SCED speaks on Food Truck Pilot Scheme
Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, at a media session after visiting a food truck at Hong Kong Disneyland today (April 20):
Reporter: What are your considerations during the review (of the Food Truck Pilot Scheme)?
Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development: We want to make it work. We want to listen to the views of the operators, and see how we could make this Food Truck Pilot Scheme more attractive both from the tourism point of view as well as from the operators' point of view. But I think, for two months (since the food trucks started operating), we have seen a pattern. For example, some of these venues, in certain time periods, have very little business. So we want to enrich the programme. We therefore have enhanced it by giving them (the operators) more choices. Of course, they can make the choice of whether they want to stay at the venue or to try something new. Different venues, depending on the sale strategies, have different results. We have seen that some of the operators use social media, for example, and it's very, very effective. Some have marketing gimmicks which actually work quite well for them. The whole thing is exciting in terms of being creative, being attentive to the needs of different venues and operating them in different styles.
Reporter: What happened to the four food trucks that haven't been launched? When will we see the four food trucks? I know there is one that already quit. Do you have concerns about the remaining food trucks?
Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development: I don't have concern for that, about not being able to have a successful scheme, because you can see that the people of Hong Kong really do enjoy this scheme. The operators enjoy quite a bit of success. I have given the figures earlier. Actually if operated optimally, it could be a very profitable venture. It's quite attractive. We have four remaining food trucks (yet to start business). Today marked the 12th. One (of the remaining food trucks) will operate at the beginning of May. Two more are in the process of getting a licence. And for the 16th applicant, we are now going back on the (waiting) list that we had at the Cook-off Challenge and are following the procedures to have that applicant going through the process.
Reporter: Do you have plans to further expand the scheme? Now there are 16 food trucks. Is there a second round of applicants coming?
Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development: Actually we are quite fascinated by the overwhelming responses. So far, this scheme has only run for over two months and the public are already quite excited about this. You can see the improvement measures that we have introduced today which, in my view, are quite fast in terms of responding to the needs (of the operators), and this is something that we will continue to do. We will listen to the views of the operators. We will observe and find available, alternative sites. We want to enrich this pilot scheme. It is a pilot scheme, we need to realise that. Precisely, we have never had anything like this. We need to try it out first and now these measures, and whether we will have a more permanent scheme in the future. I hope so. And I think, by running all these, we will learn so much from the operation, and the eventual scheme that will be introduced will be something that will be good for all.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Thursday, April 20, 2017