A handful of Midtown restaurant owners are upset with Sutter Medical Hospital for bringing food trucks to its campus.
For the past two weeks, food trucks have been feeding Sutter’s employees while the hospital continues to build its facilities. A cafeteria is still a long ways away, but a cafe with grab-and-go sandwiches is due eight weeks from now. Until then, food trucks.
But restaurant owners, including those of Biba, Paragary’s, Ink Eats and Drinks and Barwest, say that those food trucks are feeding far more than just Sutter employees. The trucks are taking their regular business too.
“We all have a lot of empty tables and chairs at lunch,” Randy Paragary said, citing a loss of 300-350 people per day at his restaurants near Sutter. “[The hospital] is not the boon we expected.”
The owners met with a representative of Sutter as well as the Midtown Business Association today and requested an immediate removal of the food trucks. The Sutter representative said he did not have the power to make that decision. They’ll meet again next week.
Regardless of what comes out of next week’s meeting, the debacle is probably just the start of local restaurateurs freaking out over food trucks’ new freedom with the recently passed city ordinance. There’s more competition now, and at least in the Sutter district, food trucks are winning.