Business owner: Food truck pilot program not beneficial

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. -- Some restaurant owners in Jacksonville Beach say now that the city has approved food trucks, the one-year pilot program test puts stationary businesses at a disadvantage.

John Hayes opened up The Hot Dog Spot on McCormick and Monument roads seven years ago and over a year ago, he expanded his business to Jacksonville Beach. He said getting wheels to compete with food trucks is not an option.

"Since it's only going to be for one year, I don't think that will be really cost justifiable for me to outlay that kind of money and then in a year they might not even approve it again," said Hayes.

The City of Jacksonville Beach voted Monday to release the brakes on food trucks and allow the businesses to operate under a pilot test program that will expire in April 2015. Business owners who have been against food trucks coming to the beach say the temporary approval has no benefits.

"In the winter time down in Jacksonville Beach, it's a little bit slower and with the mobile vendors. They don't have to be down there during that time," said Hayes.

Food trucks are a part of a multi-million dollar industry of mobile vendors that continues to gain momentum across the US.

Andrew Ferenc owns the On the Fly Sandwiches and Stuff food truck and started out his business on the private property of another business in Jacksonville Beach .

"I started this business three years ago and I did it to spend more time with my family," said Ferenc.

Ferenc said he's been in the restaurant business since he was 15 years old. Once he started up his food truck, he partnered with Green Room Brewery in Jacksonville Beach and built his clientele serving only customers at the brewery.

"Towards the end, finally when we got asked to leave we were at the peak of our business," said Ferenc.

Ferenc is looking forward to doing business at the beach again. Food trucks will only be allowed on private properties in approved zoning districts.

The application process begins Monday, February 10th at City Hall.


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