The "pilot program" regulations would not allow food trucks to park on the sides of any streets and they would have to stay out of most of the downtown area, unless they get a concession license with the city. Food trucks that want to do business in Orlando - relegated to parking lots and food truck events - must obtain a mobile food vending permit and a license from the Flroida Department of Business and Professonal Regulation. These are all requirements that were not in place before, requiring the trucks to pay extra fees and, for many trucks, taking away the spots that their customers are used to finding them at.
|Photo Courtesy Orlando's Food Trucks|
Plus, food trucks bring millions of dollars into the City annually. I am not just figuring what locals and visitors spend at food trucks. I am considering all the people that food trucks hire. I am thinking about how those employees then go out and spend money in our community. I am also thinking about the other local businesses that food trucks benefit. Bars in the downtown Milk District, for example, benefit from the popular Tasty Tuesdays in the Milk District event. Event-goers buy their food and bring it inside to eat at the bar. Tasty Tuesdays has introduced many new people to this hip, urban neighborhood downtown.
Some say these regulations are being put into effect because restaurants and bars complained that food trucks are taking their business. Then do a better job with your food and your service! America was built on competition, and that system will remain in place as long as we live. Restaurants not only face competiiton from food trucks, but also from other restaurants, grocery stores that are selling better food-to-go, and even from convenience stores and drug store chains.
Bottom line: I don't believe food trucks - which add so much to the culture and livelihood of Orlando - should be the target of the City of Orlando, or of other food providers. What do you think? Sound off below.