Food carts to improve local economy?

At the community meeting on September 27, we heard from Todd Rufo, Director, Business Development with San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD). To read a pseudo transcript, go here, page 4. He referenced a document prepared by ICF International Economic and Planning Systems, Seifel Consulting Inc., and Leslie Parks Consulting for OEWD. The report entitled, Sustaining Our Prosperity: The San Francisco Economic Strategy was released on November 1, 2007.

He referenced the report (pages 53, 93 and 103 specifically) that one of San Francisco best economies is it’s “experience sector”.

The broad Experience sector includes companies in the hospitality, specialty retail, arts, culture, and recreation industries. San Francisco excels at exporting the ‘experience’ of the City to both tourists and locals alike and therefore this sector encompasses much more than what can traditionally be considered the tourist industry. Trends in the experience sector indicate that, as a sector, its growth has been one of the strongest in the City over the past decade (page 53).

Upgrading the experience sector means raising the average revenue San Francisco earns per visitor-day, by continuing to improve the quality and value of the experience the City provides to visitors, be they business, leisure, or convention travelers.

His point? Food carts in Dolores Park will bring in more visitors, will get them to spend more money in the park and at local businesses and will create more jobs for San Franciscans.

If you have questions, feel free to call at (415) 554-5694 or email him at: todd (dot) rufo (at) sfgov (dot) org.

My personal opinion: I don’t think that having food vendors in the park is going to draw more people. I could be wrong. The research says that I am.  What do you think?