Shorter orbit for Kitchener food trucks recommended

If approved, food trucks in Kitchener would literally inch closer to the doors of brick-and-mortar restaurants.

Councilors at a committee meeting Monday approved an amendment to Kitchener’s food truck by-law that would allow trucks to be located 10 meters away from a restaurant property line, instead of the current 20 metres.

However, that recommendation still needs to go before the entire city council for approval.

Ruben Salonga, The co-owner of Luchador gourmet street food truck, hopes council approves the recommendation, so people can see that food trucks pose no threat to restaurants.

“Some businesses do fail. Some businesses have closed down. But there should be in no way be a correlation between those businesses closing down to the emergence of food trucks in this city,” he said. “There is no correlation. And that is one of the myths we have to address right there: food trucks aren’t shutting down restaurants.”

linda Jutzithe executive director of the Downtown Kitchener Business Improvement Area, says the BIA supports the recommendation but asks council to recognize there are only so many downtown customers to go around.

“The level of food traffic today isn’t optimal. It’s growing, it’s getting better as we see more businesses and offices move into the core, it will certainly increase as we see more people living in the core. But today, it’s a pie that they have to share downtown,” said Jutzi.

Jutzi says food trucks can leave an area when business is slow, but restaurants stay open throughout the day and into the night.

Food truck operators also made a new request from the city on Monday. Operators want at least two food trucks to be able to park at Carl Zehr Square at Kitchener City Hall on business days during the lunch hour next spring and summer.

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