Food trucks catching on in city
The city has seen mushrooming of food trucks in several prime localities, including Beach Road. Surprisingly, most of them were started by young graduates who shifted from their stream to make a living. It gave them a chance to test their entrepreneurial and culinary skills and seek refugee from jobs that failed to keep their interest intact.
Most food trucks employ a minimum of two people and with the city having over 30, this trend has become a source of livelihood for many.
The food trucks usually hit the road around 6 in the evening. Delicious food and reasonable prices attract people from all sections. Most of these trucks have appliances like grills, stoves, steamers and ovens and the food they make cater to people enjoying multiple cuisines. Some trucks with a slab of cold stone serve ice creams which are devoured by adults and children alike. Shawarmas, barbeque food, many speciality dosas, idlis, pizzas, maggi, pakoras are some of the items that can be consumed. Even with sanitation and hygiene, the budding entrepreneurs leave no stone unturned to impress their customers.
Varun, who owns a food truck called Hunger Wheelz runs his business in Seethammadhara. “I used to run my uncle’s sweet shop. I started this venture a year ago and business is good,” he said. Owner of Smoke N Grill Venkat had plans to go to USA but since that got shelved, he started this enterprise. He spent three months designing the truck. “I bought a 9 kv generator which runs all my appliances. It is a good investment,” he said. Venkat, MBA graduate, who once tasted a delicious crab dish wanted to introduce in the city.
Food trucks near Vuda Park and Siripuram have been doing good business. However, trouble began recently, when GVMC asked them to shift their trucks from these areas. Most of them shifted to MVP Colony and Seethammadhara.
K. Srikanth, polytechnic student, who owns food truck Shawarma King, said “GVMC said we cannot run our businesses in prime areas as Vizag is a smart city. We were told that they had received complaints against us.”
Srinivas Raju, who owns Ruchi Dosa, said “the authorities asked us to relocate from Sandy Lane plot to near Central Park but that won’t help our businesses.”.”.
Asked about his business, Mr. Srinivas said that it was going through a loss, ever since he moved from the Beach Road. “I used to earn around ₹ 20,000 every day. Now I hardly earn ₹ 10,000,” he smiled ruefully.
The mobile food trucks have not only caught the imaginations of the locals but even tourists have been relishing the hot kebabs and idlies that are being served. “As long as the food trucks were parked on the Beach Road, we were regulars, as they added value to the Beach Road,” said Rohit an engineering student.
Sudarshan Chakraborty from Kolkata related the food truck concept to the eatery joints along Ganges in the ‘City of Joy’.
A senior GVMC official said, “As many residents complained about the troubles these trucks were causing, we asked them to shift to Central Park area.”