We all know how bad things are in California, with their continuing economic woes. Now, the city of San Francisco is trying to do something to help close the widening budget gap. Effective immediately, the Department of Recreation and Parks will be regulating pushcart vendors and allowing them to sell food in 219 San Francisco parks, something that has previously been off limits.
Pushcart owners will have to fork over a minimum of $1,000 each month for the right to enter the parks to sell their products. However, there’s a catch.
Vendors will have to prove that their food is healthy. In other words, no run-of-the-mill hot dogs or pretzels need apply.
“Healthy”will be determined by park officials, who will be setting the standards and selecting the vendors. Organic, and upscale, gourmet food is preferred.
If $1,000 a month is a bit too pricey for the average pushcart owner, then park officials have something else in mind. They will be visiting nearby dining establishments, trying to interest them in opening up satellite carts in the park.
Area restaurateurs have mixed feelings and many unanswered questions about the plan. “Would people be willing to pay extra for sustainable food from a cart?”asks Kevin Westlye, president of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle. “And what happens in the winter when the weather turns?”
Those are very good questions, especially in a down economy. Unfortunately, there are no answers, yet, but there are plenty of pushcart vendors standing in line with their upscale food, willing to give this new venture a try. Food coupons might come in handy for foodies this time. around.