JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Restaurant owners across downtown Jacksonville say they've had enough with food trucks.
They say nearby counties and other big cities don't allow food trucks downtown because it creates an unfair advantage when competing with brick and mortar restaurants. Food trucks are the reason many of their businesses are now suffering, according to them.
That’s why a group of at least 20 restaurant owners now make up the newly formed Downtown Restaurant Association of Jacksonville.
The group says since the city allowed more food trucks to move into downtown in the past couple of months, it’s put many brick and mortar businesses on the chopping block. Some owners say they’ve had to fire as many as three employees in the past month and a half as their sales dropped 60 percent.
On Monday, the group held their second meeting to discuss the issue. City Councilman Reggie Gaffney was at that meeting. He says he supports the restaurant owners but they need bigger numbers to convince more council members before he can draft legislation in their favor. He told the group to round up as many supporters as possibly if they want to move forward with an ordinance in the coming weeks.
Leading the group is Tom Thornton, the owner of The Bank Barbeque and Bakery. He says they don’t want to get rid of food trucks altogether, they just want to move their territory so they don’t hurt business downtown.