HORRY COUNTY, SC – Allowing mobile food trucks at malls and granting them precedence even if a brick-and-mortar restaurant moves close to where they’ve established their business are the latest speed bumps Horry County Councilmen are facing after talking about regulating mobile food trucks for the last year and a half.
The county’s infrastructure and regulation committee is scheduled to review the newest proposed changes at its meeting Monday. The earliest the council could vote on the third and final reading to allow the trucks is May 19.
“I know there’s a lot of momentum to push this forward, I don’t think we’ve looked through all the possible maybes on this,” said Councilman Marion Foxworth at the council’s last meeting. “I think there’s something there that can come back and bite us.”
One of the new measures the committee will consider is allowing more than one food truck per parcel. That came at the request of Joe Perl, vice president and general manager of Myrtle Beach Mall.
“One of the things we’re doing at the mall is we’re creating a food-hall concept,” Perl said of the more than 50-acre site his company owns near S.C. 22 and US. 17 Bypass. “Along with that, we’re embracing the idea of food trucks.”
Perl said malls are continually trying to find ways for businesses to test markets before they open a long-term space inside a shopping center
“That’s the same type of thing that we’re looking for the food trucks,” Perl said. “The other thing is we’re looking at trying to build that critical mass. One food truck for the size of our facility would kind of be a needle in a haystack.”