The city will not hold an official Food Truck Friday this month, following a flurry of complaints from restaurant owners downtown.
Mayor Sandy Stimpson’s Chief of Staff Colby Cooper stopped short of calling it a postponement or a cancellation, but he did confirm the event, where the city invites food trucks to park and vend in Bienville Square one Friday each month, would not be held in May.
He said he expects the event to continue this summer, in conjunction with a city-sponsored event that will promote brick-and-mortar establishments. In addition, the events will not always be held downtown and would go city-wide, he said.
He said the administration expected some pushback on the initiative and it takes the criticism of the event seriously.
“I understand restaurants operate on very, very thin margins,” Cooper said. “We want to cultivate an environment where all businesses can thrive.”
The last Food Truck Friday was held April 24.
In a previous story, Lagniappe documented the complaints of restaurant owners affected by the monthly event. One owner even said his wait staff calls it “famine Friday” because of the loss of business it creates.
While many owners didn’t mind the idea of bringing food trucks downtown, they complained that Friday was a big lunch day in the area and suggested holding the event on a weekend day.