Food on Wheels: Mobile Vending Goes Mainstream

From coast to coast and places in between, it is clear that food trucks have arrived and are here to stay. Mobile vending generates approximately $650 million in revenue annually, and is on pace to quadruple revenue over the next five years.

Mobile food vendorUnfortunately, most cities are legally ill-equipped to harness this expansion.  Many city ordinances were written decades ago, with a different type of mobile food supplier in mind, like ice cream trucks, hot dog carts and sidewalk peddlers.  Needless to say, food trucks are not your mother’s mobile vending experience.  Mobile vending today is a substantial departure from the vending typically assumed in outdated local regulations.  

A new report from the National League of Cities spotlights the impact of the rapidly changing mobile vending industry on cities.  The report, Food on Wheels: Mobile Vending Goes Mainstream, offers best practices for city leaders to take advantage of the benefits of food trucks, while balancing the need to regulate growth and account for the concerns of other stakeholders, such as brick and mortar restaurants. 

Several mobile food vendors at lunchtime