Mobile meals a popular choice for Winnipeggers’ lunches
Shreya Jhunjhunwala, CONTRIBUTOR
A familiar red truck dishing out cool tunes is now near the RRC’s the Roblin Centre. The Goldies Fries food truck has shifted from its former location at Old Market Square to Elgin Avenue at Princess Street, giving the RRC students new options for lunch.
Goldies Fries is part of a growing subculture of food trucks in Winnipeg. The city and the province have noted an increase.
The Winnipeg Parking Authority has issued 34 parking permits to mobile vendors for the summer of 2016 compared to the 29 issued last year. The province of Manitoba has issued 25 new food safety permits to mobile food vendors this year.
Steffen Zinn, the President of Winnipeg Food Truck Alliance and owner of The Red Ember thinks the growth may be because food trucks are relatively inexpensive to open compared to a restaurant.
“Establishing a Food Truck can cost anywhere between $50,000 to $60,000 compared to the quarter of a million needed to open a restaurant,” he said.
This low cost of establishment also reflects in the price of the menu items. Zinn prepares wood fired pizza using local ingredients for a price lower than that of his competitors.
Food trucks also add a lot of new flavours and colours to Winnipeggers’ palates.
“People get tired of eating at the same places like Tim Hortons. Each food truck is independent and has a different idea of how food should be cooked,” he said.
Darryl Leiman and Stephanie Myskiw from Goldies Fries think a combination of good customer service, great food, and a clean kitchen makes people come back for more.
“A clean kitchen makes all the difference. If you care about how you’re cooking your food, it shows,” said Leiman.
With the increase in trucks came an easier way to find them. The Snack Map app offers live food truck tracking using GPS. It is available for IOS and Android. Many food trucks also regularly update their locations on Twitter and Facebook.
Zinn thinks the main reason for the popularity of food trucks is much simpler.
“It reminds people of the happy memories they have of summer,” he said.