(Ed. Note: The following article on food trucks was sent to Grand Strand Daily from Steven Hoffman, Horry County Republican Party Executive Committee member for Burgess 1 voting precinct. Hoffman visits his son in Austin, Texas approximately twice a year. After seeing the possibilities opened with food trucks in that Texas city, Hoffman believes Horry County could have done a better job licensing this growing industry.)
Food trucks, the latest trend in consumer drive markets. Horry County Council – Ho-Hum.
Austin, Texas – June 24, 2015
Consumers in Austin, Texas were first introduced to the food truck phenomena in 2010 primarily in the South Congress Street area.
Since that time the food truck entrepreneurs have widened their scope and some of the more successful ones have even opened brick and mortar stores, for example, Chi-lantro. Today the residents of Austin have the option of eating, Thai, Tex-Mex, Korean, Middle Eastern, Fusion, and other types of food in this culinary heaven of a wide mix of restaurants and food trucks throughout the city.
For the people of Austin, Texas, the food trucks bring increased employment (economic growth) and provide gastronomic diversity (more choices). Isn’t that what America is supposed to be all about? Well, maybe not.
Here on the Grand Strand – the county council recently authorized food trucks, but in a limited scope.
The food trucks are not allowed in areas with established brick & mortar restaurants and the ability of these food trucks to serve the thousands of tourists along Ocean Boulevard and other popular tourist destinations in the Grand Strand is questionable.
One food truck entrepreneur told local media that he is excited about setting up his operation in Conway at the County Government & Justice Center and at the DMV. Somehow, that falls considerably short of an initiative that would actually provide additional choices to consumers and stimulate the Grand Strand currently anemic economy.
Just a suggestion, but there are acres of empty space across the street from the Myrtle Beach Convention Center that are vacant, generating no revenue for the citizens or government. This property is not far from the beach and could become the next big tourism stop on the Grand Strand – Myrtle Beach Food Truck Market.
Several photos of the Austin food truck scene (Barton Springs area) are included with this article. They provide pictorial evidence of what could have happened in Horry County if the council was a bit more adventurous and business friendly.