There's no love lost between the Staff Meal food truck and Phantom Gourmet, the former having taken the lead on trying to promote the local food truck industry and the latter becoming increasingly more vocal about trying to smother it, a move many see as an overt attempt by Phantom Gourmet to protect their restaurant advertising partners.
One problem with food trucks, according to an editorial written by the Phantom Gourmet's Dave Andelman for the Somerville Patch, is that they have it easy: low overhead, less rent, less employees. Andelman claims that this is unfair to restaurants who have signed multi-year leases not realizing that mini restaurants on wheels would swoop right in and steal their customers, leaving the brick-and-mortar restaurants unable to compete due to much higher overhead.
The two entities have a bit of a history of taking jabs at each other via Twitter. After Staff Meal's engine broke down yesterday, the truck tweeted a photo to the Phantom with the message, "Food trucks have it super easy, huh @phantomgourmet?"
Back in August, Staff Meal mentioned that it had banned the Andelman brothers, ostensibly due to their uncompromising anti-truck stance, but it turns out the ban had actually been in place much earlier due to that time the brothers acted like total jerks about not getting special treatment in a restaurant.
Meanwhile, the controversy over trucks continues. The Chowhound forum has a thorough discussion on the topic, where local critic MC Slim JB and others have been weighing in.
· @StaffMealTruck [Twitter]
· Opinion: Phantom Gourmet CEO on food trucks [Somerville Patch]
· Channel 5 News: Dave Andelman complains about food trucks [CH]
· All coverage of Staff Meal on Eater [~EBOS~]
· All coverage of Phantom Gourmet on Eater [~EBOS~]