KPC friend Sara Burrows has a nice piece on the increasing official harrassment of street vendors in Raleigh.
Brick and mortar restaurants are thinking about this wrong, because they can. They are like the idiot record companies, who assume that all music downloaded at a zero price would have been purchased at full price (price elasticity = 0, in other words).
I'm sure street vendor food is SOME kind of substitute for restaurant food, but not dollar for dollar, and not meal for meal. When my friend Jay Hamilton sneaks a Pauly Dog, he is not doing it INSTEAD of a restaurant meal. He is having a hot dog on the run.*
More on street vendor harrassment below. Remember, the state is simply acting here as the enforcement arm of anti-competitive business interests. The interests of consumers count bupkis, bagel, nada.
Raleigh is actually far behind Durham in this respect, which is remarkable. But then the New York Times did recently list Durham as one of the top unexpectedly cool places to eat and to visit (check #35...). Raleigh, listen up! Good restaurants and good food trucks are NOT substitutes, but rather are complements....If you want to be the sort of place where people go to eat, you need more stuff to eat. Stop protecting all those suckwad Applebees and Bob Evans in Raleigh from Tony's Tacos!
(*Jay is running, not the hot dog).