Landing space outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art to sell hot dogs, drinks and other snacks is considered a coup, because of the throngs of visitors to the institution and to Central Park. But Cake & Shake, which won to right to sell there in return for paying over $100,000/year to the Parks Department, is refusing to pay the rent because of license-less vendors who sell there by using the veteran loophole.
A 19th century law permits veterans to sell in areas where others are not allowed to, and apparently other hot dog carts are selling outside the museum, with veterans on hand to get around the rules. Another city-allowed pretzel vendor complained, "We need a lot of help. It’s a big problem," and even the lone veteran approved to sell there, Dan Rossi, who was once arrested for his operation, isn't happy, "They won’t do anything -- the cops, the city," and calls the vets hired by other vendors "rent-a-vets."
Cake & Shake's Derek Hunt said his business is down 40%, "If nothing’s done, I’ll be out of business by the end of October." The Parks Department tells the Post that they are working with the NYPD to determine whether "additional enforcement measures can be taken.”