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Don't reinvent the wheel

Food trucks aren’t a new phenomenon and there’s do doubt a workable solution exists to the questions the Brainerd City Council is currently dealing with as a result of the Prairie Bay’s interest in continuing its food operation in Brainerd.

The council on Jan. 21 established a committee to look at possible regulations that might be drawn up for food trucks. Serving on the committee will be Mayor James Wallin, council members Bonnie Cumberland, Chip Borkenhagen, a representative of Prairie Bay and a representative of the brick and mortar business community in Brainerd.

The food business is a competitive environment and it’s easy to understand the concerns of Brainerd’s tax-paying restaurants when an interloper/rival begins offering its services.

Prairie Bay is a reputable Baxter restaurant that would like to provide a service to customers at varying locations, including sites in the city of Brainerd. Prairie Bay representatives have stated they want to be respectful of Brainerd businesses and tailor their menu to some degree so as not to directly compete with products a given Brainerd restaurant might featureß among its offerings.

The committee would be wise to check with other cities, including Minneapolis and St. Paul, and see how they regulate out of town food trucks which operate within their city limits. There certainly must be some templates for a solution that would allow Prairie Bay to offer its products to Brainerd patrons without adversely affecting established brick and mortar restaurants in Brainerd.

There’s no sense reinventing the wheel, or in this case the Bruschetta Wrap.Mike O’Rourke

Mike O'Rourke
Mike O'Rourke began his career at the Brainerd Dispatch in 1978 as a general assignment reporter. He was named city editor in 1981 and associate editor in 1999. He covers politics and writes features and editorials.
(218) 855-5860