Editorial: Food trucks a tasty idea

City staff is drafting rules and regulations that could get mobile eateries on downtown streets more often. It’s a tasty idea.

The City of Nanaimo is starting to cook up a food truck policy.

City staff is drafting rules and regulations that could get mobile eateries on downtown streets more often. It’s a tasty idea. Food trucks aren’t just a fad – they’re a thriving business and even a tourist draw in modern cities, and we’ve recognized for a long time that we should have more of them on the menu here.

The city already grants special-event licences for food-truck operators, who tend to be a hit with summer festival-goers at Maffeo Sutton Park, for example.

But food trucks can also have success served up daily as a component of the busy, bustling downtown we all want. Some might argue that the trucks draw diners away from the many eateries in the area that aren’t on wheels, but we think on balance, they will bring more hungry bellies downtown. Sometimes we run errands in a particular part of the city with the vague notion that we’ll grab a bite to eat while we’re there. If we start to think of downtown as a place with even more lunchtime options, we might be more likely to take our business there.

A lot of municipalities have already rolled out fleets of food trucks, so Nanaimo can pick and choose its policies. We want to attract operators, but we want to do so in a business climate that’s fair to the restaurants that pay property taxes.

Hopefully we can find a compromise to suit most palates, because we’re getting hungry just thinking about potential food-truck fare. It can be surprisingly gourmet, as operators can do one thing and do it very well. It’s a different kind of fast food that fits into our frenetic lifestyles. It can be social or solitary dining.

There are a lot of different ways to revitalize our downtown, but not many are this delicious. When it comes to mobile meals, it’s time for Nanaimo to get truckin’.