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Food Trucks

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los angeles lonchero

LOS ANGELES, CA - Of the roughly 3,200 licensed food trucks and carts wheeling meals around Los Angeles County, about 40 percent have never been inspected by the Department of Public Health. The rest are checked less frequently than guidelines require, according to a Los Angeles Times report.

Those troubling figures come from Angelo Bellomo, the Department’s director of environmental health, who oversees restaurant and food truck inspections, who told the L.A. Times that, “this is an area that needs improvement.”

The Vehicle Inspection Program, which mandates letter grades for food trucks, was first introduced in 2011, and county health guidelines require two annual field inspections. However this hasn’t happened for a significant number of mobile eateries on the road and consumers still cannot review health inspection information for many of these trucks.

The 40 percent report does not include any unlicensed vendors that are currently doing business in the city.

“[The Health Department] estimates around 11,000 illegal vendors operate every day here in Los Angeles County,” said Matt Geller, Co-Founder & CEO, Southern California Mobile Food Vendors Association on AirTalk. “So they have a huge task ahead of them. I’m sure that there are lapses at times, but 40 percent seems like a very high number to me.”

The term illegal vendors refers to any person selling food or beverages without a license, from the person selling sodas out of a cooler to a food truck roaming the streets without a license.

Find the entire article at scpr.org <here>

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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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truckin with tipsyz
HIGH POINT, NC - High Point Market is anything but business as usual for local restaurants and chefs.

Local restaurateurs see High Point Market as an opportunity to showcase their talent and draw in more business. Taylor Epperson mans the Tipsy’z Tavern food truck outside of Showplace where several food trucks set up shop. Epperson said that business has been great in the Tipsy’z truck’s first visit to market.

“People know our name already because of the restaurant so we already get a lot of good market business,” Epperson said. “We used to cater but I think the trucks are easier because people walk right by us instead of having to go to specific showrooms.”

Epperson said that their best seller is the “Bleu Got Barbequed” burger that is stuffed with Bleu cheese crumbles and topped with apple and barbecue sauce.
Nick Benshoff owns a food truck, Bandito Burrito Truck, out of Greensboro but swapped his truck and burritos for a kitchen in Market Square for Three Guys and a Bowl Thai Cafe.

Find the entire article at hpe.com <here>

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Ugly Food Truck

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - A group of outraged San Francisco businesses are putting their time to use by demanding the removal of ”ugly and garish” food trucks from their otherwise pristine streets.

Members of the San Francisco Locally Merchants Organization are even criticizing these roaming street vendors as “almost exclusively terrible citizens” and have presented their case before the local Community Zoning Board to help with their crusade.

The co-founder of the organization harshly explained, “They are unsightly, and not particularly good citizens. They litter. They violate the rules frequently. The fact that these are vendors doesn’t give them the license to be slobs.”

To pass the group’s gold standard, food trucks would not be able to have “ugly or garish” vehicle wraps. The organization has pointed to FedEx and UPS as truck branding that could be used as prototypes for what all food trucks should aspire to look like.

Folks behind the popular food truck event Off the Grid, perhaps the people’s voice behind the hungry crowds who actually frequent the cities food trucks, are telling the group to lay off. “…this would make it much less pleasant for us who value these trucks for their delicious, affordable food as an alternative to the generic and overpriced chain restaurants in the area” and credit current vendors as legitimate businesses that employ hundreds of workers across the city.

Attorney Jessie Navarro who advocates for vendors cited the city’s hefty permit fees as very reason why people are unable to spruce up their trucks, “They can’t afford to invest in their mobile businesses and make them look better because they have to pay outrageous fees just to operate” and spurned the group’s proposed cleansing.

UPDATE: Please read our April Fools’ Day Recap

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jacksonville fl food trucksJACKSONVILLE, FL - It’s something that’s giving “heartburn”, and could lead to some changes for Jacksonville’s food trucks before any regulation is on the books- a pilot program letting trucks serve in Hemming Plaza.

“That’s why they call it a pilot program, we didn’t realize the impact it was going to have,” says Councilman Reggie Brown.

Brown is leading the push for new regulations on food trucks in Jacksonville, and during the second workshop on drafting legislation he raised the idea of relocating this program from Hemming Plaza. The intent of the pilot is to figure out how to “program” Hemming Plaza, but many of the “brick and mortar” restaurants in the immediate area are not happy with how the pilot has grown.

Several came to Monday’s workshop to voice this concern, as well as their thoughts on the limited foot traffic in Downtown, and therefore blow their business would take from allowing food trucks to operate in the area. The wrong way to frame the debate, according to the truckies.

“We’re not trying to impede in their business, but I think it’s about free enterprise and they [customers] make the choice of where they want to eat that day,” says Jennifer Kline with Up In Smoke BBQ.

Find the entire article at wokv.com <here>

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BUFFALO, NY - Lloyd’s and Knight Slider will be able to sell their goods to hoops fans after all.

2014 march_madness

An agreement reached between Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and Buffalo Place Inc.will allow area food trucks to operate in and near First Niagara Center during this week’s NCAA men’s regional basketball games. Brown, earlier this week, said it was on his NCAA “wish list” to find a way to allow food trucks to sell their items, especially during the 90-minute break between Thursday’s afternoon and evening sessions.

Because the downtown arena sits in Buffalo Place’s specially-designated district, the agency needed to approve a waiver that would allow food trucks to operate. Technically, Buffalo’s city ordinance prohibits food trucks from selling items in the downtown Buffalo Place district unless the agency grants temporary permits. For the past few years, Buffalo Place has allowed a handful of food trucks to operate as long as they observe the so-called “100-foot rule,” meaning no truck can sell its items within 100 feet of an existing restaurant.

“We always thought food trucks are cool,” said Michael Schmand, Buffalo Place Inc. executive director.

Find the entire article at bizjournals.com <here>

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Some come to New York City for the five-star restaurants, while others prefer to search for the perfect slice of pizza. Me? I prefer food trucks, the inexpensive, ultra-convenient servants of the average New Yorker. Whether you’re looking for authentic Mexican tacos, greasy Philly cheesesteaks or classic ballpark dogs, the vast selection of NYC food trucks will satisfy your appetite—no reservation necessary.

favorite nyc food trucks

New York City tourists and residents can browse the more than 3,000 street food vendors with their smartphones through the New York Street Food App. My favorite New York City food trucks offer classic comfort food with a few unique touches. Try one of these tasty trucks next time you’re roaming the NYC streets.

Coolhaus

The average food truck doesn’t veer too far from a conventional menu. You’ll find burgers, brats and pizza at many of these quick stops. That’s what makes Coolhaus so special. Not only can you order conventional comfort food, Coolhaus also offers unusual concoctions to broaden your horizons. I had Peking duck ice cream with my hot dog, and I’ll never look at the Ben and Jerry’s the same. Check the Coolhaus website for the location and menu updates.

Phil’s Steaks

I’ve had an authentic Philadelphia cheesesteak, but I’d choose a sandwich from Phil’s Steaks every day of the week. His thin slices of steak are filled with flavor. Along with a hoagie bun and Cheese Wiz, it’s hard to find a more appetizing mid-day meal. Phil’s Steaks owns two trucks, “Lil Jawn” and “Big Jawn.” They travel around the streets of NYC Monday through Friday, and you can find out where to track down one of these delicious cheesesteaks at Philsssteaks.com.

Schnitzel and Things

Who knew this popular German dish would be such a hit in New York City? Schnitzel and Things is one of the most celebrated food trucks in town. Count me among those who drop what they’re doing when they see that familiar yellow Schnitzel truck parked nearby. Schnitzel and Things offers three different kinds of schnitzel: chicken, pork and cod. Each meat has its own unique flavor, and the breading can’t be beat. Couple with a lemon wedge and a side of Austrian potato salad, this Schnitzel makes for a great afternoon meal.

Go Burger

Traditionalists will prefer Go Burger’s selection of burgers, hot dogs, fries, shakes and salads. This white and red truck makes stops all over Manhattan, and it’s earned a reputation as a quality provider of classic American food. I work near Manhattan, so I eat Go Burger at least once a week. Food trucks are as American as can be, and Go Burger delivers traditional afternoon meals like no one else. Their shakes are the perfect on-the-go dessert. It’s worth it to stop just for a shake alone if the line is reasonable. If you like burgers and fries (who doesn’t?), Go Burger should be a planned eating experience during your trip to Manhattan.

Author: Janie Owens - PR pro, New Yorker, closet hipster

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A new study done by students at San Diego State University show Interim Mayor Todd Gloria’s justification for food truck rules don’t hold up and will likely be unenforceable.

missed target

Over this last weekend, students from SDSU did a field study on some of the more controversial proposed food truck regulations to be voted on next Monday, March 3rd in City Council.

The proposed rules that were analyzed include:

  • Ban on food truck operating on private property and the on the street in Gaslamp (157.0304)
  • Limit on hours of operation for food trucks when within 500 ft of any dwelling unit (141.0612.A.11)
  • Commercial & Residential property owners looking to host food trucks must obtain a Mobile Food Permit. (123.0602)

The results of the study answered the following questions:

  • Is there a public safety concern for pedestrians when a food truck is parked on the street in the Gaslamp Quarter of Downtown San Diego?
  • To what degree does a food truck increase the ambient noise level when operating between the hours of 11PM-2AM and how far does the noise travel with relation to the surrounding areas?
  • Approximately how many locations will be required to obtain a mobile food permit for food trucks operating on their property?

The findings of the field study included the following:

  • A food truck parked in Gaslamp does not impede the flow of pedestrian traffic.  In fact, restaurants seemed to clog up sidewalks more than food trucks.
  • A 500 foot radius is proven to be too extreme as a cutoff point and a more realistic and reasonable distance should be set between 25 and 50 feet, depending on the location.
  • It is estimate that 2,350 mobile food truck permits will need to be processed in order for food trucks to operate in a legal manner. This would require the city hire 5 full time staff just to process the paperwork.

The study results seemed counter intuitive to the press release that Interim Mayor Todd Gloria released last week which stated he wanted to create “sensible rules that address public safety.”

Food truck operators have been urging the city to show concrete evidence of public safety issues caused by food trucks, since this is the reason provided for the proposed regulations.  Food truck operators view the proposed regulations as anti-competitive and discriminatory.

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boyne city miBOYNE CITY, MI - Boyne City officials want to know how their residents feel about food trucks. Two meetings have been scheduled to offer information and take public comment on the issue because, as of yet, the city has no policy regarding the mobile food industry.

Michael Cain, Boyne City’s city manager, said the community currently doesn’t have any policies in place relating specifically to food trucks’ operation. But with more and more operators emerging in Northern Michigan and elsewhere, he said the city commission has directed staff to explore the topic in the next few months and find out whether any new policies should be developed.

As part of the process, Cain said officials likely will consider approaches taken by other communities to food truck operation, and provide opportunities for public input.

The meetings are planned for 6 p.m. on Tuesday Feb. 25, and 5:30 p.m. on Thursday March 6. Both meetings are to be held at the Boyne District Library community room, located at 201 East Main St. in Boyne City.

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