Washington, DC - A new report from the National League of Cities (NLC) released this week 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.
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.
Unfortunately, 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. Mobile vending today is a substantial departure from the vending typically assumed in outdated local regulations.
“Food trucks are a means to expand economic opportunity, and enrich communities by providing a diverse array of food options that augment existing brick and mortar restaurants,” said NLC President Marie Lopez Rogers, mayor, Avondale, Ariz.
This report provides recommendations for ways to integrate modern food trucks into city life, particularly through policy tools related to economic activity, public space, public health and public safety. Recommendations for proximity restrictions, geographic limitations, food safety, mobile vending on private property, and distance from schools, among other issues are included.
The full report can be accessed at: www.nlc.org/foodtrucks.
The National League of Cities is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.