Tags Posts tagged with "Regulation"


Bert Gall Food Truck Quote

“Food truck regulations should be a relatively simple matter only addressing public health and safety concerns and letting the market determine everything else.” – Bert Gall

chicago food carts

It’s wonderful to see an ordinance formally introduced. But with election not taking place for 9 months, you can bet pushcart vendors won’t see any progress until the members of city council feel safe to place a vote that won’t hurt their chances for re-election.

CHICAGO, IL – Pushcart food vendors operating illegally on the streets of Chicago took a baby step out of the shadows Wednesday.

Ald. Roberto Maldonado (26th) formally introduced the ordinance drafted by pushcart vendors and their legal advocates, even though it’s an issue that some of his colleagues are not interested in tackling nine months before the aldermanic election.

The ordinance would minimize the city’s inspection burden — by forbidding pushcart food vendors from cooking outside and allowing them to sell only food made in a city-licensed and inspected kitchen.

Chicago remains one of the nation’s only major cities that bans street vendors from selling anything more than frozen desserts and uncut fruits and vegetables. Cooked food or cut fruits and vegetables are off-limits.

Even so, scores of vendors defy the law, selling tamales, tacos, hot dogs and other food from push carts across the city while living in fear of arrest. Maldonado is one of their loyal customers. He buys tamales every Sunday after church.

“I’m not worried about any political repercussions. I’m worried about doing the right thing for this group of entrepreneurs that are sometimes being singled out by police. Chase them out. I don’t think that’s right,” Maldonado said.

“This has been going on for years. It’s not going to go away. Why not legitimize them and have them operate like legitimate businesses in Chicago?”

Maldonado said pushcart food vendors should have been legalized when the City Council authorized food trucks with cooking on board. They were “left out” simply because aldermen lacked the “political will” to confront an issue they have dodged for years, he said.

“The University of Chicago has spent a lot of time with the Department of Health going through safeguards so the proposed ordinance meets all [city] standards,” he said.  “Because of that, hopefully, we’ll find the political will now to incorporate this group of entrepreneurs and finally have them come in out of the shadows and be able to operate freely.”

Ald. Danny Solis (25th), chairman of the City Council’s Zoning Committee, reiterated Wednesday he’s not eager to tackle the “very difficult” pushcart vendor issue because there are “so many different perspectives from aldermen and the communities they represent.”

“It’s less than nine months before the election. People are going to be operating under self-interest. That has to be considered. But, if it could go through and it won’t hurt my constituents, I could support it,” Solis said.

Find the entire article at suntimes.com <here>

NYC Push Cart

Rahm Emanuel continues to push the idea that food trucks in Chicago are thriving under his leadership, too bad the Mayor’s “Yes Men” have him blinded to the truth.

CHICAGO, IL – Pushcart food vendors operating illegally on the streets of Chicago may finally emerge from the shadows.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Wednesday he’s looking for a way to sanction and regulate their activities — just as he did two years ago when he convinced the City Council to legalize food trucks with cooking on board provided they remain at least 200 feet away from brick-and-mortar restaurants.

“Prior to my tenure, we had years of debate between the restaurant industry and the food truck industry. We worked through and negotiated and now have a thriving food truck industry and also a thriving culinary and restaurant scene in Chicago,” the mayor said at an unrelated news conference on CTA security at the Kimball Brown Line station.

Emanuel said he wants to evaluate the ordinance drafted by pushcart vendors and their legal advocates to minimize the city’s inspection burden — by forbidding them from cooking outside and allowing them to sell, only food made in a city-licensed and inspected kitchen.

But he said, “If you look at the past example of this — food truck vs. restaurant — we weren’t stymied by debate. We worked through the issues so both could thrive together.”

Beth Kregor, who helped draft the ordinance in her role as director of the Clinic on Entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago Law School, was encouraged.

Kregor obviously would have preferred a full-fledged mayoral endorsement. But she’s hopeful the carefully-worded statement is Emanuel-speak for trying to forge a compromise similar to the one that paved the way for a partial ban on plastic bags while exempting restaurants and small independent retailers.

“I take it as a cautious statement. The mayor wants to make sure safety provisions are in place,” she said.

Chicago has emerged as a culinary capital of the world, but remains one of the nation’s only major cities that prohibits street vendors from selling anything more than frozen desserts and uncut fruits and vegetables. Cooked food or cut fruits and vegetables are strictly off-limits.

Even so, scores of vendors defy the law by selling tamales, tacos, hot dogs and other food from push carts across the city while living in fear of arrest.

Find the entire article at suntimes.com <here>

free_markets_not_crony_capitalismOver the last four years we have continually covered stories of restaurant owners that have lobbied their local politicians to try and rid themselves of competition. Some have been unsuccessful however far too many have found friends in their local city councils and kept food trucks at bay. Yesterday, Daniel J Smith of investors.com used the mobile food industry as an example of how crony capitalism not only hurts our economy but also consumers.

This crony economy — when politicians choose which businesses get special breaks and benefits — is a tragedy for economic freedom and the well-being of businesses and consumers alike. Not only does this system create an unfair playing field, but it also erodes the quality and choice of products and services available to consumers.

Consider the food truck industry that has sprouted up and thrived in many U.S. cities. Culinary entrepreneurs have recognized food trucks as a way to test their ideas among the public without the high cost and risk that come with running a brick-and-mortar restaurant. From burritos and kabobs to cupcakes and doughnuts, the public welcomes the opportunity to try new foods at affordable prices from these mobile kitchens.

But not everyone welcomes choice into their neighborhoods. Threatened by the competition, restaurants have worked successfully with many local governments to regulate food trucks out of business.

In our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., regulations were proposed earlier this year to limit food trucks’ ability to operate and serve customers. Before the changes even went into place, several food truck owners recognized that they wouldn’t be able to afford to stay in business and decided to close up shop.

It is cronies who win in situations like this, while customers and entrepreneurs lose.

souvlaki boys food truckLANCASTER, PA – Lancaster city officials are attempting to draw a fine line between encouraging new business development and supporting established businesses.

And that line runs right along the edge of city streets.

The city hopes to soon begin regulating the food trucks that have sprung up in Lancaster in recent years.

As in other cities, food trucks have been showing up in Lancaster offering fare as varied as cupcakes, souvlaki, falafel, spring rolls and angus beef burgers.

But nearly all of them are not permitted under city ordinances, said Randy Patterson, director of the city’s Economic Development & Neighborhood Revitalization department.

Current city ordinances forbid food vendors along city streets in the public right of way. Only one, Urban Olive, has a permit to operate in Lancaster Square. Two competing hotdog carts also have permits to operate in Penn Square, and do so in warmer months.

Patterson, who briefed city councilmembers Monday night, said the ordinance is enforced in the city’s downtown, the Central Business District. It is not enforced in other parts of the city unless there are complaints, he said.

Frequently, the trucks park near Lancaster General Hospital and Franklin & Marshall College. They also can operate on private property, a parking lot, for example, he said.

Since fall, Patterson has been working on an ordinance revision that would allow and regulate the trucks. Those regulations could restrict where the trucks could operate and the hours of operation. They also would attempt to control noise, odor and trash created by the trucks.

Find the entire article by Bernard Harris  at Lancaster Online <here>


BUFFALO, NY – Restaurant owners are back at the table with a new set of ground rules they want for food trucks operating in the city, making it tougher than what the truck owners have called for.

A 100-foot buffer should exist between any food truck and the property line of the nearest restaurant with an open kitchen, according to Entrepreneurs for a Better Buffalo.


The group has also called for the creation of “special vending districts” around portions of Elmwood and Hertel avenues, where food trucks would only be able to set up in city-owned public parking lots.

The proposal also calls for a 100-foot buffer between a food truck and a “stationary food vendor.”

The group also has proposed a 500-foot buffer between food trucks and festivals or special events sanctioned by the city, as well as between the grounds of any school from 30 minutes before the start of the school day and 30 minutes after dismissal.

The group believes “that mobile food vendors should be here to offer more creative choices and value to customers,” its attorney, Michael H. Kooshoian, wrote to the Common Council.

“Mobile food truck vending laws and regulations, including tax assessments, are ripe for updating from the ice cream truck model to the social media driven, culinary experience model,” Kooshoian wrote. “Issues related to mobile vending such as food, fire and traffic safety, as well as tax parity and effects on orderly pedestrian traffic, have to be properly considered.”

The proposed Elmwood district would extend from Forest Avenue to Virginia Street, while the proposed Hertel district would run between Delaware Avenue and Main Street, according to documents submitted to the Council.

Find the entire article <here>



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