National Street Vending Initiative: Sarasota, Fla.

Sarasota, Fla., has some of the worst vending laws in the country. Mobile food vendors in Sarasota county are prohibited from setting up within 800 feet of a brick-and-mortar restaurant and 750 feet of another vendor, and are completely restricted from operating on any public right-of-way within Sarasota city limits. Even if a private land owner invites a vendor to set up in his parking lot, that food truck still must obtain the written consent of any neighboring restaurants to operate within 800 feet of their location. These rules have nothing to do with protecting public health and safety, and everything to do with protecting the bottom line of a favored class of businesses. It’s called economic protectionism—and it’s unconstitutional!

So when a few food truck owners in Sarasota reached out to the Institute for Justice’s activism team, we whipped together a plan and flew out immediately to meet with a great group of entrepreneurs operating throughout Sarasota and Manatee Counties. They have now organized and named themselves the SRQ Food Truck Alliance.

The Institute for Justice stands by the SRQ Food Truck Alliance in their fight to rid Sarasota of laws meant to keep food trucks out of town and entrepreneurs out of work.