Food Trucks Win Food Fight - DatelineCarolina

Food Trucks Win Food Fight Over New Regulations

President of the South Carolina Hospitality Association and Columbia Restaurant Association Tom Sponseller says he wants the food truck and restaurants to get along. President of the South Carolina Hospitality Association and Columbia Restaurant Association Tom Sponseller says he wants the food truck and restaurants to get along.

By: Ashley Burgess

Columbia food trucks operators fought off new rules proposed by the Columbia Restaurant Association.  The Columbia City Council rejected the rules on how close the trucks could park to existing restraunts and for more frequent health inspections Thuesday.

 Alfresco Mobilista Food Truck owner Adams Hayne says he doesn't understand why the Restaurant Association was proposing to add a minimum 200 feet distance between his food truck and any brick-and-mortar restaurant.

"I don't operate within that close to a restaurant, if this is the case, maybe some written documentation from these restaurants saying this instance this day. This truck did this or have pictures take of trucks coming up to their restaurants because I don't think it happens," said Hayne.

Hayne, just one of the four-licensed food trucks in the city and doesn't see why they are so worried.

"It's free competition, this is a capitalist society, I mean we're allowed free enterprise, to do, to compete," said Haynes.

The association also wanted council to enact more frequent health inspections on trucks.

South Carolina Hospitality Association and Columbia Restaurant Association president Tom Sponseller says the problem is food trucks are mobile.

"If they locate next to a brick-and-mortar restaurant and harm the brick-and-motar business, the food truck, being mobile can just go on and go somewhere else, that a brick-and-mortar can't.  That harm could put them out of business," said Sponseller.

Sponseller says the association wants both the restaurants and food trucks to be successful just not the detriment of each other.

The Columbia City Council rejected the new laws on a five to one vote.

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