Everyone benefits from food trucks. With their low start-up costs, food trucks offer first-time entrepreneurs the opportunity to experiment, accumulate capital and climb the economic ladder. Additionally, they enrich the culinary landscape in our communities by increasing access to a variety of foods and cultures.
Food trucks also help stimulate economic growth. They bring communities together, create jobs, pay state and local taxes and make our cities safer and better places to live.
It is important for states and cities to have policies that allow food trucks to thrive. But unfortunately, across America, states and local governments have built roadblocks for food truck businesses. Laws governing food trucks are often outdated or heavily influenced by special interests, such as brick-and-mortar businesses. The result is a complex web of state and local regulations that vary from city to city, creating serious obstacles to getting a food truck business off the ground.
State and local laws commonly require food truck entrepreneurs to apply for several licenses and permits, which typically require food trucks to complete multiple applications, undergo plan reviews and pay hundreds of dollars in licensing fees. And even if entrepreneurs overcome these initial hurdles, they still face severe and varying restrictions regarding where and how they can operate.
Adopting IJ’s Model Mobile Food Vendor Freedom Act allows states to cut red tape and streamline food truck regulations at the state level. It also ensures that states and cities are not enforcing burdensome and unconstitutional laws that are designed to stymie food trucks’ success to protect brick-and-mortar businesses from competition.
The model creates a simple state licensing process that allows food trucks to operate statewide. It further provides clear, statewide standards regarding where and how food trucks can operate, designating all the locations where food trucks can serve customers in the state.
Additionally, keeping public health and safety in mind, the model requires a uniform system of food truck inspections. It places the responsibility of conducting inspections with the state, which prevents food trucks from having to
undergo superfluous, disruptive inspections in every place they operate. It also gives states and local governments the opportunity to collaborate to protect public health and to investigate reports of foodborne illness.
Food trucks have already created thousands of small businesses and jobs across the country. Enacting IJ’s Model Mobile Food Vendor Freedom Act will help encourage the continued success of food truck businesses and lead to many more.