By now, you've no doubt heard about the city of Orlando's passage of a temporary use permit pilot program for food trucks. If you're in the dark, see our story here, and check Wednesday's issue of the Weekly for an updated piece about where things are at with the new law. Local food truck fans are wringing their hands about what's to become of our beloved food truck scene, and it appears we're not alone. According to the National Food Vending Initiative of the Institute for Justice, more than 60 U.S. cities are going to battle with food truck. Why? The institute's reports have found that a lot of restaurateurs find the presence of food trucks threatening – they're concerned that the trucks are drawing customers away. But what the Institute for Justice determined is that food trucks don't damage existing businesses. Rather, they help build a stronger local economy and help draw more potential customers to the areas they serve.
The Institute for Justice has a downloadable PDF on its website that spells out what the organization thinks are reasonable legal requirements for food trucks, and uses case studies from various cities as examples. It's required reading for anyone who wants to talk to the city about making changes to the restrictions posted in the temporary use permit pilot program.