Food Trucks From Colorado to Alabama Are Still Struggling With Red Tape and Protectionism
Record food and fuel prices and ongoing supply-chain issues are causing many of the same problems for food trucks that brick-and-mortar restaurateurs, grocers, and consumers now face. Coupled with the impact of rising crime rates, those issues have caused some truck operators to cut back on their operations, Trib Live reported last week, with some, for example, electing to vend only at high-density events where customers are plenty in number.
In Denver, large numbers of food-truck customers are the problem—at least according to city police. And officials’ claims of rising crime leave many food trucks caught in the middle. As Reason’s Fiona Harrigan reported in August, Denver police moved to bar food trucks from operating in the Lower Downtown (LoDo) section of the city, popular with late-night revelers, after a shooting on July 21. Denver police shot a man seen fighting outside a popular beer hall at 1:35 a.m. The man, 21-year-old Jordan Waddy, had a gun that he dropped on the ground while putting his hands up in response to police. Denver police shot Waddy and six innocent bystanders in the crowd near the beer hall.
How exactly is a police shooting the fault of food trucks? And why, many of their operators wonder, is the city “punish[ing] vendors who have nothing to do with violence”? While those are the right questions to ask, the Denver Gazette reported last week that the city has moved to restrict most food truck operations in LoDo on Friday and Saturday nights for the next six months. Denver police, for their part, claim the restrictions were in the works before they shot six unarmed people.
While police violence is a concern for food truck owners in Denver, in other cities the challenges faced by food trucks are more familiar. For example, in Long Beach, California, the Press-Telegram reported last week, the city council may decide, boldly, to “simplify and consolidate regulations governing the trucks and—eventually—create rules about where food trucks can operate.”
As the paper explains, various city departments—including health, business, and permitting—currently regulate food trucks in the city, independent of each another. While the city is looking to streamline that process, it’s also planning to add new requirements. One new rule would require food trucks
Article from Reason.com