KNOXVILLE, TN – Almost one year after the launch of a downtown food truck pilot program, many people are saying the future is bright for Knoxville’s mobile restaurants.

The program kicked off last year amid controversy. Twenty-one downtown restaurants actively opposed it, saying food trucks would cut into profits.

Patricia Robledo is Knoxville’s business liaison. She’s been working with owners of food trucks and brick-and-mortar restaurants to craft and administer the pilot program.

Since the launch of the mobile food vendor pilot program, she said, 12 trucks have received permits and three more are currently in the permitting process. Mobile restaurants must pass the same inspections and meet the same health codes as brick-and-mortar restaurants.

The year-long pilot program is in its 11th month, and Robledo said she has not heard complaints from any of the restaurant owners originally opposed to food trucks in the downtown area.

“Quite frankly, I have not received one phone call, one email from a brick-and-mortar restaurant claiming that their business is down because of food trucks. That has just not happened,” Robledo said. “I think it’s very much safe to say it’s been a successful pilot program. I think it’s been a successful process.”

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