New food truck regulations set for Kitchener

File photo by Heather Davidson

File photo by Heather Davidson

Citizens of Kitchener-Waterloo may soon see new food trucks emerging in various locations around the area.

A new proposal was drafted requesting reduced restrictions and a larger variety of location choices for food trucks.

Berry Vrbanovic, councillor for the City of Kitchener, brought forward the proposal to the finance and corporate services committee. It was unanimously agreed upon on Monday.

“It is a multi-phase proposal,” explained Vrbanovic. “It looks at the possibility of creating food truck areas in some parks in the city and it looks at the possibility of creating a food truck zone in our innovation districts.”

Vrbanovic originally decided to take the initiative of changing food truck laws when he realized that there was a large demand for food trucks in the Kitchener community.

“We are looking at doing more than what was in place. I think people see it as another exciting food offering that adds to the community’s vitality,” Vrbanovic added.

However, there has been some controversy with the proposed law changes.

A representative of SWAT Food Trucks told The Cord that the proposed law is a step in the right direction, but believes that it does not take into account the thriving global food truck market.

Café Pyrus, another Food Truck in the Kitchener core, has an alternate perspective.

“I do support the loosening of laws,” said Tyson Reiser, owner of Café Pyrus. “What I like about the food trucks is that I want to see more people downtown, and if food trucks can be utilized in a way to do that, then that is very supportive.”

According to Vrbanovic, the report will be brought back to the committee on Apr. 28, in order for the law to be implemented hopefully this upcoming summer.

“The work that needs to be done in the downtown area will likely take a little longer, but it may not. The info will come later in the year or early next year,” Vrbanovic added.

Reiser continued, “I think we have an incredible opportunity to utilize food trucks if we set up the parameters around the bylaws that will support increasing foot traffic.”
With an increased amount of food trucks, it is very possible that foot traffic will grow in the K-W downtown core, which is something that can add vitality to the city.

Vrbanovic addressed the concerns of competition between brick and mortar establishments and food trucks. He assured that food trucks would become increasingly popular as the laws are further loosened and developed.

“Any time you have additional offering there is competition. In many successful entertainment districts across North America it is when you give variety of choice that it makes businesses more successful and vibrant. I think in time that is what is going to happen here.”

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