Free the Garden State Food Trucks

JUNE 2014 UPDATE: Food trucks are now allowed to vend in Bergen County parks. More than 12 trucks are rotating through the parks on a monthly basis, finally providing New Jersey with a taste from its talented food-truck chefs.   

It’s tough to be a food-truck entrepreneur in New Jersey. Anti-competitive and burdensome laws make it nearly impossible to operate in many cities. To help New Jersey retain its young entrepreneurs and free the food trucks, join the fight by signing up at the right.

The Institute for Justice has teamed up with the New Jersey Food Truck Association (NJFTA), a group of more than 60 food truck owners, to change the Garden State’s regulations on food trucks. Restrictions vary from city to city and member trucks hail from all over the state. The association has prioritized three cities in 2014: Elizabeth, Montclair and Morristown. Click on those links to tell your city councils to free the food trucks.

If your city has laws that make it difficult for food trucks to operate, report abuse here. We’ll do whatever we can to help.

To learn more about food trucks in New Jersey, read on:

Young people across the country from Portland, Ore., to Portland, Maine, have embraced food trucks as a way to break into the notoriously capital-intensive restaurant business. However, it’s tough to be a food-truck entrepreneur in New Jersey. Local laws make it nearly impossible in cities like Montclair and Morristown and totally impossible in Elizabethtown. Many of the laws are passed at the behest of the Garden State’s brick-and-mortar restaurants, who do not want competition from inventive chefs and they’ll use every advantage to keep them out – including burdensome regulations. That’s called protectionism. It’s unconstitutional and un-American.

The popularity of food trucks is undisputed, and their benefits are tangible. Food trucks bolster the local restaurant industry by increasing foot traffic that benefits everyone, providing restaurants with an opportunity to promote their businesses, and often enabling cash-strapped chefs to test out their ideas and then open their own brick-and-mortar restaurants down the road. Food trucks also serve as “eyes on the street,” making communities safer, and enrich local culinary scenes, making cities even better places to be.

With unemployment rates higher than the national average, the state desperately needs jobs. Ridding the state of its anti-competitive regulations on food trucks would demonstrate a commitment to keeping its inspired, young entrepreneurs in the state.

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