Food trucks are a vital part of many vibrant neighborhoods. For some entrepreneurs, they’re a great first rung for entering the food industry.
Laura Pekarik is one of these entrepreneurs. She sells cupcakes from a food truck in Chicago. Laura says the food truck industry “gives individuals like me an entrance into a market opportunity for the small business owner that otherwise wouldn’t have been there. I was able to rent a kitchen space instead of renting a whole brick and mortar and managing a team of people. Everything kind of was under my control to kind of get my feet wet in the business.”
But since starting her business, the increased regulations have made it too hard for her to take her truck in to the city. Often she is not even allowed to park. When she does find parking, she can only stay 2 hours. “Every moment that we’re driving around and not parked in the location with our window open meant that we couldn’t sell,” she says.
Baltimore Pizza Truck operator Joey Vanoni tells John Stossel about his similar experiences. He is not allowed to park his truck within 300 feet of any brick and mortar restaurant that sells pizza. Joey says that means “there’s almost nowhere left for me to operate.”
Why do politicians limit where food trucks may park? Chicago Alderman Tom Tunney says he wants to protect existing restaurants. “It is such a small margin business and it employs so many people. That’s what we need to protect.” John Stossel says, he’s a bottlenecker.
Produced by Naomi Brockwell. Edited by Joshua Swain.