Oh yes indeed, I asked for hot dog controversy, and WaPo has tracked it down for me. The guys who sell the junk food to the street vendors are outraged- appalled, even!- that the city might grant some vendor licenses to people who wouldn’t buy their Utz potato chips and crappy hot dogs.
It’s not that I don’t admire the owners of WG Food Distributors- they have the most American of stories: immigrant brothers who started out with an ice cream cart and built their business into one of the biggest vendor cart food distributors in the area. I congratulate them on their success, even.
So it’s with that in mind that I wonder why the Gulajan brothers don’t just view the SmartKafe/SmartKart competition as an opportunity to innovate and raise their game a little bit. Surely Gabe Klein and his partners aren’t the only people capable of bringing something other than hot dogs to the streets of DC. Capitalist pig that I am, I find few things more frustrating than when otherwise successful businesses rely on government regulation to protect their cash cows rather than innovating to accommodate a changing market.
So bring on the chicken shwarma, On the Fly. I’ll be checking out your Farragut North SmartKafe today. If anyone is convenient to their other locations and wants to check them out, please add your comments.
This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs