charge them a little bit of money...maybe take that money that they're paying, you know, for taking our business away and put it towards our parking assessments — divide it to local restaurants. Because what you are doing is hurting local restaurants."

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