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July 3, 2017 Staff

Take The Food Truck Operators Survey from the U.S. Chamber Foundation

Sprinter Van built by M&R Specialty Trailers and Trucks.

Are you a food truck operator with concerns about regulations or industry challenges? The U.S. Chamber Foundation wants to hear from you. You can respond to their 10-minute online survey by clicking the green take survey button on this page.

The goal of this survey is for the organization to better understand the regulatory challenges that operators face. These understand challenges are often unique to each city, which makes blanket legal food truck recommendations more difficult. What may be a huge issue in Chicago, may not be the same issues faced in Washington D.C. due to local code.

These are a couple examples of issues the survey wants to identify and address:

Operations Restrictions – Within the city of Boston, food trucks can only legally operate between the hours of 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. This leaves out a lot of potentially valuable vending hours that mobile food units do not have the opportunity to capture. In some cities, vendors rely on the bar closing rush as their primary means of sales. This is not possible in Boston and stymies growth for operators.

Strange Size Restrictions –   The city of Madison, Wisconsin, is well known for their unique size restrictions with a maximum foot print of 10 feet by 12 feet for all food cart vendors. This had led to a style of food cart builds makes Downtown Madison one of a kind. On the flip side, the size restrictions have also limited the types of food that can be served from these units. Some food concepts require more space too cook and these restrictions can limit entrepreneurial endeavors.

Taste of Jamaica Trailer in Madison, WI. Photo Credit: PublicHealthMDC.com

Survey Says….   

This survey has just over 20 total questions to respond to. The survey kicks off with straight-forward questions about your business that will not require much time or research on your end to complete.  What’s the name of your business? How many employees do you have? How long have you been in business and basic contact information including your email address is requested. These mostly fill-in-the-blank questions make up the initial 25% of the survey.

After the first section is complete, you will be prompted to respond to queries about regulations on a scale between one and five. One means that the regulations in question are “Very Unreasonable.” With a five being assigned to anything you feel is “Very Reasonable” as a vendor. Below is a sample of the questions you will be prompted to answer in this section:

  • How reasonable are local vehicle safety and hazard prevention requirements for food trucks?
  • How reasonable are local employment requirements for food trucks?
  • How reasonable are local zoning requirements for food trucks?
  • How reasonable are local proximity restrictions for food trucks?
  • How reasonable are local insurance requirements for food trucks?

If you have experienced pain points as an operator in any of the areas listed above, please take the survey now and share your feedback. One of the nice aspects of this survey is that you can also request that your business name not be shared so that you can feel free to respond truthfully and without worry about local regulators identifying you as the respondent.

In 2015, food trucks brought in $1.2 billion in sales. This number is expected to top $2 billion before the end of 2017. With these growth projections it’s clear food truck laws need to be reevaluated in many areas to ensure this industry continues to thrive.

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