Hong Kong food truck operators are struggling to survive
Reporters: Charleen Chen, Lasley Lui, Regina Chen, Wayne Chang
Editors: Tommy Yuen, Daphne Li
The Food Truck Pilot Scheme, an initiative launched by the Tourism Commission in 2017, has recently been extended to 2021. Currently, a total of 15 food trucks are operating at eight tourist spots, including Disneyland, Tsim Sha Tsui Art Square, Golden Bauhinia Square, Ocean Park, Science Park and Asia World-Expo. Four new venues such as Science Park and AsiaWorld-Expo were added to the list after the scheme was refined last year.
Despite the policy refinement, operators have difficulty running food truck business in the city, and are gloomy about the future.
Mr Liu, owner of Ma Ma’s Dumplings, is frustrated about his business. “We can barely survive. We don’t operate our food trucks in other spots. We get the chance to do business at Disneyland every four months, and we do our best to make money there.”
According to the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau, food trucks at Disneyland generated the highest revenue accounting for 60 per cent of the total gross revenue of all food trucks or HK$19.4 million up to mid-October 2018. The amount was 20 times more than that at Wong Tai Sin Temple.
Lam Sui-wa, chairman of the Hong Kong Food Truck Federation, finds food trucks in Hong Kong facing more restrictions than those in Germany. He urges the government to provide more supporting measures to boost food truck business.
Lawmaker Tommy Cheung Yu-yan criticises the government for not doing anything for food trucks. He thinks food trucks should target local residents as their main source of customers, but not tourists.