The Fight Against Food Trucks

Food trucks are a vital part of many vibrant neighborhoods. For some entrepreneurs, they’re a great first rung for entering the food industry.

Laura Pekarik is one of these entrepreneurs. She sells cupcakes from a food truck in Chicago. Laura says the food truck industry “gives individuals like me an entrance into a market opportunity for the small business owner that otherwise wouldn’t have been there. I was able to rent a kitchen space instead of renting a whole brick and mortar and managing a team of people. Everything kind of was under my control to kind of get my feet wet in the business.”

But since starting her business, the increased regulations have made it too hard for her to take her truck in to the city. Often she is not even allowed to park. When she does find parking, she can only stay 2 hours. “Every moment that we’re driving around and not parked in the location with our window open meant that we couldn’t sell,” she says.

Baltimore Pizza Truck operator Joey Vanoni tells John Stossel about his similar experiences. He is not allowed to park his truck within 300 feet of any brick and mortar restaurant that sells pizza. Joey says that means “there’s almost nowhere left for me to operate.”

Why do politicians limit where food trucks may park? Chicago Alderman Tom Tunney says he wants to protect existing restaurants. “It is such a small margin business and it employs so many people. That’s what we need to protect.” John Stossel says, he’s a bottlenecker.

Produced by Naomi Brockwell. Edited by Joshua Swain.

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Comment (49)

  1. What the Hell? A food truck is not going to be parked all day, every day. So, what's the big deal if they park for a few hours and selling food? Personally, I think politicians have money going into their pockets, so they'll give food trucks a hard time. I personally don't think food trucks should be restricted from selling any types of food, as long as they aren't in the same spot day after day, and close to a food joint, or within say 100 foot from a fixed food joint.

  2. look. if you want to have customers then sell the best food. Dont be dicks and try and take people out of the competition. If a food truck is better than a restaurant then blame the restaurant for sucking

  3. i remember back in the days when news and and shows like 60 mins would have skits on topics like John Stossel does on his youtube channel. Now all you see on MSM is Trump bashing or celebrities clothing choices, or which celebrity is hooking up with the other or breaking up, lol.

  4. I Don't agree with the process of being prejudicial against food truck owners, but the counter-arguments like "they also pay taxes and have expenses" are just ridiculous.

  5. An honest report by the channel.. kudos for presenting both the sides. But no matter how good the Govt tries to lean and be soft .. there will be accusation of unfair policy by the other sides.

  6. My dads friend child died due to a food truck he ate a pastor and also the hospital didn't do a good job analyzing the child's body and died due to a worm ? entering his brain

  7. No business should have ANY political protection. I think they present a good argument, mainly the stabalizing effects of B&M, but where does that policy end? Its better to allow all businesses to operate which leads to greater competition, better prices, and ultimately superior products. These big city shitholes are not only run by leftists, they are crime infested, and big government messes. City employees in major cities are slow, ineffective, and highly incompetent, and thats due to the overwhelming volume and rules that bog down the citizens, which eventually presents a larger burdern to the workers. The ideology has failed, completely. Yet leftists claim if only they had control they could do better. Theyve had control of all metros for decades, and despite their laws and ordinances, there has been little to no progress for the citizens. Buy hey, atleast in places like NY you cant drink those evil giant sodas! Thanks big gov!!

  8. Let's entertain the idea the for a second that if food trucks were allowed to park near brick and mortar restaurants a lot of these restaurants would go out of business. OK, so that means that either these restaurants were not offering diners the sit-down experience they wanted for the prices they were charging and so they opted for the faster, more convenient, perhaps even cheaper food trucks, OR they simply didn't really care that much for a sit-down experience and thus opted for food trucks (the same reason people go for fast food). So now those same restauranteurs can either join the ranks of the food truck owners or change/improve their restaurants to offer people something they want but can't get at a food truck at a price they are willing to pay. That at the worst might mean a lot of casual restaurants will close down and we will be back 50 years or whatever when a lot more restaurants were about formal dining (which you can't get at any food truck of course) prior to the boom of casual, family chain restaurants that appeal to people who just want to go out to eat without paying a whole lot or spending a couple hours at the table. SO WHAT? That's just how the market works. Sometimes something is popular one minute, then it's unpopular the next. Trends are a natural part of business. Regardless, there is NOTHING in any scenario you could come up with to justify the need for the government to intervene to protect brick and mortar restaurants from going out of business.

  9. I am all about less regulations and food trucks. That said, they should submit to health controls and verification.of products…many claim to have fresh products when they don't…

  10. Another thing these food trucks can do to get money is cater. My company used to hire a catering company for our holiday / employee appreciation meals, but now food trucks just show up. The food from the food trucks was way better than the catering company so employees insisted to have the food trucks.

  11. Pretty sure a local pizza parlor owner isn't sending checks to his congressman so that that a food truck operator (who pays his property taxes for his home in a district 50 miles away) won't try to run his business to the ground with a tactical advantage. I really doubt a truck driver pays individual property taxes for each district he operates his business. A really scummy way to get kids to believe this shit imo

  12. From my perspective, it's not the lack of restrictions on food trucks, but rather the massive requirements and restrictions on brick and mortar that creates the unfairness. Fixed restaurants have to pay for and provide parking and dining space, often by law and at great expense. In many places, getting a drive through window or walk up is akin to an act of god with a municipality, plus seating and other complex alcohol service requirements, etc. In many cites, fixed restaurants search years and pay inflated rents just to find the right zoning so they can open. After that, they pay to meet sign codes, landscaping codes, get civil engineers for traffic flow studies, parking lot drainage studies…..I can keep going! If food trucks have no such expensive hurdles, then please remove them from brick and mortar …playing field thus leveled. I generally agree with Stossel, but I think he's got it wrong on this one…more freedom not less.

  13. I live in Provo Utah and during the summer time every Thursday there is a food truck roundup where you can get as many as 10 food trucks in one area and it's absolutely amazing how busy some of these places get.

  14. I used to be very much a liberal. Coming from a Union state. But once I read John Stossel's give me a break it really got me thinking. I hope he keeps up the good work


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