Here is a statement from the Illinois Food Truck Association, that I am cross posting on this blog:
Friends and family - A news story that aired recently on ABC 7 news and in the Chicago Sun Times unfortunately painted a picture of the Foodtruck community in an inaccurate and less than favorable light. Our side of the story was not portrayed and we would like to have our voice heard. There are major issues that are impacting the local food truck community and causing food tucks to break some of the rules in the current food truck ordinance. This is because those rules are inherently unjust, are in place only to protect larger businesses from our competition, and are set up to allow our industry to fail. These rules do not exist in most other major cities that have 10 times the amount of food trucks that are peacefully coinciding with a thriving restaurant scene. Specifically these rules are:
-no parking within 200ft of any competing brick and mortar location (includes gas stations, convenience stores, and coffee shops)
-no parking for more than 2 hours in any one location (makes it virtually impossible to prepare fresh food and have enough time to serve enough customers and be profitable)
Due to these restrictions there are few legal parking spots in high foot traffic areas in downtown for our entire industry to operate in. The lack of parking options has trucks resorting to breaking rules, parking within 200ft of restaurants and parking for longer than 2 hours, in an effort to survive.
Our community has always stood behind the mantra that if you can follow the laws, respect Chicago as our home, and treat our customers like family while providing great service and product then we have a successful and rewarding industry worth growing.
Every truck in our association since the beginning, all of our hardworking Foodtruck owners, have always followed the laws in Chicago to the best of our abilities and do not condone the breaking of any Laws. The truth is that some of the laws currently are impossible to comply with or our trucks would all be out of business. These laws have nothing to do with protecting the consumer or the well being of our city and are strictly in place to deny YOU the consumer choice in what you want to eat.
What is adding pressure to these issue is that we have not seen an increase in capacity for parking and yet new food trucks are being licensed every year. The food-truck business is incredibly challenging, a hard earned path to middle income at best, and all we want to do is provide great food and an honest living for our families.
So we ask you all to please continue to support the food-truck community. We are small. We are dedicated. We are hardworking. We are dreamers. We are Moms. We are Dads. We are Sons & Daughters. But most importantly, we are you. Just trying to chase a dream in a City we love that clearly is trying but hasn't figured it out yet. Please go to Twitter/Facebook/Instagram and let everyone know that you stand behind our community. #supportchicagofoodtrucks
We need less restrictions and more legal parking!
Thank you for coming with us on our journey - We are far from done!