It’s disappointing to see legislation slow down such a thriving industry in New York City. Shame on the politicians that have actually made opening a restaurant an easier choice for those in the food service industry.
NEW YORK, NY – Anyone who has walked around the city during lunchtime has witnessed the food truck boom firsthand. The culinary vehicles are practically everywhere, from downtown Brooklyn to midtown Manhattan and beyond.
Over the last five years, 110 new food trucks have popped up in NYC, according to Ross Resnick, the creator of Roaming Hunger, a site that tracks the meals-on-wheels across the nation. The city trucks specialize in everything from cheesesteaks to gourmet seafood.
The boom, however, has created a shortage of street food permits and resulted in a black market where the $200 licenses sell for as high as $20,000. “There are a lot of issues and the city isn’t being as active with our vendors,” said Stephanie Barreto, community organizer for the nonprofit Street Vendor Project. “The permits that the city gives, there is a small number and it hasn’t changed in the last 30 years.”
The city code for street food vendors allows for only 3,000 two-year permits, 1,000 seasonal permits and 1,000 green carts available for distribution via a lottery, according to the health department. Of those permits, 500 are issued to food trucks, they said.
While the city couldn’t provide the number of applicants that have sought those 500 permits, experts say the demand is fierce despite all the challenges that come with operating a truck. Barreto said that some potential vendors that she works with have abandoned their food truck plans due to the intense competition and steep cost of the black market permits.
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