Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Is Aramark Trying to Kill University City's Food Trucks?

Don't you just love this food truck trend? Finally, we're as hip as Chicago. Good food for your lunch break that doesn't enlist a $10 bowl of kale. Seriously, when did kale become the food du jour? Didn't it used to waste away in the meat aisle separating the pork from the chicken?

If you're a cash-strapped college student, food trucks are an affordable opportunity to opt out of the monotony of the dining hall. It's a boon for local businesses too, because students still clinging to their Massachusetts and New York licenses are sopping up some local eats. Who knows, maybe they'll like those Cap'n Crunch infused tacos so much they'll stick around for another four years.

Well, Jannie Blackwell wants to make some changes. Blackwell, the Councilwoman presiding over University City wants to regulate the hell out of the foot trucks near Drexel University, and Bill 150600 would do it.

Why? Well the answer isn't clear from Blackwell's office, but according to armchair activists, the food trucks are cutting into Drexel's on-campus dining options. This may sound like conspiracy theorist lunacy. How could Steak Me Home Tonight compete with the Big Boys operating Drexel's dining halls?

So why would a local politician want to stifle local businesses? Why would Jannie Blackwell - a Council Member who's consistently fought for locals and on behalf of her community - decide to propose a bill that sides with Big Business? 

Well, who operates Drexel's dining services? Aramark. It sounds like the Big Boys of Market East might be giving Blackwell a little push to free up a little business for them. If that's the case - and let's face it, it probably is - it's pretty damn irresponsible. Not only would a local Big Boy be enlisting politics to grab a few bucks, Blackwell created a bill to help the Big Boy crush a few local businesses. 

Aramark might be local, but in the food truck world, they're Wal-Mart. They don't need the business food trucks are taking, they'd just maneuvering their political position to expand beyond their dining halls onto the streets of West Philadelphia. And Jannie Blackwell would helping them.

1 comment: