Food Trucks In America – To Be Or Not To Be
We all are familiar with food trucks. While rushing to our office, coming back from work, passing by or just on a sight-seeing tour of the city, we all have savored the street food sold at these food trucks. Be it ice cream, frozen or pre-packaged food, snacks, lunch, breakfast or dinner, these food trucks serve all and sundry. The earliest version of the food truck in America was used to supply moving civilian populations. Then, during the 1950s, such trucks were also used to run by military as mobile canteens.
What’s more, these trucks ensure that budding entrepreneurs get a chance to gain a foothold in the restaurant business, besides offering jobs and money to a city’s economic structure. The food sold at these trucks is comparatively cheaper and convenient to purchase.
However, not everyone is happy with the food trucks, more so the restaurant owners of American cities, who cannot digest the fact that these food trucks drive up right in front of their establishment and snatch away their customers with their hassle-free and warm service. That is not all.
Apparently, some people also believe that the food sold at these trucks is not hygienic enough. In fact, American cities, ranging from Los Angeles to New York, and from Atlanta to Portland in Oregano, authorities are struggling with the growing trend of food trucks on the street, while at the same time balancing the good and the bad aspects of these restaurants on wheels.
Besides the quality of food items being served at these trucks, other problems that people blame on these trucks are parking shortage, street clogging, air pollution and crowding of public places.
Despite so many wrongs being attributed to food trucks, it seems that the trend is catching up in cities across America. Just like the drive-throughs, which took America and its national fast-food chains by storm, in the 1970s, these food trucks are also a growing trend in the country.
As a result, the problems being associated with these food trucks are also growing, which is why the authorities are beginning to legislate. Some of the new laws regarding food trucks are:
- In New York, truck owners are disallowed from selling food within metered spaces. The trucks will have to face a ticket or a tow if they do so.
- In Chicago, proposal is under consideration, which would keep food trucks 200 feet away from restaurants.
- In Raleigh, food trucks are prevented from making excessive use of parking spaces as well as playing loud music.
All this action has not gone down well with the vendors/owners of these food trucks, who are flabbergasted at being treated like “civic parasites.” People related to this business term their food trucks as a “valuable urban amenity” that “activates public space,” an argument that is not lost completely on the authorities. New York city officials are even making an effort to lure these trucks onto park grounds, although not many owners are warming up to this idea, being called as “boring” by some of them.
Above and all, the food trucks are believed to have created a “sense of belonging” among the residents of a city, who are most of the time isolated into their own life spaces. People do believe that the food trucks foster a sense of community among people in this day and age, when everything else is so divided into individual spaces.
It is probably time to let the food trucks be!