Kuching, MYS: Food trucks a hipster concept still too alien for Sarawak authorities

Serving gourmet food from trucks is still alien to many city folks in Sarawak making it an attractive business opportunity for young entrepreneurs. — TRP pic by Dennis Wong

By Dennis Wong  |  The Rakyat Post

Serving gourmet food from trucks is still alien  to many city folks in Sarawak making it an attractive business opportunity for young entrepreneurs. — TRP pic by Dennis Wong
Serving gourmet food from trucks is still alien to many city folks in Sarawak 
making it an attractive business oppoetunity for young entrepreneurs.
 — TRP pic by Dennis Wong

Hipsters are invading the Sarawak consumer market and these young entrepreneurs are jumping into the food truck business.

Offering gourmet food from trucks decorated with doodles, graffiti and brand names which capture the imagination, their presence in the cities is to be lauded but is also a bane to some traditional business owners.

Despite being loud and serving food on wheels, the business owners are still struggling to keep up with the new concept over this side of the country.

“We just got our first summons for illegal operation,” said Noms on Street founder Kelvin Chong.

Nom on Street is one of the well-known food truck brand over South City and Chong said at the moment they were operating in the gray area of the council laws.

“We tried to get proper licences, but the council told us that the state does not have such provisions,” said Chong when met by The Rakyat Post.

Chong aims to set up a food truck association in the state by bringing all food truck operators in the state under one governing body.

“There us four operators in Sibu and three others in Miri. I feel that to start this new concept, we have to work together with all parties, because this business is still at its infant stage,” said Chong.

The food truck idea is still alien and new here, as many still equate them with normal street vendors.

Awang Hasrullah Awang Ismail, another food truck operator who runs Kuching Food Kartel, said some customers even complained about paying RM7 for a burger.

“We make our patties from scratch and it is not like we sell frozen patties to the customers. I admit we are still new and there is a lot of catching up to do. Our presence now is just like educating the masses that food truck business is the new thing,” said Awang Hasrullah.

Awang Hasrullah operates his food truck on the northern side of the city and said he had yet to receive any summons from the council.

“Apparently, I get support from the council over this side of the city and they issued me with a hawker licence,” said Awang Hasrullah, who also gets support from the Federal Agriculture and Marketing Authority.

Awang also said the business was so new that even the authorities did not know where they should stand.

http://www.therakyatpost.com/news/2016/01/27/food-trucks-a-hipster-concept-still-too-alien-for-sarawak-authorities/