Still earning its chops

VENDORS have responded with mixed reviews to the City of Vincent�s food van trial.

As the trial draws to a close on May 5, most of the food van operators agreed that the initiative had potential but noticed significant teething issues.

At least three of the 10 vendors who were given permits to trade during the trial withdrew before it started.

Mayor John Carey said he accepted there had been criticism over the trial but was not embarrassed that the council tried something new.

COMIDA Rica food van operator Rey Herrera and Uncle Chops Smokehouse operator Fabio Rucci have both praised the City of Vincent�s efforts to implement a food van trial.

�At least they are trying to do something new � it�s a good idea to liven these places up,� Mr Herrera said.

�I�ve only been operating since October, so I�m relatively new.

�A lot of takeaway food is rubbish, but this is good food, it�s a restaurant on wheels.�

Mr Rucci said he thought the idea of a food van policy was brilliant and expected it to revitalise parks in Perth.

�It�s a good solution to get more people at the parks,� he said. �It�s good food for a reasonable price.�

One of the vendors vendor, who did not want to be named, who withdrew from the trial said saying it was not viable for him to participate because the locations would not have attracted enough customers.

�The initiative is great and Vincent is very forward-thinking, but it was a bit rushed,� he said.

�People in Perth aren�t used to the cold weather, so I don�t think many would have come out when it was raining.�

Mayor John Carey said the council should not be afraid to try new things for fear of being criticised.

�All the vendors want to be in the town centre or at Hyde Park, but they are not going to be in the heart of town centres because that�s not the point of the trial,� Mr Carey said.

�It was optimistic to think the vans would go to the quieter parks, but it�s about trial and error.�

Mr Carey said it was clear from the trial that the food vans should be grouped together