With the almost overnight growth of mobile restaurants it may seem as if this new and innovative idea was established in the 21st century however; food trucks have been shaping the American food service industry since the 1600’s.
- In 2008 Ray Chai opened the first Kogi truck considered one of the first “gourmet” food trucks.
- In 2010 The Food Network premiered The Great Food Truck Race, which could be considered the spark of the food truck industry fire.
- San Francisco, California filed a lawsuit against several popular local food trucks claiming they were unfair competition.
- Chicago, Illinois and St. Louis, Missouri recently passed an ordinance preventing food trucks from serving food within 200 feet of brick and mortar restaurants.
- Las Vegas, Nevada prevents food trucks from serving food within 1320 feet of brick and mortar restaurants.
- Boston, Massachusetts has a limited number of spots food trucks are permitted to operate in, as well as a requirement that food truck operators must obtain no less than four different permits to open a food truck.
- In Evanston, Illinois only local restaurants are permitted to operate food trucks.
- In Baltimore, Maryland food trucks are prohibited from operating downtown or near any stadiums.
In addition to these outrageous laws; individual state restaurant associations are pursuing a limited time restriction for food trucks. They hope to dictate when and for how long food trucks are able to service food in a specific location. Some brick and mortar restaurants have even decided to fight fire with fire. Establishments such as Chick-fil-a, On the Border, Rita’s and even Olive Garden have decided to jump on the food truck trend by opening their own branded food trucks. Regardless of their attempt to snuff out the competition, the truth is that restaurant owners are scared of the unpredictable future they are facing with this level of competition and will continue to resist the change.
What it comes down to is American’s like the convenience, originality and over all concepts of food trucks. The change has already started; food truck operators have prepared their fleets for the storm and are ready to face the obstacles. American citizens have spoken. Food trucks are here to stay!
Written by: Becky Simmons
Edited by: Carrie Hershey