Hong Kong Secretary of Commerce admits city's food truck scheme has problems

Hong Kong Secretary of Commerce admits city's food truck scheme has problems

Only a third of the businesses have earned more than HK$1 million since they started serving food earlier this year

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The food trucks haven't proved as popular as the government hoped.
Photo: Jonathan Wong/SCMP

Hong Kong Secretary of Commerce admits city's food truck scheme has problems

Only a third of the businesses have earned more than HK$1 million since they started serving food earlier this year

Only five of 15 food trucks under the government’s food truck scheme have earned more than HK$1 million since February.

The Hong Kong Secretary for Commerce, Edward Yau Tang-wah, admitted the scheme, which was supposed to help boost the city’s tourism industry, had problems.

Despite a strict application procedure, three vendors have already given up on the scheme, which started eight months ago, and only two vendors have joined, leaving one spot empty. Vendors have to meet very strict safety and hygiene requirements, adding to the difficulty for new food truckers on the scene.


If you had a food truck, what would you offer customers?


But Yau said there had been successes. “Out of 15 food trucks, five of them had total revenue of more than HK$1 million [over the past eight months],” Yau said. “But of course, some others did not do as well.”
Yau said the government would wait and see how things work out with the scheme. 

Young Post junior reporters were generally in favour of the trucks.

Student of the Year 2016 winner Belinda Ng, 17, from South Island School, believes food trucks have potential in Hong Kong, as she thinks they could be used to show off the city to tourists.

“Hong Kong prides itself on being a fusion of the East and West, and I think that if food truck operators focus more on this [characteristic], then food trucks are definitely here to stay.”

Angelina Wang, 16, from Chinese International School described the food trucks as “a modern idea that could attract more tourists and young people - and who doesn't love food?”


More spots could be made available for food trucks


Some, however, had suggestions on how they could be better.

Bakhita Fung, 16, from Island School, said “I think [the food trucks] are a decent addition, but they’re quite expensive ... They should be a [Hong Kong] tradition, but the government shouldn’t intervene. If you look at [food truck] successes in New York, the government hasn’t influenced the market much, and they’re left to compete on their own.”

And Pauline Wong, 16, of Maryknoll Convent School, said “Hong Kong is known to be a food paradise, and food trucks would be a great way to promote this culture in all parts of Hong Kong, not only in major food zones.

“Honestly, I think it is a great idea to permanently implement them into Hong Kong.”

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