BOSSIER CITY, La. (KSLA) — COVID-19 and restrictions against food trucks in Bossier City have proved to be a roller coaster ride for the trucks' owners.
Some survived a yearlong ban against food trucks in Bossier City beginning in the summer of 2018. There had been complaints, mostly from restaurants, that they were losing business because of the food trucks.
That ban was supposed to give the Bossier City Metropolitan Planning Commission enough time to draft a resolution limiting where food trucks can park. But that draft is still being written, long after the moratorium was lifted in 2019.
It wasn’t long after Bossier City lifted its ban on food trucks that the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in early 2020, serving as a one-two punch against these small business owners.
Now after having survived both the moratorium and the pandemic, there’s renewed talk about passing an ordinance for strict guidelines for those rolling restaurants.
Food truck owners like Christopher Baade have pushed back, saying they don’t even serve enough customers to hurt business. “You know, they feel us as a threat. But it really isn’t much of a threat.
“And even so, you know, one of the things we’ve been arguing about is I have a right to compete against them, businesses,” he continued. "Everybody’s competing with themselves. So I should have that right, too.”
Baade heads the Shreveport Bossier Food Trucks Coalition, a loosely organized group of nearly a dozen food truck owners who are trying to compete in Bossier City, without abiding by overly strict guidelines like being a set distance from other businesses.
“Space, my business, a ridiculous business, like the first proposal was 300 feet. Well, if I’m 300 feet from a business, that means I have 1,200 square feet around me that I can’t be next to another restaurant. And that is almost impossible.”
As for the food trucks’ customers, they care a lot less about guidelines than just a quick bite to eat at the Hot Dawg Hut.
For now, Bossier City veterinarian Glen Ritter said, more and more people are slowly returning to work.
“I mean people search them out. They want to know ‘Where’s the food truck this week? I wanna go get a hot dog.’ Or, you know, ‘Where’s the hamburger truck?’ ‘Where’s the taco truck?’”
One likely rule in the ordinance will be to require food trucks to get permission from homeowners associations to set up such neighborhoods.
As for now, the exact timing on that ordinance is unclear.