CHICAGO, IL – You may have missed the food truck news, but the Chicago Machine is about to be tested. Yesterday we reported that the Institute of Justice is filing a suit against the city of Chicago today to challenge the current legislation that was created in part to allow cooking on food trucks, but at the same time, it was developed to protect restaurants from these mobile food competitors.
This new legislation has been in place since July, but this is the first attempt to have the protectionist language removed. This will allow food truck owners to navigate the city providing Chicagoans much more culinary choice.
Please watch and share this video to get a better understanding of the situation facing Windy City Food Truck Owners:
If you want to help these owners, be sure to share this story and others relating to this situation through social media. To keep the message from becoming fragmented, use the hashtag “#freethefoodtrucks” when you spread the word.
Burke v. City of Chicago: Should the city of Chicago be in the business of protecting restaurants from food trucks?
That is the question to be answered by a major lawsuit to be filed tomorrow, Wednesday, November 14, 2012, in Cook County Circuit Court by the Institute for Justice (IJ)—a national public interest law firm—and three Chicago-area food truck entrepreneurs.
Cities nationwide are experiencing the benefits of food trucks. But for years Chicago had not embraced that movement. For example, Chicago did not allow cooking on food trucks and it told food truck entrepreneurs that they must stay more than 200 feet from brick-and-mortar restaurants. So in June 2012, when the city announced it would be revising its vending laws, food fans were excited.
The law that passed in July, however, continues to make it illegal for food trucks to operate within 200 feet of any fixed business that serves food. The fines for violating the 200-foot rule are up to $2,000—ten times higher than for parking in front of a fire hydrant. Further, the city is forcing food trucks to install GPS tracking devices that broadcast the trucks’ every move. According to the Chicago Tribune, “the ordinance doesn’t serve the needs of the lunch-seeking public. It benefits the brick-and-mortar eateries, whose owners don’t want the competition.”
The Institute for Justice is the nation’s leading legal advocate for the rights of entrepreneurs. For more on the lawsuit and IJ’s National Street Vending Initiative, visit www.ij.org/vending.