Surprise! Not All Street Food Lotto Winners Ready To Operate
When City Hall trumpeted their list of the lucky 17 who’d won a flawed lottery for spots to sell street food from mobile carts last week, we were concerned as to how many would be ready for prime time and how many had just put their names in the bingo basket for a lark. According to a story in today’s Vancouver Courier (hat tip to reader NW), it turns out that we weren’t alone in our worries.
Claudia Kurzac, acting manager for health protection, doesn’t expect all 17 new food vendors to be operational by July 31, as per the city’s goal. “It sounds like some went into the lottery without even a business plan and don’t even have an actual trailer or cart and would have to manufacture that first, never mind even find a base of operation,” Kurzac said.
Add to that the coastal health inspections and the massive fees the City is charging for parking spaces and licenses, and it looks like the City nabobs may have a problem on their hands. If they aren’t ready, the spots go to alternates (also chosen by lot). If they aren’t ready, well…the City didn’t think that far ahead.
As we’ve argued before, they could have hand selected prospective operators for their long overdue street food pilot project based on business plans and track records, but they insisted on doing it randomly in the absurd name of “fairness” (and meritocracy be damned). While I do have faith that some tasty good will come of this lottery (I’m looking at you, southern BBQ), what I’m really hoping for is that Grant Woff, acting manager of No Fun City street administration (and the fellow who backed the lotto), takes a few private moments at his desk with his palm on his forehead…