By Nikki Sun | South China Morning Post
Designers and hawker groups staged a grassroots version of a food truck show in Causeway Bay on Sunday in a bid to press the government to implement a more diversified food truck scheme and make it possible for ordinary people to participate.
Ten vehicles made by local designers, some costing less than HK$2000, parked at the crowded pedestrian area near Sogo store in the afternoon.
Hong Kong snacks such as eggette waffles, nuomici and Chinese pudding were handed out to passers-by who uploaded photos with hashtags supporting the cause.
Building costs for the traditional hawker trolleys on display, including recycled bicycles and small vans, ranged from HK$1500 to HK$100,000 – much lower than the estimated HK$600,000 start-up cost of the government pilot scheme.
“The purpose of the show is to demonstrate that cheaper food trucks could also be unique and artistic, while meeting hygiene requirements,”said Chan Ka-hing, who designed some of the food carts.
The government unveiled a pilot plan last year to allow 12 food trucks to operate in six prime tourist locations across the city for two years. To operate one of the food trucks, applicants need to submit written proposals and win a cooking competition held by the government.
Commerce and Economic Development Greg So Kam-leung, who was tasked with implementing the scheme, estimated earlier that the start-up cost would be around HK$600,000, suggesting it might be dominated by large food groups rather than local start-ups.
“Hawkers couldn’t afford that much money,” said Niles Mak, a designer who changed a regular bicycle to a mobile shop serving grid cakes. He said that while a standard food truck could easily block traffic when parking, a small bike wouldn’t created such problem.
“Food trucks will become tourism facilities under the current scheme,” said Leung Chi-yuen, a teaching fellow at Polytechnic University, adding the limited quota would not help local unemployment.
Dennis Chan, an accountant in his 30s who queued for the free snacks, said: “Hawkers have their own styles developed over years, and the government doesn’t need to teach them how to do their business.”
He added that he wouldn’t like food trucks that were “standardised” by the government .