Tags Posts tagged with "Columbus"

Columbus

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columbus food truck

COLUMBUS, OH - After years of discussion, Columbus has new regulations that will allow vendors to sell a taco, pita or other food from a truck parked on a city street.

The city council approved the food-truck legislation unanimously last night, allowing food trucks to park and conduct business on city streets for the first time. Previously, trucks could park and sell their food only on private property.

About a month ago, food-truck owners were decrying an earlier version of the rules. Now, they’re commending the city.

“They did, for the most part, what we wanted to see, and, overall, they listened to us,” said Brian Reed, president of the Central Ohio Food Truck Association and owner of the Mojo Tago truck.

Find the entire article at dispatch.com <here>

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In our quest to keep our readers up to date with the latest stories relating to the food truck industry we have compiled a list of the stories that hit the wire this past weekend from Orange County, Columbus, North Andover and Rochester.

Off the Wire Food Truck NewsFebruary 28

O.C. food trucks driven to push past the trend – ORANGE COUNTY,CA - Four years ago, the Orange County food truck scene exploded. As the novelty wears off, the mobile eateries are fighting to remain profitable and relevant.

Find the entire article <here>

March 1

Food Trucks May Soon Be Serving On Columbus Streets Again – COLUMBUS, OH - The Central Ohio Food Truck Association says there have been breakthroughs over the past 48 hours for the booming food truck industry.

Find the entire article <here>

Food truck rules debated by Selectmen – NORTH ANDOVER, MA – New proposed bylaws for North Andover regulating the operations of mobile food vendors have become a point of contention among business owners, the Board of Selectmen and even the Mobile Food Regulation Committee itself.

Find the entire article <here>

March 2

Food Truck Owners Await New City Legislation – ROCHESTER, NY – The cold has Le Petit Poutine on hiatus.

That’s the Canadian french fry comfort food truck in Rochester.

As the snow melts, food truck owners hope the city will cook up good changes for their businesses.

Find the entire article <here>

 

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columbus food truckCOLUMBUS, OH - With new regulations on the horizon, food-truck operators still are unsure how the rules will impact the bottom line or if some rules will allow them to operate at all.

The city hosted a public meeting Wednesday for feedback on its proposed regulations for mobile food vendors and while broad strokes of the plan met little resistance, including basic licensing, an electronic reservation system and the creation of designated zones on city streets, there was a consensus that more time is needed to spell out several specifics. This was voiced by nearly all speakers, not just food-truck and cart operators, but also restaurant owners and community representatives.

Councilwoman Michelle Mills told the group that the issues have been discussed for two years and the city needs to move forward with the best interests of the city in mind, which includes balancing safety concerns with the desire to support a growing industry. Speaking to Mills after the meeting, she reinforced a planned 90-day window in which she wants legislation passed by Columbus City Council, which a spokesman afterward told me should be enough time to iron out the issues raised.

Several food-truck operators told me they feared the legislation could be introduced as early as next month.

“How do we adapt and adjust?” asked Brian Reed, president of the Central Ohio Food Truck Association and owner-operator of Mojo TaGo.

Find the entire article at bizjournals.com <here>

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columbus ohio skyline

Coming in at number sixteen in our Top US Cities to Open a Food Truck is Columbus, OH.

The taco truck may have been the pioneers in mobile food in Columbus, but they’re far from the full delicious story. Over the past few years, food trucks have been popping up in town, with over 100 currently in operation.

Columbus is the capital of and the largest city in the U.S. state of Ohio. The population of the city was 787,033 at the 2010 census. Although Columbus was the 15th largest city in the United States, its metropolitan area was 28th largest, with 2,308,509 residents. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Columbus Combined Statistical Area (which also includes Marion and Chillicothe) has a population of 2,348,495.

Due to its demographics, which include a mix of races and a wide range of incomes, as well as urban, suburban, and nearby rural areas, Columbus is considered to be a “typical” American city, and has been used as a test market for new products by retail and restaurant chains. The city has a diverse economy based on education, government, insurance, banking, fashion, defense, aviation, food, clothes, logistics, steel, energy, medical research, health care, hospitality, retail, and technology.

The city has recently opened up their laws to better accommodate mobile food vendors and have made changes in the last year that have helped make it easier to operate year round. These changes are due to a strong food truck organization that represents many of the existing vendors. The Central Ohio Food Truck Association has been and will continue to be a strong advocate for the growth of the mobile food industry in Columbus.

Find the city’s documentation for Starting a Food Truck <here>

Find the entire list of Top US cities to Open a Food Truck  <here>

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columbus food truckCOLUMBUS, OH - Owners of Columbus’ most-popular eateries — on wheels and on foundations — have developed a proposal to resolve disputes between food trucks and restaurants.

Members of the Central Ohio Restaurant Association presented a plan to city Councilwoman Michelle M. Mills this month that recommends, among other things, that restaurant and food-truck owners sign good-neighbor agreements to allow businesses to operate with less government control. Members of the Central Ohio Food Truck Association helped create the plan.

The issues boil down to accommodating food trucks that want to sell on public streets in densely populated areas such as the University District, the Short North, the Arena District and Italian Village, where numerous restaurants exist.

Food-truck owners say that regulations the city put forth in June don’t offer enough suitable locations to sell food, while restaurant owners think some food trucks hurt their business.

The new proposal, obtained last week by The Dispatch, was born from meetings among restaurant owners and members of the Central Ohio Food Truck Association.

The owners want the city to referee the good-neighbor agreements. They could include such details as specific times food trucks can park and sell food, how much noise they can make and how they must appear.

Other parts of the proposal:

• Food trucks would be allowed to use two parking meters at once, for up to four hours at a time, and to purchase those spots in three- to six-month blocks. So far, the city has been unwilling to budge on this issue. City code bans vehicles from taking up two meters.

• Food trucks in congested areas such as the Short North, Arena District and Italian Village would be required to enter into good-neighbor agreements with 80 percent of the businesses within a 125-foot radius of where they are selling.

• A food truck with a menu similar to that of a nearby restaurant would be required to get 100 percent agreement from businesses within a 125-foot radius.

• Food trucks would be required to place trash cans within 100 feet of the vehicle and clean up any trash within that radius before leaving.

• Good-neighbor agreements would last for one year, with a five-year renewal option.

Find the entire article by Lucas Sullivancolumbus food truck at Dispatch.com <here>

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white-castle-food truckWhite Castle is getting ready to serve its square-shaped sliders on wheels with the planned launch later this month of two food trucks in Louisville, Ky., and Columbus, Ohio, where the company is based.

The so-called CraveMobiles will be available only for events at first—that includes weddings, in case either Harold or Kumar are planning to tie the knot—while company officials determine exactly where the trucks will be stationed, says Jamie Richardson, a White Castle vice president. Once regular locations are mapped out, the trucks will likely stay open 24 hours, just like almost all of White Castle’s brick-and-mortar stores. Richardson says the food-truck menu, although not yet finalized, will include three variations on the chain’s signature sliders and might see items not available in stores, such as salty caramel fries.

The ability to easily test new products is part of what prompted White Castle to jump on the food-truck trend that has swept through big U.S. cities in recent years. Richardson described the trucks as a “strategic tool to test new items and look at various sites for new restaurants. We can see how welcoming a neighborhood is” before investing in a new location. It’s also a play for millennial customers, who are frequent customers of White Castle, according to Technomic research, and who have increasingly flocked to food trucks.

White Castle, which is privately held, currently has a few more than 400 restaurants in 12 states, mainly in the Midwest, New York, New Jersey, Kentucky, and Tennessee. All locations are company-owned. The chain’s revenue in 2012 was $630 million, of which roughly 15 percent came from its frozen burger line sold in grocery stores, says Richardson.

Other chains have experimented with food trucks as marketing platforms and “rolling test kitchens,” including Wendy’s, Chick-fil-A, Taco Bell, Applebee’s and Sizzler. A National Restaurant Association survey found 6 percent of quick-service restaurants and 4 percent of fast-casual restaurants operated food trucks.

While Richardson does not disclose how much the company has invested in the trucks, he says they have “great potential and are a real worthwhile investment.” White Castle expects the trucks to pay back in less than 18 months. It might depend on how many weddings they book.

Find the original article by Venessa Wong at businessweek.com <here>

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bumpy road

Food truck pilot programs are hitting bumps in the road across the U.S., most recently in the cities of Columbus and Boulder.

Some blame a lack of communication between city officials and stakeholders for causing the programs to stall out; while others say the programs are a good start — but have a long road ahead. Meanwhile, some cities are considering whether to add more regulatory-tape for the mobile kitchens, as brick-and-mortar restaurant owners complain about their upstart competitors.

Columbus Delays Pilot Program
In Columbus, Ohio, the city council has delayed the launch of the food truck pilot program, as food truck owners and city council members continue to discuss rules and regulations for participants.

Brian Reed, the owner of the Mojo TaGo food truck and the president of the Central Ohio Food Truck Association (COFTA), says the pilot originally was set to launch June 1. The program would allow participants to park in 18 metered spaces and an undisclosed number of unmetered spaces in the city.

In addition to possessing the correct licenses and undergoing fire and health inspections, food trucks participating in the Columbus pilot program need to be shorter than 25-feet long to help with line of sight – which many food truck owners say prohibits participation. Reed says 40% of COFTA members own trucks longer than 25 feet.

Rosa Huff, the owner of the Swoop! food truck in Columbus, calls the length restriction “frustrating” and “very restrictive.” Her truck does not qualify for participation in the program. Huff says she feels the recommendations put forward by the COFTA were ignored, but Reed is hopeful ongoing discussions with the city will result in a more inclusive program.

However, only 11 food truck owners showed up two weeks ago for the inspections necessary for participation. Explaining poor attendance, Reed says the city didn’t give food trucks enough notice and didn’t take into consideration their schedule.

“The intentions were good, but timing was an issue … this is our busy time,” says Reed, who notes many food trucks had lucrative catering gigs booked for the Saturday inspection window.

While some estimates by the city place the number of food trucks in Columbus at 150, Reed believes there are only 50 or so mobile food trucks.

“Consumers want us, and that helps us more than anything,” says Tatoheads food truck owner Daniel McCarthy.

Boulder Program Off to a Rocky Start
In Coloroado, communication issues have also affected Boulder’s pilot program, which launched June 1.

The program allows food trucks to set up in specific locations in neighborhood parks. There are also some late-night parking spots for participants in the downtown area, from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday night through the end of September.

But on the day of the program’s launch, no food trucks showed up at the park, says John Michael Sethney, the owner of Verde and Cheese Louise, two food trucks operating in Boulder.

Find the entire article by Gabrielle Karol at FOX News Business <here>

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columbus food truckCOLUMBUS, OH - Because of complaints from food-truck owners about Columbus’ plan to regulate the popular mobile restaurants, public-safety officials are delaying the start of the program and considering more changes.

Truck owners say the 18 to 20 metered parking spots the city planned to make available on a first-come, first-served basis are not enough and would create a hostile environment among owners scrambling for the spots.

The city is trying to balance allowing the trucks in already cramped areas such as the Short North, Arena District and Downtown while maintaining public safety and not hurting surrounding businesses.

A pilot program was to have been in place by June 1, but the latest back and forth with owners has led to at least a two-week delay to develop new ideas.

The popularity of the culinary cruisers has exploded in the past few years, with an estimated 150 or more of the trucks in the city.

City officials say regulating the trucks is necessary because of complaints from residents and business owners who said some trucks were leaving behind trash, creating noise and parking outside brick-and-mortar restaurants. At the same time, food-truck owners have complained that the city’s commercial sales-license policy is too difficult to understand.

Councilwoman Michelle Mills is leading the charge for regulation that appeases food-truck owners but, she said, “My No. 1 priority is public safety and protecting our residents.”

“There has to be some things that we have to say no to,” she said. “We absolutely want to support the food-truck industry, and it is a huge part of our tour-ism industry here, so we have to strike a balance.”

The city’s pilot program includes the following provisions to operate on city-owned property:

• Trucks have to obey time limits at the meters.

• Public spaces must be vacated by 3 a.m. every day.

• Trucks cannot be longer than 25 feet.

• Owners must obtain a temporary sales permit.

Find the entire article by Lucas Sullivan at The Columbus Dispatch <here>

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columbus food truckCOLUMBUS, OH - Columbus has one of the most progressive mobile food truck communities in the country.

On Wednesday, Columbus City Council will hold a public hearing on a seven-month pilot program to address some of the current limitations on food trucks, said City Councilwoman and Public Safety Chair Michelle Mills.

“Columbus has the largest and most progressive food truck community in the nation,” said Jim Ellison, of streeteatscolumbus.com.

The Food Fort assists food entrepreneurs with counseling and connects them to resources.

Thang Nguyen owns a food cart and restaurant and said he would like to expand his mobile vendor business.

“Like everything else, you need the right products, right price and the biggest thing is the right location,” Nguyen said.

Whether it is a mobile truck food vendor or cart vendor, the same theme was heard over and over: more and better locations.

“The aim for every one of us is to allow us to find a place to settle in,” said Yosra Elgamal, who earned a Ph. D. in nutrition from OSU.

She said she and her husband Amr rebuild their food truck Dr. Mom’s Tasty Bites and put it on the street in January.

“I think with the new regulations, people will feel much more comfortable and have more confidence in this rolling restaurant,” she said.

Dr. Mom’s was tucked away in a parking lot on West Rich Street on Monday.

“Technically, we don’t really have laws that govern this new industry, and it needs it,” said Mills.

One rule that should change is that until the pilot program, mobile food vendors were not allowed to park on public property. Now, the city will allow parking at designated oversized metered and un-metered parking spots.

But, the parking spots will be first come, first served, and the public can park there.

Brian Reed, President of the Ohio Food Truck Association said, “Owners appreciate what the city is doing, but we are concerned the 18 unreserved parking spots will create an amazing amount of competition. Plus he said, how do you tell customers where you’ll be parked?”

Find the entire article by Rick Reitzel at nbc4i.com <here>

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OTW LogoIn our quest to keep our readers up to date with the latest stories relating to the food truck industry has compiled a list of the stories that hit the wire this weekend from Chicago, Arlington, Columbus, Scranton, San Diego and Washington DC.

April 26

More Details on the Commissary The Garage; Trucks Coming to the Park District – CHICAGO, IL – As the city continues to become more food truck-friendly, Dan Salls‘ (Salsa Truck) food truck commissary and eatery The Garage is almost ready to open up. Salls says he’s “stuck in the health department” but he’s hoping to open up by the second week of May. When it does open, it will feature an expanded and morphing menu, a record store and food stuffs for sale, a handful of trucks, and Wifi to give it “that classic cafe feel.”

Find the entire article <here>

Texas Food Truckin’ Fest dishes out delicacies at Rangers Ballpark – ARLINGTON, TX - At the Texas Food Truckin’ Fest at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, two things are pretty certain.

Knowing what you’re hungry for isn’t necessary. An extra belt notch or two is.

Shawn and Lynn Tutt of Arlington were among the first diners at the inaugural event, which began late Friday afternoon on the west side of the ballpark and runs from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. today.

Find the entire article <here>

April 27

Older Food Trucks Update With New Outlooks for 2013 – COLUMBUS, OH –  As the food truck culture continues to explode on the Columbus food scene, changes must be made. Evolution is the grandfather of longevity, and to that end, several trucks are getting a makeover this Spring – gussying up, scaling down, and adding stripes – all to cater to the growing numbers who get their daily grub from a mobile restaurant.

Find the entire article <here>

Food-truck talks on tap in Scranton – SCRANTON, PA – Scranton Tomorrow, a nonprofit community and economic development organization, will hold talks with food trucks and restaurants about the city’s plan to regulate the mobile kitchens, said Scranton Tomorrow Executive Director Leslie Collins.

The city is planning to repeal and replace a 2009 ordinance and amend the city code on peddling/soliciting to address food trucks, council members have said.

Find the entire article <here>

April 28

Jeffries working to repeal food truck ban – SAN DIEGO, CA - County Supervisor Kevin Jeffries, working to make good on a campaign promise to promote small businesses, intends to roll out by June a measure to repeal the ban and establish ground rules for the safe operation of food trucks. Formal adoption likely would come later in the year.

Find entire article <here>

How D.C.’s food entrepreneurs are cutting costs – WASHINGTON DC - Washington’s expanding food culture has inspired a new generation of entrepreneurs to try their hand at the food business, often peddling treats they make themselves through food trucks, farmers markets, coffee shops and restaurants.

Find the entire article <here>

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