FRANKLIN, OH – Franklin officials recently modified the city’s codes to allow food trucks — or mobile restaurants — to operate on local streets, but those vendors must obtain a permit and maintain a certain distance from fixed-site restaurants.
Food trucks and carts have been around for years, but the business has grown in popularity nationwide over the past five years. The number of food trucks grew 8.4 percent from 2007 to 2012 and now make up a $1 billion industry, according to the research firm IBISWorld. Some small business experts predict the industry will grow by another three percent to four percent by 2017 with revenues reaching $2.7 billion.
The rolling restaurants became trendy places for people to gather and eat in major metro areas such as Southern California and New York City four or five years ago, and now can be found just about anywhere. Unlike fixed-site restaurants, food trucks can go where the customers are, but they still face restrictive localized codes, fees and laws that dictate how and where they can operate.
John Ramos, owner of Tiyoyo’s Delight, a food truck that operates at the south end of the parking lot at Zip’s Carry-Out and Drive Thru, 9216 Dayton-Oxford Road in Franklin Twp., approached the city about relaxing its restrictions on food trucks so he could sell there twice a week. Ramos, who lives in Chautauqua (a town just outside of Carlisle), opened the business about four months ago after being unemployed for more than a year.
He said operating his food truck in Franklin could increase his business by 13 percent to 15 percent.
“That will allow us to get customers who don’t want to cross the bridge,” Ramos said. “They (city officials) were very interested. It’s a new experience for them.”
Ramos said he has 27 years of food catering experience, preparing Spanish, Puerto Rican and American cuisine. Tiyoyo’s Delight specializes in various types of Cuban and American sandwiches, though Ramos says he wants to modify his menu by the end of October to include breakfast items, such as biscuits and gravy.
Find the entire article by Ed Richter at journal-news.com <here>