Foodservice Equipment Reports

Chicago Says Yes To Food Trucks, But…

Chicago is one of the last major American cities to allow food trucks to patrol its streets. For the past few years, the city has allowed food trucks to sell prepared and prepackaged foods, but under pressure from bricks and mortar operations, it did not allow any onboard cooking. On July 24, the Chicago City Council approved an ordinance that allows onboard cooking, but the proposal isn’t a hit with mobile or grounded operators.

While onboard cooking got the green light, food truck operators are saddled with a number of new restrictions. Food truck operators are especially angry at a strict rule requiring they stay 200 feet away from restaurants or face $1,000 fines. The city left nothing to chance: Truck operators must install GPS devices so the city can track their movements and impose the fines. The ordinance prohibits trucks from operating between 2-5 a.m. and requires they ply their trade in designated food stands in high-density neighborhoods. Space will be tight: The 123 food trucks already licensed by the city will be competing for 10 downtown parking spaces.

That’s just fine with Chicago restaurant owners, who remain concerned that the new ordinance gives food truck owners too much freedom.  

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