Zach Brooks of Midtown Lunch has yet again become a referee in a food-vendor fight, and this time it’s between a Mister Softee truck and (you guessed it) the Schnitzel & Things truck, which really likes to swing its muffler around. Details of the latest altercation are unclear, but by Midtown Lunch’s account, the Mister Softee truck berated Schnitzel after someone’s complaint led to both of them getting kicked off a block that Mister Softee had been working for years. Midtown Lunch sides with the Mister Softee truck here, pointing out that most parking spots are illegal, and the more trucks that rock the boat by parking in a certain area, the more likely it is that businesses will complain. And he’s got a point — check out this Grub Street L.A. story about a recent crackdown on Wilshire Boulevard.
Sounding like the Henry Kissinger of street meat, Midtown Lunch writes:
I said this when the Street Sweets Truck had their trouble, and I’ll say it to these guys. You have Twitter. You have the support of the blogs and the media. Your fans will follow you wherever you go. You don’t need the foot traffic that these Mister Softee trucks depend on (from the spots they’ve spent years protecting). I know it’s hard, but don’t fight. Just keep moving until you find a quiet place to vend in peace. We will all follow …
Of course, the Schnitzel Truck quickly issued a response:
Just saw your little piece on ML. To be quite honest, I don’t really care who you side with. It doesn’t matter to us one bit. But one thing you should know is that our business DOES in fact rely on heavy foot traffic! And because I am on Twitter, it doesn’t give me the right to park where we feel we will get the most customers?
You side with the “old school” but your solution for us, to go find a quiet street, isn’t actually a solution that works at all. Instead of siding, maybe you should realize that it’s not our fault! There is a conflict situation at hand, and I understand the other point of view just as much as you, but I have a business to run and I need to hit my targets on a daily basis to stay profitable. And if it means that I have to stand my ground and get threats from an ice cream guy, so be it.
An ice cream guy? That’s “Mister Softee” to you, bud! But wait, that’s not all! The Schnitzel Truck moved it over to Twitter: “Mr. Zach Brook’s solution to the cart-fighting problem is for US to go find a quiet corner to vend from!! Pretty funny!! Completely wrong!!!!”
So who’s side are you on? Either way, brick-and-mortar gentrification was never this fun.