lloyd Owners Address Recent Criticism
As restauranteurs, they serve everyone and support all communities
BUFFALO, NY Oct. 28, 2019 – lloyd is a 10-year-old restaurant company that by its nature caters to all people and should not be defined by political extremists trying to blame a business for the nation’s divisions, the co-founders and owners said today.
Owners Pete Cimino and Chris Dorsaneo put Buffalo’s first food truck on the city’s streets in July 2010 and the company now employs 135 people working on four trucks, in two restaurants and a catering division.
Last week, the company ran into controversy and criticism for selling lunch from one of its trucks at the federal immigration detention facility in Batavia.
“We are two guys who had a business idea that developed into a dream. Soon we’ll add a third restaurant, in the Elmwood Village as our dream grows,” Cimino said. “But that’s what we are on the outside. We want you to know who we are as people.
“Because in the last few days a lot of people tried to tell us who we are. And we’re here to tell you that’s not us. We bring people together. We provide good, healthy food so people can break bread, have a drink and do what people have done across tables for thousands of years – come together,” he added.
He admitted that Lloyd received more than 4,000 negative social media posts criticizing the lunch visit. And, the owners apologized at a news conference today for the statement issued Thursday in response to that social media storm.
“Chris and I want to fully and sincerely apologize for our past statement after our truck’s visit to the federal detention facility in Batavia last week. Our statement was hastily made, and we reacted too quickly to criticism we received for that visit,” Cimino said.
“We make tacos, not war,” he said. “We serve all communities. We go to all neighborhoods. We are not political. Why would we be? How can any business choose sides in our politically divided country and ever succeed?”
Cimino and Dorsaneo said their company has always been community minded, donating time, food and money to non-profits across the region. The company since its founding also discounted its food 50 percent to all uniformed first responders and military personnel.
“We live in divisive times,” Cimino. “People get emotional and feel strongly about issues like immigration policy. And social media magnifies those emotions. But we make lunch and dinner, not policy. We support all our communities.”
“We want to emphasize that we don’t take sides. That’s what people did in social and traditional media the last few days – and we respect their right to express their opinions. That’s something that makes this great country great,” he continued. “Again, our business is about sharing, about looking across a table at a friend or colleague and discussing life’s issues. We provide the method and the place for respectful discussion.”
He added that sales remained steady, but the company did receive three cancellations over the weekend from regular truck-visit customers.
“But here’s where we are now. Our trucks are going out for lunch today. Our restaurants will serve lunch and dinner today, and every day. Because that’s what we do, that’s who we are, that’s what we’ll always be,” Cimino concluded. “And at those trucks, and in those restaurants, we’d really like to see people come together. Break bread with friends. Come to loyd as a safe, fun place to enjoy a meal and share life.”
MORE ABOUT LLOYD
lloyd taco truck: a business whose mission is to serve affordable yet tasty food to the people of Buffalo.
Its business forms new Buffalo jobs (something desperately needed) and provides a convenient option for the people of WNY. Sounds good, right? Yet, the Buffalo Food Truck debate lives on. Every major city in the US (and a lot of smaller cities) has a fleet of food trucks bringing variety to their culinary offerings. Food Network and Cooking Channel feature mobile vendors on “The Great Food Truck Race” and “Eat Street.”