Food truck concerns for restaurants - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Food truck concerns for restaurants

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

 

Just like last year, Famous Dave's, Papa John's, and Johnny Rockets will sell food inside camp. 

 

But local restaurants wanted a cut of that action. So the city is letting six food trucks sell food here on West Leigh Street.

Buz and Ned's Real Barbecue was chosen to be one of those food trucks.  

"Since we are so close, I thought it might be an interesting idea," said Buz Grossberg with Buz and Ned's Real Barbecue. 

Fourteen food vendors applied. The city chose six:  Buz and Ned's, Bodillaz, Carytown Burgers and Fries, Opa, Red Eye Cookie Co, and Boardwalk Hot Dogs. They all paid a $2,500 fee to take part. But Buz says it's really a $10,000 gamble, when you total labor and food costs.  

"Most of the days are going to be duds. You're hoping to have a few very good days. The biggest days are the fan appreciation day, which last year was huge. Then we have three days of scrimmages with the Patriots," Grossberg explained.

Jake Crocker, who owns FW Sullivan's and other restaurants, said that fee was too high, and worries fans will now eat at the food trucks and not at local restaurants.  

"So instead of helping us, you've basically intercepted it. The little business that was there is now being intercepted," Crocker said.

A VCU report showed last year camp had a 10.5 million dollar impact on greater Richmond. Crocker was one of several businesses who said they'd like the city to do more to spread that wealth around.   

"Not just restaurants, but the cultural institutions, museums.  Right now we're not seeing that," he said. 

But the city and Richmond Region Tourism say they did that last year with a van parked at camp and on RichmondVA.com, directing fans to restaurants and sites, and will again this year. 

"If people are looking for specific culinary experience, or particular type of cuisine, Richmond Regional staff will answer those questions on a daily basis," said Richmond Tourism Coordinator Anedra Bourne.

And the city says that's why they permitted these food trucks, to help more restaurants take part.

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