Wagga City has recommended to councillors that they approve the next step towards a ‘mobile food vending trial’.
If the motion passes during Monday night’s meeting, the council will seek expressions of interest for between six and nine ‘food trucks’ to trial operating in limited areas of Wagga between December 1 and May 30.
The food vans would likely have to avoid a ‘No-Go zone’ in Baylis and Fitzmaurice streets, home to many of Wagga’s established restaurants.
The trial will also likely contain the clause that “vendors cannot operate within 100 metres of a brick and mortar business selling a similar product”.
Council economic development officer Dominic Kennedy stated in a report to councillors that the trial would help “identify opportunities for food vending businesses” while also identifying potential impacts on the environment, residents and other businesses.
Thaigga restaurant owner Robert Baliva, who also runs Tammy’s Thai Kitchen and Bay 85 in Wagga, said he did not mind the trial going ahead but wanted more clarification on the rules.
“It’s not a bad idea. It’s a good way to trial it and see how it goes. I’d like more clarification around the similar business rule,” he said.
“As long as food safety is on for them all the time. Some food vans don’t look like the best places to eat.”
Mr Baliva said it was possible the trial could have more of an impact on restaurants that did not focus on sit-down meals and table service.
Tristan Russell, who owns an ice cream trailer, The Raven and Unicorn, said the food van trail would be good for residents and visitors to Wagga and offer an opportunity to established restaurants to branch out.
“There has to be some restrictions, as you don’t want people just fronting up on the main street and taking business away from restaurants who are paying rent,” he said.
“I definitely think there is value in letting food vans into places like Wagga Beach or anywhere there aren’t that many resources around.”
Wagga Councillors have been presented with a report into a two-year trial of food vans in the City of Sydney.
In Sydney, the average food truck spent $141,000 on establishing their business and made $299,000 in revenue per year.
More than four out of five trucks had no connection to a permanent restaurant.
Wagga City Council advertised its intention to hold a food truck trial last month and sought feedback from groups such as Wagga Business Chamber.
While you’re with us, did you know that you can now receive updates straight to you inbox each day at 6am from the Daily Advertiser? To make sure you’re up to date with all the Wagga news sign up here.