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Old 09-03-2014, 06:40 PM
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Richard D President Richard D President is offline
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Default Suresh got screwed

Toronto event planner still paying $36,000 for last summer’s failed food trucks

By Staff Torstar News Service
Suresh Doss, of Spotlight Toronto, has found himself on the hook with the city for $36,000 since the food trucks in parks program proved a bust.

Picture it: it’s a warm summer afternoon as a fleet of food trucks sets up camp in a Toronto park, hawking boxes of fresh tacos or warm, flaky churros. Park-goers pig out, the food trucks make money. Everyone’s happy.
That was the hope behind city council’s pilot project last summer, which opened the door for 24 food trucks to serve in five Toronto parks starting in August.
It didn’t work. A lack of customers, tepid enthusiasm from vendors and complaints about noise and fumes quickly spelled the program’s demise. The project was a bust by September.

One year later, an event planner and freelance food writer who stickhandled the park plan is stuck with an outstanding $36,000 bill to the city after more than 10 trucks didn’t pay their share of the two-month rental deal.
Some refused to pay for the failed event, others said they were never under contract, and many blame city council for picking quieter parks for the experiment.
The brouhaha sheds light on a culture of infighting and disorganization within Toronto’s fledgling food truck scene, which has yet to hit its stride despite a loosening of mobile vending bylaws earlier this spring.
“It’s more stressful than it is fun,” said Suresh Doss, who has run food truck programming through the Ontario Food Truck Association since 2011.
In July of 2013, Doss sat on a city food-truck working committee when the idea of the parks trial was tabled. The plan was seen as a way for food trucks to test drive services while cutting through municipal bylaws, which didn’t allow trucks to vend on streets or in parking lots until a council vote the following spring.
Rather than sign multiple contracts with dozens of trucks, the city signed a deal solely with Doss’ company, Spotlight Toronto, an online culture website. He intended to collect the payment from each truck by the fall.
Doss said he was only given a brief window in late July to organize the trial and get trucks on board. He held a meeting with vendors beforehand, but it wasn’t enough time to get contracts signed from each truck.
“This is where you could say I dropped the ball,” he said. “I spoke to my lawyer about this and he said, ‘You’re taking a chance on this by not having them sign.’ I said these guys are good for this and I’ve got to champion for this because I started this f—ing thing.”
Only a handful have paid him since the 2013 event, including Gorilla Cheese, Localista and Buster’s Sea Cove. With that money (and about $3,000 of his own) he has paid off $14,000 of the rental debt, according to the parks and recreation division.
“There are trucks that paid me that did maybe only three services, but they understood at that initial meeting that regardless of the number of services, I need this evenly divided,” Doss said.
The Caplansky’s Deli food truck, which goes by the name Thunderin’ Thelma, participated in the park trial for “two or three days” and did not pay for the space, according to owner Zane Caplansky.
“I think he has too much sense to ask me for money. What am I paying for? I didn’t use the project the same way other people were asked to,” Caplansky said, adding there would be a backlash “if he asked money for what we were offered.”
City parks are not the ideal place for food trucks, according to Caplansky.
“People who go in parks are unemployed people, people walking their dogs or people looking to score sex or drugs — not people looking for food,” he said.
The Rome’N Chariot, which serves Italian comfort food such as lasagna and veal-on-a-bun, has paid Doss $800 after participating in three services. They were “all horrible,” according to the company’s president Johnny Verdile.
“I feared for mine and my staff’s safety. We were yelled at and constantly approached by drug addicts and very intoxicated people,” he said.
“We don’t blame Suresh at all. He was just trying to organize something to better the food truck movement in a positive direction, in hopes of possible curbside service in the future,” he said.
After a city lawyer approached Doss, he emailed a parks and recreation representative in March to explain his trouble getting the money paid back. He wrote that “it was quite a hectic process, and I was vocal about the initial frustrations with the trucks.”
The city isn’t letting Doss off the hook.
“At this point, no, there has been no type of licence fee forgiveness,” said Ryan Glenn, manager of business services for parks and recreation. He added that the deal “was signed in good faith between two willing parties, and we expect our tenancy would honour the agreement.”
It’s not the first time Doss has had issues with vendors. He started a “one-strike policy” after trucks stopped showing up at events, a penalty that would bar them from future opportunities.
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Old 09-17-2014, 03:48 AM
fumjunk1 fumjunk1 is offline
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Being screwed is not fun; I remember this one time some gypsy guy offered to exchange US dollars for me. The rate at the bank of FX office at the time was 1 to 1 but he offered to give me $5 US for every Canadian dollar. I mean why would I go to the exchange office if this guy is gonna give me for money. Anyway I traded $10,000 CAD and was so happy I got $40,000 USD. I went to buy myself a brand new car thinking I'm gonna pick up chicks with it but when I went to pay I realized that there was a hundered dollar bill on top and the ones on the bottom were just blank pieces of paper. The car guy called the cops saying I'm dealing with counterfeits but then I said that wasn't true. It was uncomfortable but I got out of it; the police officer yelled at me and the car guy gave me few kicks in the car but I avoided jail. In any case I had to spent the night on the street because I was broke but afterwards I made it through by sleeping with old grannies. It seemed disgusting at first but once you've had half a litre of whisky you can't tell the difference or even if you got it up :-).
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Old 09-28-2014, 07:03 PM
Timber Timber is offline
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I feel sorry for suresh.....
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Old 04-16-2015, 07:19 AM
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EuroPrincess EuroPrincess is offline
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Wow! I knew he was doing something with food trucks but didn't realize this had happened. That's a shame. Celebration Square in Mississauga held a food truck fest and it was a huge success.
You don't marry someone you can live with, you marry the one person you can't live without!
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