Read the story here. Advertise at Before It's News here.
Profile image
By Reason Magazine (Reporter)
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views
Last hour:
Last 24 hours:

Food Trucks Still Being Squeezed Out by Local Governments

% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

Last week, Detroit’s city council introduced new rules that will allow food trucks to operate in more parts of the city beginning next spring.

“From an equity standpoint and from a food access standpoint, we believe food trucks should be able to operate in public spaces across the city,” city councilor Raquel Castañeda-Lopez, who introduced the measure, told the Detroit Free Press. I agree.

Some advocates for downtown Detroit appear quite vaguely pleased.

“Not being against an ordinance but important to have the clarity to what can and cannot take place in the city street but supporting fairness and harmony,” Eric Larson, CEO of the Downtown Detroit Partnership, told the Detroit Free Press. “We have to continue to find ways to support all of the small businesses equitably.”

While words such as “fairness and harmony” and “equitably” make for a nice word salad, they mask the true, protectionist spirit underlying the new ordinance.

“Food trucks must be 200 feet away from existing restaurants and 300 feet from entertainment and sports arena areas,” the Freep report indicates, also noting that food trucks may no longer operate after 11 p.m. That’s progress?

Maybe to Larson, whose nebulous, we kinda sorta like it remarks aren’t a huge surprise, given that Downtown Detroit Partnership’s member list includes a host of giant companies and traditional food-truck opponents—including brick-and-mortar restaurateurs and the realty groups that rent space to them.

Indeed, in discussions of expanding food truck access to other parts of Detroit—or any city or town in America—the devil’s in the details.

Just a couple days after the city council vote, American Coney Island, a brick-and-mortar hot dog joint in Detroit that’s operated since 1917, tweeted out its displeasure at having to compete, for the time being, with a “fleet of unexpected food trucks parked along our street.” Owner Grace Keros, Deadline Detroit reported, “was particularly concerned about the trucks that sell hot dogs. She said her neighbor Lafayette Coney Island was also upset.” Lafayette Coney Island and American Coney Island, brick-and-mortar neighbors for more than 100 years, each sell hot dogs. (Read that sentence again.)

A host of withering comments greeted American Coney’s tweet, noting the hot dog restaurant doesn’t own the street, and that competition and “CHOICE” are, you know, good things.

Those commenters get it. Radius restrictions have always been about illegally protecting brick-and-mortar restaurants from competition. Nothing else.

Detroit’s hardly alone. City councilors in Beatrice, Neb., south of Lincoln, are mulling how to regulate food trucks that operate in the city. Though at least one councilor lauded food trucks as “a bright spot in the community,” the Lincoln Journal Star reported this week, the council appears set on making sure those bright spots don’t park anywhere near a brick-and-mortar restaurant in the city.

“The ordinance would prevent mobile food vending within 50 feet of a food establishment, though Councilor Rick Clabaugh recommended changing that to 100 feet,” the Journal Star report noted.

50 feet isn’t enough? Why not 100 feet? Why not 300 feet? Or a mile? Or in some other city?

Nearly a year ago, I discussed the case of a brick-and-mortar restaurant owner who wanted her town, Seymour, Ind., to restrict food trucks because, she said, her restaurant “can’t compete with Chick-fil-A,” the national restaurant chain, which occasionally parked a food truck in town.

“What is the point of having them in downtown Seymour when we have restaurants here that are trying to grow and strive to make downtown better?” Brewskies owner Lori Keithley asked at the time.

“The point?” I wondered? “Well, it’s competition and choice. But some who can’t or won’t compete throw up their hands and ask the government to limit choice by stifling competition. That’s protectionism.”

“We’d love food trucks,” critics seem to be saying, “if they’d just park away far, far away from any potential customers.”

While the pandemic has decimated the restaurant industry, I noted last year, “rather than making life easier for brick-and-mortar restaurants—say, by lifting barriers to entry or by making it easier and less costly for restaurants to operate—many cities and towns have decided instead to make life harder for food trucks.”

Food trucks are a welcome addition to any city or neighborhood. They’re also—as recent examples in Bridgeport, Dearborn, and Centerville (outside Dayton) remind us—a great way for entrepreneurs to test out concepts that can grow into one or more brick-and-mortar restaurants. While consumers would be foolish to leave food trucks alone—so many of them serve really great food—lawmakers and regulators should just leave them be.

The post Food Trucks Still Being Squeezed Out by Local Governments appeared first on


Before It’s News® is a community of individuals who report on what’s going on around them, from all around the world.

Anyone can join.
Anyone can contribute.
Anyone can become informed about their world.

"United We Stand" Click Here To Create Your Personal Citizen Journalist Account Today, Be Sure To Invite Your Friends.

Please Help Support BeforeitsNews by trying our Natural Health Products below!

Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 866-388-7003 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 866-388-7003 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Humic & Fulvic Trace Minerals Complex - Nature's most important supplement! Vivid Dreams again!

HNEX HydroNano EXtracellular Water - Improve immune system health and reduce inflammation.

Ultimate Clinical Potency Curcumin - Natural pain relief, reduce inflammation and so much more.

MitoCopper - Bioavailable Copper destroys pathogens and gives you more energy. (See Blood Video)

Oxy Powder - Natural Colon Cleanser!  Cleans out toxic buildup with oxygen!

Nascent Iodine - Promotes detoxification, mental focus and thyroid health.

Smart Meter Cover -  Reduces Smart Meter radiation by 96%! (See Video).

Report abuse


    Your Comments
    Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

    Load more ...




    Email this story
    Email this story

    If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

    If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.