Truck Stop!

We’ve got a new lot!  Space 15 Twenty in Hollywood will now be hosting trucks for lunch at their Truck Stop ( twitter: @truckstop1520).

The lot is located at:  1520 N. Cahuenga Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90028.

Monday – Friday: 11:30-2:30PM

Schedule: http://tinyurl.com/truckstoplot

(the schedule will be filled in by the end of 4/29/2011

We’re going to start with one truck a day!

Food Truck Season

It’s Food Truck Season!  Warm weather + Food Trucks + Beach Location = The Santa Monica Main St Lot!

It’s supposed to be 78º today  in Santa Monica and there are some great trucks scheduled.

Nom Nom Truck

Coolhaus

Dosa Truck

Flat Iron Truck

Global Soul

Lobsta Truck

Takosher

Temaki Truck

Bool BBQ

Greasy Wiener

The lot is open from 5pm to 10pm and is connected to the Victorian/Basement Bar where they have drinks and TVs in case you don’t want to miss the Laker Game!

See you there!

California Heritage Museum

Arts are always hardest hit during economic downturns.  Funding, charitable donations and in the case of museums, attendance, slow to a grinding halt.  The SoCal Mobile Food Vendors Association has a terrific relationship with the California Heritage Museum.  We make a sizable donation every week to use their parking lot for the Santa Monica Main St Lot (@smfoodtrucklot).

But we need to do more to save the museum that brought us last summer’s EPIC skateboard exhibit.  Like most museums, they’ve seen their funding dry up considerably.  On April 30th the Cal Heritage Museum is having an awards dinner fundraiser.  There are still tickets available and they are always excepting donations.  Exclusively for this event, artist Frank Romero has created and donated a limited edition, signed and numbered, giclée print.  Check out the invitation:  http://web.mac.com/calmuseum/Site/2011a.html

Thank you to the SoCalMFVA members that are making gift certificate donations for the silent auction.

Hope to see you there

Matt Geller

Food Truck FastPass

The guys over at FoodTruck FastPass are creating mobile phone applications for Food Trucks, which work with their wireless printers.  These printers print a receipt once the order has been paid for.  The application ordering allows customers to effortlessly  choose items from your menu and place an order using their phone.

This will be like having an extra employee to take orders. It should have a positive impact on your sales right away.  Additionally, everyone that downloads your custom app will be a customer that you can communicate directly with (if they want).  A simple ‘broadcast’ text message will reach each of these phones announcing specials, electronic coupons, new menu items, new locations or whatever you like.  Essentially, you’ll be able to keep them up to date what’s going on with your truck.

The people at  FoodTruck FastPass are providing two packages. One with mobile ordering enabled, and another that has all the power but no mobile ordering.  Their application will let the user know where you are.  The app scans the current way you broadcast your location such as Twitter or Facebook and put it directly on the app map.

They will also be able to create unique opportunities including a loyalty program and Groupon-like group purchasing right from this platform.

They are doing this for no upfront development cost, and are making it very affordable and easy to start.  This is the first food truck related technology that I actually think will be useful.

If you would like to reach out to them you can contact:

Scott Dushane
323-230-0583
scott@cloudsourcelabs.com
http://www.cloudsourcelabs.com

Thanks

Matt Geller

SCMFVA Trucks Sue the City of Monrovia

For Immediate Release                                    Contact: Jeff Dermer, Law Offices of Dermer Behrendt

March 29, 2011                                                Phone: 310-279-4151

“Food Trucks Sue City of Monrovia For Civil Rights Violations.”

(Los Angeles) – The Law Offices of Dermer Behrendt recently filed a lawsuit on behalf of the SoCal Mobile Food Vendors Association (SoCalMFVA), its members, and the consumers of Monrovia against the City of Monrovia to overturn Monrovia’s mobile-food ordinances. The lawsuit arises from Monrovia’s decision to both expand its laws to include outright bans on gourmet food-trucks and the admissions of its Mayor Pro-Tem and other executives admitting that the purpose of its actions are to protect its “Old Town” merchants from competition from the gourmet food-truck “phenomenon.”

The SoCalMFVA is a non-profit association of approximately 130 gourmet food vendors.  The Association exists in part to provide a unified voice in engaging local governments on regulatory issues affecting this new industry. As the Complaint describes in more detail, the gourmet trucks’ business model is based upon the economic law that demand, not costs, drives prices.  The trucks have discovered that a significant synergy exists when they operated together in addition to the demand created as a result of the diverse food offerings.  Consumers are thus the beneficiary of more diverse cuisines available and a open-space interactive environment.

The Complaint further explains that the success of the gourmet food-truck model has led to a reaction from parochial interests — in this case, the “Old Town” Monrovia merchants. The Complaint provides that “Members of Monrovia’s City Council in trumpeting their handiwork to the media, proclaimed that this new legislation…is a naked restraint of trade created solely to protect its favored interests —  certain fixed-location restaurants (particularly in “Old Town” Monrovia) at the expense of Association Members who would otherwise seek to serve Monrovia consumers with a better product at a better price.”  The Complaint goes on to explain “Monrovia’s recent legislation has built upon prior local law that is similarly violative of the rights of the Members” of the SoCalMFVA.”

According to the plaintiff’s attorney, Jeff Dermer, “This lawsuit is about protecting the civil rights of the public to enjoy a better product at a fair price and holding a municipality accountable for willfully violating established law and court precedents. City governments should not be used to nakedly protect one class of merchant against competition from another. The Association has been seeking to educate and work with municipalities on these issues, with success. Monrovia’s actions show that the legal process is the only way to ensure Monrovia follows the laws of the State. The relief we are seeking includes preliminary and permanent injunctions against all of the illegal provisions and damages for violation of the trucks’ civil rights.”

#    #    #    #

Food Truck Task Farce….

Last Wednesday the Los Angeles City Council, Transportation Committee met to discuss a CLA (Chief Legislative Analysis) report concerning food trucks in Los Angeles.

http://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2009/09-2357_RPT_CLA_02-17-11.pdf The report claims to be a product of the “Food Truck Task Force,” (created to work with the City to create substantive municipal code revisions concerning food trucks).

The CLA report claims that the task force met “several times.”  This is completely inaccurate, the task force met twice.  In those two meetings, we only discussed substantive policy for about 30 minutes (out of six hours).  The rest of the time was spent listening to competition complaints from Business Improvement Districts (BIDs)and some safety complaints from residents in the Beverly Glen area.  Safety issues are a completely valid discussion topic as this is required by State law to make regulations.  Competition issues are a waste of time and can not be taken into consideration when drafting new regulations.

The CLA recommendations were handed out at the second meeting and we had an opportunity to briefly discuss some of the bullet points.   Almost all of the “new” additions to the code are already in the LA municipal code.  The one substantive addition was a regulation that would only allow one truck per block.  The CLA claimed that there are public safety concerns when food trucks congregate.  However, they did not provide one actual example of public safety peril regarding multiple food trucks.  Instead they used possible scenarios that were put forth by BIDs who are more concerned with regulating competition and limiting consumer choice.

CLA- public safety claims:

Trash: There is already a regulation concerning trash.  To our knowledge there has not been one citation issued for a violation of 80.73 (b)2(E) which regulates trash pick up around trucks.

Limiting the free flow of traffic: This is Los Angeles, the “free flow of traffic” is always limited.

Blocking views: Are we going to limit UPS, FED EX, USPS, RVs and busses on all blocks as well?

Distract drivers:  Seriously? How about we get rid of electric billboards.

Cause people to park illegally or conduct illegal maneuvers:   So because people allegedly park illegally or make illegal U-turns to eat at food trucks, the City has to create a restrictive regulation for food trucks?  Totally nonsensical.

Fail to abide by parking regulations: Not a public safety concern.

This report shows a total disregard for State law requirements for creating regulations.  It looks like Tom LaBonge’s office wrote it.  The CLA is supposed to be a neutral party.

Luckily, Councilman Alarcon, a voice of reason on the Transportation Committee hearing pointed out the ridiculousness of the report.  He then suggested that the Food Truck Task Force reconvene and work on what it was created to work on: Substantive code revisions for food truck regulations.

Thanks Councilman Alarcon, your leadership and foresight on this matter is unparalleled.

By the way, Councilman Tom LaBonge didn’t even bother to show up to the Transportation Committee hearing even though he is the Vice Chairman and the driving force for new food truck regulations.   Additionally, his office instructed the Department of Transportation to cite food trucks on Wilshire for every possible violation they could think of.

Please help us get Stephen Box (Candidate for the 4th district) elected.  It’s the only way to protect this industry from LaBonge and his Museum Square cohorts.

Stephen Box for LA City Council

Today we sent out the press release below.  I would like to add that this race in Los Angeles will have a national impact.   Regulations are being enacted and revised across the US to limit and restrict the food truck movement.  Together we can elect a representative who understands the importance of consumer choice and regulatory fairness.  If we’re successful, established politicians and candidates nationwide will begin to respect the power of this movement.  This election will have an affect on regulations nationwide.  Stand up and let your voice be heard.

If you live in the 4th district of Los Angeles, please register to vote by February 22nd, and Vote on March 8th.

Please donate to Stephen Box.  He is an underdog in this race, but together we can give him a fighting chance.  Any amount will help. http://stephenbox.com/donate

Please visit the website at http://Stephenbox.com
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Press release:

 
(Los Angeles) – The Southern California Mobile Food Vendors Association (S0CalMFVA) has endorsed Stephen Box in the Los Angeles 4th district for City Council. Box is challenging incumbent, Tom La Bonge, in the upcoming March 8th primary election.
 
This endorsement stems from Stephen Box’s vision for a great city that promotes a vibrant street life that includes public space, open space and safe streets. Stephen Box understands the new business model and promotes an environment where brick and mortar restaurants and food trucks all prosper. 
 
The SoCal MFVA believes that Box embraces innovation and that idea mobile food vendors create hundreds of jobs throughout the city in a time when unemployment is at its highest.  Because of his background as a film producer he knows how important mobile vendors are to the entertainment industry. Additionally, as a “Great Streets” advocate, Box believes that these small businesses are woven into the cultural fabric of the city and that they play a vital role in creating a vibrant street life that brings people together in healthy communities throughout Los Angeles.
 
Stephen Box has gone on record about the mobile food vendors stating that “LA’s Food Truck phenomenon is part of our unique street culture and it is an expression of mobility that brings our streets to life. It is an economic boom that City Hall should embrace and support looking for win-win opportunities that connect us, not divide us.