If you own and operate a food truck, you’re probably aware of the many obstacles facing trucks in the industry. But what happens when the hurdles you’re facing are being created by your own city? As food trucks gain popularity, cities are struggling to figure out how to fit them within existing business regulations. Food trucks from Las Vegas to Boston have faced a number of problems from their local governments such as time limits on parking, how close they can park to other food businesses, and even whether they can park on public property.
If you’re a food truck facing tough laws that are hurting your business, take it upon yourself to get involved in local politics. You can help bring about the change you wish to see simply by meeting with and educating decision makers. The key to these interactions is friendliness, positivity, and a well-prepared vision statement of how great food trucks can be for your community.
At Food On A Truck, we know how valuable your time is and how time-consuming it can be to fight for your business’s rights in public forums. We wanted to lend a hand, so we wrote this open letter that details why your business is a benefit to the local economy. You can share the letter with your information added on your social media, distribute to your loyal customers, and send en masse to your local representatives. Please feel free to share with other food trucks and let us know how it worked for you @FoodOnATruck.
Dear [Your City’s or Local Representative’s Name Here]
We know that when anything new is introduced into the city it can take some time to work out the new rules and regulations. However, in light of [describe the troublesome rules/regulations your city is planning to implement in relation to food trucks], we at [Your Business Name] were hoping you would take some time to consider how beneficial a rise in food trucks can be for [City Name].
Food trucks are in demand. People want quality food that’s also convenient. The food truck market has quadrupled in the past five years and there are expected projections that it will bring in nearly $3 billion in 2017. Our city can reap the benefits of this booming new economy.
Food trucks are as safe as restaurants – and can actually be safer. In cities where the safety standards for food trucks are the same as restaurants, food trucks tended to outperform restaurants in safety inspections. It makes sense: we have one small kitchen we take with us everywhere we go!
Food trucks are a financially accessible way for local entrepreneurs to start food businesses. Starting a restaurant business is expensive. A food truck can be a way for young people and those who want to avoid taking out large loans to harness their entrepreneurial spirit and participate in our local economy.
Food trucks can help bring a wide range of food options to areas that may lack access to food variety or healthy foods. Whether arriving in a downtown business district or a neighborhood in which fast food is the only option, food trucks have the ability to close these gaps.
Food trucks can help revitalize a space. By bringing hungry locals into the streets, you will see a renewed interest in and care for public spaces. For example, the Midway Food Park in Austin Texas has become a community hot spot once local folks began to see the virtue of a shared, public communal space.
Food trucks can help other local business. It’s not uncommon for food trucks to team up with other local businesses. Food trucks have partnered with local bakeries to have freshly baked bread and pastries. They have developed relationships with breweries to provide food outside of tasting rooms. Food trucks bring people out into streets they may not normally spend time in – and once people are out, they tend to step into other local businesses.
Successful local food trucks mean more money injected back into the local economy. It’s no secret that when folks have more money, they spend more money. By not inhibiting food trucks, you are helping to reinforce our city’s economic foundation.
We hope you will keep these points in mind as you make decisions regarding food trucks in the future.