Famine to feast for Hong Kong food truck organisers, as they cash in at Dragon Boat Festival Carnival

Struggling industry may have finally caught a second wind as stalls come together for the first time

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 03 June, 2017, 5:34pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 03 June, 2017, 10:22pm

The struggling Hong Kong food truck industry may have finally found a winning recipe with operators saying they are doing brisk business at this weekend’s Dragon Boat Festival Carnival in Central.

For the first time since the restaurants on wheels rolled out on the city’s streets in February, all 14 remaining food trucks were grouped together for this weekend’s dragon boat races along the Central harbourfront.

The Post observed that nearly every food truck had a steady stream of customers.

Taste test reveals truth about Hong Kong’s food trucks: snacks that are bland, overpriced and hard to eat

“It’s [been] very busy ... I’m looking forward to seeing if I can break a record,” burger and snack truck Beef and Liberty operator Sandy Mak said.

Mak said being at a popular event like the dragon boat race gave her business more exposure, since crowds would gather from all over.

“This is a very good way for people from Kowloon and the New Territories to experience our food,” she said. Her main business is on Hong Kong Island.

Hungry for success, Hong Kong’s food trucks hit the road

Crunch Munch, a food truck serving up fusion fare, was also seeing a steady flow of customers.

“Business has been the best we’ve ever had,” owner Adrian Cheung said.

It’s great having a big event to promote our products
Adrian Cheung, owner of Crunch Munch

“Out of all the spots this has been the best. It’s great having a big event to promote our products.”

Crunch Munch has only been operating for a few months and business has been lacklustre in other locations, according to Cheung.

But he has not been to the coveted Disneyland location yet and is looking forward to going there “in a few weeks”. The food trucks operate on a rotational basis.

The latest success experienced by operators could give the government a much needed public relations boost as the scheme has been facing a tough time since its debut. After a second food truck operator dropped out on Monday, critics said the nascent industry was headed for failure.

Since launching in February, the two-year pilot scheme has also been hit with complaints.

Some operators claimed it was difficult to attract customers at certain locations. Under the scheme, each truck is required to operate at one of eight designated locations for two weeks before rotating to another location.

But Mak dismissed the concerns because those who exited the food truck business “had their own reasons” to do so.

“I think for the next meeting [with the government], everybody will have the same comment: please have us at more events,” Mak said.

“Having us at bigger events is the main thing,” Cheung agreed.

A French tourist, who gave his name as Poriel, had his first Hong Kong food truck meal at the event. He said food trucks were a common sight in France, but success came down to the food itself.

“The fact that they can make good food in a truck, we like this – to combine these is familiar for us,” he added.

Hong Kong resident Natalie Fang was less enthusiastic, saying that the food was “alright” and “a little expensive”.

Fang said that since there were few options available near the dragon boat event, she needed something “to stop her hunger”.