Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

OPINION: Stick it to the man, stick to the little guy: Why La Lola Loca is disappointing

In Monday’s issue of The Crimson White, Bama Dining advertised a new food truck, called La Lola Loca, on the Quad in front of Graves Hall. Out of curiosity, I decided to give it a try.

I had a Loca Taco, which I thought was very good. Especially since it was something new and different than my standard Subway. They can definitely expect my return business.

La Lola Loca is a franchise-style food truck with locations on seven college campuses including the University of Florida, the University of Tennessee and Baylor University. The truck is owned and run by Bama Dining.

It surprised me, however, that the truck was playing music and used a relatively loud generator and air conditioner. This comes as a surprise only because a locally owned food truck was booted from the same spot last April. The truck, Brothers Street Eats, was founded and run by two recent UA graduates. The reason for the boot? Their generator was too loud.

According to an April 17 article of the CW, at least two professors in Graves Hall complained about the noise from the truck. Others said they did not hear a thing.

Bama Dining and UA Auxiliary Services did what they could to fix the problem but could not find a way to make the cost sensible.

According to an Aug. 21 Wall Street Journal article, the loss of revenue caused by the boot forced Brothers Street Eats to shut down.

The same article quotes Virginia Johnson, the University’s associate vice president for auxiliary services, saying, “Having a truck of our own gives us the flexibility to respond directly to our students, rather than working with off-campus vendors to address student requests.”

I know Bama Dining does surveys to generate an idea of student needs, but I personally have never even filled one out. I’d feel much more comfortable going up to two students like myself and sharing my comments. I know that my comments to them actually mean something because they truly care about the welfare of their business. I don’t feel this same connection with four minimum wage employees or their bosses in Rose.

I know many people, especially some of my co-workers, were upset to see Brothers Street Eats leave campus. I was upset to learn that the leave forced the local company to shut its doors, only to be replaced with a chain food truck company.

I understand the need to have University functions centrally managed. I also understand that having an outside company operate within the University limits creates roadblocks, but this university has a duty to its local citizens. Why outsource when there is a perfectly good substitute here locally?

Brothers Street Eats was a solid company with good food that many students enjoyed. The company had a positive impact on the University and its image. Here in the CW newsroom, bringing on Brothers Street Eats even gave us hope. It showed us that this University wasn’t all about money and that they could stick up for the little guy. Brothers Street Eats was more than just a good place to eat; it proved that this university cared more about the welfare of the city and wants and needs of its students than the money it produced.

But unfortunately, all of this went to waste with La Lola Loca.

Mackenzie Brown is the Visuals Editor of The Crimson White.


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