Food trucks in Delhi: Get, set and ready to go!
Imagine gourmet sandwiches and salads, sushi and dimsums, and gluten-free desserts being dished out from windows of quirkily decked up vans/trucks. No, this isn’t a daydream for foodies! Recent reports indicate that South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) will issue licences for food trucks, giving foodies a chance to rejoice.
Food trucks have been a hit in the National Capital Region, with dedicated spots such as the popular Sector 29 Leisure Valley Parking in Gurugram. But the unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi stopped giving them licences in 2008 due to traffic congestion. Fans are not convinced and would love the trucks back.
Richa, who owns a restaurant in Ghaziabad — that has a food truck as part of its decor — says, “I set up my food truck Quirky Perky in Noida in 2017. We sold Italian, Continental and Mexican; I reached break-even in a month! But, I could only operate it for three months as it was troublesome to move every time the corporation asked us to. After about a year-and-a-half I bought a place in Ghaziabad and parked the truck there.”
However, she says there are limitations as the restaurant can’t be ‘on the move’ and reach out to more people. “If SDMC is really allowing food trucks, I’d love to have one there,” she adds.
As for a probable food truck park, Richa suggests GK “as people there like to experiment with food”, while restaurateur Saurabh Khanijo suggests Lodhi Gardens.
Khanijo, who recently came up with food trucks titled Wanchai By Kylin, says, “When I was in school and college, I used to go to South Extension and eat from the van parked there. This concept comes from all the developed countries of the world, especially the US. A few years back, we set up two food trucks. When they were pulled out of Delhi, we sent them to Gurugram and Chandigarh, and they’re successfully running there. So, it’s welcome news that the trucks will soon run in Delhi as well!”
What is essential is that trucks take responsibility of the trash generated. And they also need a dedicated zone, to maintain hygiene. Jyoti Ganapathi, who along with her partner Satya runs food trucks named Dosa Inc, says, “We knew of challenges food trucks have to face on the roads, so we decided to park our trucks inside private condos and office buildings. When you’re serving food on the street, it’s difficult to control hygiene. Someone peeing on the wall behind when we aren’t there might hamper food quality. We need dedicated vending zones... people can go there. May be the Hauz Khas Village parking could be converted into one such zone.”
Author tweets @HennaRakheja