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Food Trucks 2013

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Now that summer is at our door, maybe we would need a special thread for all food truck related news?

- Les 1er vendredi @ Parc Olympique is starting again tomorrow. Didn't find the list of participating trucks but I know Mr Crémeux (Martin Juneau) and Dispatch will be there.

- Just found that funding campaign for a new cheese truck: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/le-.... Good idea!

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  1. LOL, crowdfunding for a food truck!!!

    12 Replies
    1. re: Maximilien

      how could they ask for money without any kind of assurance that they will have a permit.

      1. re: catroast

        I was going to ask what restaurant or catering business these guys work for because of the current qualifications for a food truck in Montreal.

        If they don't have either of those things going for them, I'm with catroast, how can backers be assured that this will work out?

        1. re: catroast

          I'm no expert, but my understanding of crowdfunding is that backers can set their own criteria for how they give their money, and some won't give their money unless the thing is about to get up and running concretely. On the flip side, even if a project misses it's fundraising goal, backers who really believe in it can still choose to give their money anyway and hope it works (this is somewhat common, I'm told, when it's backing a theatre production or such, where no backer expects profits or benefits anyway).

          This is actually a really good use of crowdfunding: to start a small business with a plan and model (though I haven't watched the video). But as has been pointed out, he hasn't got a snowball's chance in hell with the city without some kind of restaurant affiliation.

          1. re: Shattered

            I hate to say this, but part of me hopes that with current restrictions the city is putting on who gets to have a food truck, that the whole project fails so they can see that this model doesn't work. Food trucks are a good way for up-and-coming entrepeneurs to offer something new and unique without having to worry about the influx of capital one needs to open a bricks-and-mortar restaurant first. Because, IMHO, that's the whole point. New and cool food things happen like this because you can't afford your restaurant yet. If it's just going to be the same old iterations of places already established....well, as a poster pointed out previously in the other food trucks thread, who wants to pay for a potentially pricey street version of resto dish just so you can eat it on a paper plate?

            1. re: Peaches to Poutine

              Who said you need to have a restaurant first? Why could they not just rent a space in a professional/legal kitchen to prepare their food?

              1. re: Glaff

                http://globalnews.ca/news/466184/city...

                "For food safety, the trucks chosen will have to be associated with an already established restaurant."

                1. re: Glaff

                  I think the city said it has to be a registered resto or catering service( and I also think it has to do with restaurant lobby which said it would be unfair otherwise since they pay taxes and rent and salaries and all)

                  1. re: chilipepper

                    Yep, I remember that being one of the restrictions too.

                    That's ridiculous. It doesn't give upstarts a fighting chance. The city is not quite getting the idea of what a food truck "scene" is supposed to be. It may take a while before we get the diversity we want.

                2. re: Peaches to Poutine

                  Many successful food trucks in NYC started out as a truck!

                  1. re: marblebag

                    Precisely. I have always thought of food trucks as a way for someone to get started and do something neat yummy things, making regulations or framework like this off the bat discourages that.

                    1. re: marblebag

                      Exactly! Franklin's, possibly the most popular BBQ restaurant in the US (according to some sources) was still a truck 2 years ago. I suspect it wouldn't be where it is today without these modest beginnings.

                      1. re: Fintastic

                        Ah, Austin.

                        And you are correct re: how their success bloomed from a food truck.

            2. The video, concept, name and strategy for "Le Cheese" is completely obnoxious!

              6 Replies
              1. re: OliverB

                nevermind the fact that they aren't allowed cooking food on the truck. so what are they going to do, serve mac and cheese from a warming tray? oh montreal, you never cease to fail.

                1. re: catroast

                  Never heard of grilled cheese? Don't care much about the video or the strategy, if they want to promote Quebec cheese with their truck, that's not a bad idea.

                2. re: OliverB

                  The Cheese Truck is being launched this Friday. I don't understand how can they run it in front of other restaurants on Notre Dame?
                  It will be parked in front of Joe Beef & Liverpool etc during prime time. How rude can the invite be, is having a grilled cheese now considered a privilege?

                  I haven’t tried any of the food trucks yet and from what I have been reading & hearing, I think I will wait

                  Their tweet: Join Le Cheese in celebration of the official launch of Le Cheese Food Truck!
                  June 14th - 7pm -10pm
                  2515 Rue Notre-Dame O.
                  Only confirmed invites can come. So Please confirm, we don't like maybes'.

                  1. re: InterFoodie

                    Nothing to write home about, they are just doing their "launch" at that address...

                    1. re: InterFoodie

                      I never take the invite-only stuff seriously, it's just to try to build hype. If they have an open post or event on facebook or twitter or whatever, anyone can show up. And if they actually did turn people away after letting anyone & everyone know about, well they'd sure be getting off on the right foot customer service wise (not).

                      Anyway, times are tough - or maybe hosts are just getting stingier or realize they can charge at these events, but in any case times have changed. Freebies are way down unless it's an event that's truly exclusive. 5 years ago even broke-ass hipster galleries would feed you wine all night at openings. Now the same all charge $4 a bottle of beer. Restaurant or beverage launches all charge you for drinks and food now, too - even the stuff they're launching.

                      Everything changed after the crash of 08/09, mes amis.

                      1. re: InterFoodie

                        cheese truck vs restaurant requiring 1 month reservation

                        rude how exactly?

                    2. Rosemont Petite-Patrie announced this morning that they've partnered with l'Association des restaurateurs de rue du Québec to start testing street food this summer in the neighborhood in some events and parks.

                      http://ruemasson.com/?p=21893

                      1. Looks like Chaud Dogs are planning something: https://www.facebook.com/ChaudDogs/po...

                        1. here is an op-ed in vice of all places about the food truck plan http://www.vice.com/en_ca/read/montre...

                          10 Replies
                          1. re: catroast

                            It's a bit soon to say that. And anyway we're still in the test period, before everything becomes official.

                            I still hope that you actually can have a truck if you just rent a space in a real professional kitchen to prepare your food. If not, that would mean Grumman, the people who helped bring back street food here, would have been illegal in their first years?!

                            He's saying it in the article, Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto (especially Toronto) all had problems at first and are now trying to fix things. And is that guy really expecting street food here to be like Bangkok, Mexico City or Kerala?! Seriously? Cause yeah, they're REALLY the same kind of city...

                            1. re: Glaff

                              i don't think he suggested we have vendors lining the streets cooking insects on grates covering on-fire steel barrels. the take home message was that applebaum completely missed the spirit of street food - that it shouldn't be the equivalent of a take away window at a trendy restaurant. It should be equitable and democratic.

                              1. re: catroast

                                "i don't think he suggested we have vendors lining the streets cooking insects on grates covering on-fire steel barrels."

                                But that would be way cool.

                              2. re: Glaff

                                But so far, that's exactly the problem. Right now you can't rent space in a professional kitchen in order to have a food truck. It makes the offerings skewed towards people who have already been established and not upstarts.

                                Again, I desperately hope the bylaws change in favor of entrepeneurs, and not restauranteurs who feel menaced by something that is being done successfully and awesomely by other North American cities. There's enough room in the pool for everyone. To complain otherwise just shows you can't change with the times or accept something cool and new.

                                1. re: Peaches to Poutine

                                  I hope too and I believe it can happen. As I said we're just in the testing phase.

                                  But at the same time, isn't it really easy to also offer simple catering service if it gives you the right to have a truck?

                                  1. re: Glaff

                                    it's the quebec nanny state in full swing. if they can ban or restrict it, they will. the humans cannot be trusted.

                                    1. re: Glaff

                                      Speaking as someone working hard to open a storefront, finding a professional kitchen to rent for events to cater is a lot harder than it looks.

                                      1. re: Peaches to Poutine

                                        This morning in La Presse (from MC Lortie):

                                        "Plus tôt cette semaine, dans un article publié sur le site de la revue Vice, un journaliste a accusé le programme montréalais qui prendra vie le 20 juin prochain d'exclure les moins nantis, et par le fait même la multiplicité culturelle, car il oblige les camions ambulants à avoir une cuisine de production fixe avec adresse officielle, permis obligatoires et le compte de taxe foncière qui accompagne nécessairement tout ça. Trop cher tout ceci, arguait-on. Prohibitif.

                                        J'ai posé la question à Gaelle Cerf, une des fondatrices du Grumman78, pionnière, presque pilote en chef du projet, de ramener la cuisine de rue à Montréal après 66 ans, et elle ne s'en est pas émue. Deux mois après le démarrage du camion de tacos, il y avait déjà une «cuisine de prod» à Saint-Henri, rappelle-t-elle. Même à New York, où les stands minimalistes sont légion, rares sont ceux qui n'ont aucune base fixe.

                                        Par contre, plusieurs entreprises choisissent de partager les frais en ouvrant des cuisines de production communes, d'où chacun part avec son propre camion et son propre produit pour le vendre dans les rues. À Montréal, de tels projets sont en train de se préparer."

                                        1. re: Glaff

                                          Once again Gaelle shows she knows how to manage the press but doesn't know the facts. In NYC, "by city law, every food cart and truck must visit a licensed commissary each day..." It isn't rare to not have a fixed base, it's against the law.

                                          More details here: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/12/mag...

                                          1. re: EaterBob

                                            The timing of these articles is uncanny.