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Long Beach to consider more rules for food truck owners after restaurants complain

Long Beach restaurants complain about food trucks taking away customers
Long Beach restaurants complain about food trucks taking away customers 03:00

The grill is always hot inside the Hibachi Queens food truck.

"We're stationed out here seven days a week, " said co-owner Lupe Godinez.

Since January, the Hibachi Queens truck has seen its business grow after setting up outside The Pike Outlets, a popular spot for many food trucks in Long Beach. 

"We've already gotten such a following," said Godinez. "Even from people from right behind us living at these apartments. They order, weekly, from us."

However, the Hibachi Queens and other food trucks could be forced to leave their coveted spot after some restaurant owners from across the street complained about the mobile eateries.

"They say that we're taking away their business," said food truck owner Jorge Mercado. 

Mercado has parked his food truck and served customers outside The Pike for four years. 

"It doesn't make any sense because even on the busiest days they still have lines of people," he said. "People come over and say 'We have to wait two hours.'"

In 2020, the City Council voted to study whether or not it could place more rules on food trucks after receiving several complaints from brick-and-mortar stores. On Tuesday, they will discuss their findings which include setting limits on where the trucks can operate and requiring food truck operators to get a permit from the city's health department. Right now, trucks only need a permit from Los Angeles County. The city will vote to approve any potential restrictions at a later date.

"I think it's dumb," said one customer. "I mean you're both getting people. I don't understand how any of that matters."

"Everyone has different choices. They like different stuff," said another customer. "I meant they're not really taking away any customers."

The food trucks aren't going down without a fight either with an online petition hoping to keep them running in Long Beach reaching 2,000 signatures. 

"If the citizens of Long Beach didn't want us here, they wouldn't be coming here every day," said Godinez.

CBSLA contacted one of the restaurants that has been vocal about the issues it has with the food trucks, however, did not receive a response as of Monday night.

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