Food truck scheme may be on its last breath

Hong Kong | 23 Jun 2021 1:39 pm

Hong Kong’s Food Truck Pilot Scheme may soon come to an end after the government said it is reviewing the data and effectiveness of the scheme, not ruling out the possibility of ending the scheme.

In a written reply to the Legco on Wednesday, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Edward Yau Teng-wah, said the food trucks as a tourism facility in Hong Kong have limited room for development.

He said the scheme has been in operation for more than four years, with the food trucks facing a number of operational difficulties.

“In order to maintain fair competition, food trucks are required to operate at designated locations and maintain a certain distance with nearby catering outlets. In addition, locations of food truck pitches should not cause obstruction to people or traffic flow and there should be electricity and other support services provided by the venue management for food trucks,” said Yau.

“Food truck business is also significantly affected by the weather. Besides, there are many restaurants in Hong Kong and the competition is keen.” Yau added.

The commerce chief said the gross revenue of the 12 licensed food trucks in operation from January 2020 to late May 2021 was about HK$2.67 million.

He also said in view of the impact of the epidemic on food truck operations, food truck operators could withdraw from the scheme by surrender relevant licenses and terminate the agreements with the operating venues according to the established procedures.

“Authorities will not accept any new application for food truck operation to fill any vacancies,” said Yau.

Meanwhile, tourism sector lawmaker Yiu Sze-wing stressed it would be irresponsible for the government to cut short the program.

The lawmaker said food truck operators have invested at least HK$1 million on each of their food trucks, the government should wait out until cross-border travel has resumed to make the decision.

“Or they [food truck operators] should be compensated,” said Yiu.

He suggested that the government should re-plan the food truck locations given there were few visitors at tourist attractions due to Covid.

“They should relocate the food trucks to trendy places in the city now like the waterfront promenade or the West Kowloon Cultural District, where members of the public were visiting frequently,” Yiu added.

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