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Dealing With Digital Disruption - When it Works

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The Food Truck War came to Jacksonville last summer. It was an event similar to a battle of the bands. Competition between trucks gathered together at the landing and extending to Hogan street. Less than a month after downtown advocates Mike Field and Jack Shad launched The Court Urban Food Park on Hogan St Jacksonville, the bold city now has an actual food truck war. Not much more than grumbling, for now.

The central question comes down to competition. How do you define fair? The answer depends on which stakeholder you ask. Established restaurant owners let their concerns be known in a recent Jacksonville Business Journal article, Hogan food truck court final straw for restaurant owners struggling to Downtown. Downtown office workers cast their vote in person, by packing Hogan Street for lunch on weekdays.  

Innovation Meets Legislation

The court, or "Pod" as the food truck community refers to a scheduled location for a caravan, is a new addition to downtown Jacksonville other that during special events. This conflict is not specific to Jacksonville. Throughout the country, calls for more or tougher rules for food trucks has often been the first response. The tactic doesn't work. Other cities have discovered that walls built of rules rarely drive food trucks away.

For a quarter century, I've worked with successful established businesses here in Jacksonville who wanted to leverage the power of technology. Our work started not with software or systems, but with a change of mindset. Unless and until all the stakeholders gather together, downtown Jacksonville will have to wait for innovation. Perhaps if we invited everyone to lunch?

 

 

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