Foodservice Equipment Reports

Chicago Food Truck Ops Sue The City Over Restrictions

Three food truck operators and a public-interest law firm filed a lawsuit against Chicago on Nov. 14 in an effort to force city officials to loosen restrictions on mobile food trucks.

The suit targets the requirement that food trucks stay 200 ft. away from brick-and-mortar restaurants and that trucks install GPS devices so City Hall can track their movements.

Attorneys claim the 200-ft. buffer violates the due process guarantees outlined in the Illinois Constitution.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel brokered a compromise earlier this year that allowed food truck operators to cook on-site, and set up 23 new designated “food stands” from which the businesses could operate. Some criticized the locations because there were only two sites set aside in the highly trafficked Loop area during the day, and a lack of locations on the city's South Side.

Others view it as a win for food truck operators because some of the locations Emanuel picked out are within the 200-foot zone and allow the trucks to roam into popular North Side neighborhoods including Lakeview and Wrigleyville.

Some traditional restaurant owners oppose the food trucks because they compete with businesses that must pay property taxes.

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