Nanny State

Dispatches From the Food Truck Wars


On private property with the blessing of the owner, though not the city

Hawthorne, California:

[T]rucks were evicted from their makeshift home outside of a Best Buy store a few weeks after they began congregating there on Tuesday nights in June.

City officials said the Municipal Code does not allow for the new food phenomenon. But the city's rejection drew ire from hundreds of fans […]

Mayor Larry Guidi said he opposed the trucks because they could take business away from established restaurants in the city. However, he said last week that he would support them under certain circumstances and will work with city staff members to outline the rules for food truck gatherings.

"I don't want to hurt our local businesses and restaurants," Guidi said. "I like the idea of having a special events permit so we can control it and collect fees." […]

Currently, the Municipal Code restricts food trucks on private property to park for only 30 minutes and only serve people living or working on that property, interim City Manager Arnie Shadbehr said.

Update here.

New York, New York:

FOOD trucks, those rolling symbols of New York City's infatuation with haute casual food, are suddenly being chased from Midtown Manhattan. In the last 10 days, the Treats Truck, which has sold cookies and brownies for four years during lunchtime at West 45th Street near Avenue of the Americas, has been told by police officers that it is no longer welcome there, nor at its late-afternoon 38th Street and Fifth Avenue lo

No treats on metered public parking spaces

cation. The Rickshaw Dumpling truck, a presence for three years at West 45th Street near the Treats Truck, has been shooed away as well.

The police "have told us they no longer want food trucks in Midtown," said Kim Ima, the owner of the Treats Truck, a pioneer of the city's new-wave food-truck movement, who began cultivating customers on West 45th Street in 2007. […]

David Weber, president of the New York City Food Truck Association, which represents 24 vendors, said the police activity is a result of a May 24 ruling by Justice Geoffrey D. Wright in New York State Supreme Court. The decision reinforced a city Transportation Department regulation, believed to date from the 1950s, stating that no "vendor, hawker or huckster shall park a vehicle at a metered parking space" to offer "merchandise for sale from the vehicle."

"Until now this law was very inconsistently enforced," Mr. Weber said, "but now Judge Wright's decision is trickling down to the precincts."

What hates competition and rhymes with love-earn-mint?

And my favorite one, from North Miami, Florida:

North Miami city council members postponed a vote on whether to regulate food trucks after realizing the proposed rule might ban the city itself from using the popular mobile eateries at official events — like the July Fourth celebration.

Councilman Scott Galvin worried at Tuesday's meeting that the proposed ordinance might potentially put the city in violation of its own rules.

"Let's make sure this doesn't shut us down," Galvin said, noting the city is partnering with the food trucks for a Fourth of July celebration Monday Florida Internationa University's Biscayne Bay campus.

The proposed ordinance would only allow mobile vendors to sell food products in industrial districts, construction zones where work is currently underway, and as an accessory to colleges and universities that provide a culinary curriculum.

Reason on food trucks here.

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  1. Food truck laws are a tough call for politicians. On the one hand, established restaurant owners who donate to their reelection campaigns don’t want the competition. On the other hand, a lot of voters love the food trucks.

    What to do…

    1. Voters forget. Campaign donors don’t.

      1. Somebody always remembers half a million dollars…

  2. “I don’t want to hurt our local businesses and restaurants,” Guidi said. “I like the idea of having a special events permit so we can control it and collect fees.”

    That about sums up everything the government does, doesn’t it?

    1. /\/\ This /\/\

      Protectionist schemes – whose interests do they serve?

    2. Beyond the protectionism, aren’t these trucks also local businesses and restaurants?

      1. Sure, like 7-11 is a restaurant, yeah.

        1. Oh please, just because the restaurant is mobile doesn’t change what it is.

          1. Well, yeah it does, otherwise the government wouldn’t be trying to erect special regulations for them.

            There are similarities, yes. In that they serve food. That’s why the government keeps trying to shut down lemonade stands. There’s a food product, and someone is serving it.

            My point is just because a food product moves across a counter after an amount of legal tender has changed hands doesn’t mean it has to be regulated “like a restaurant”.

          2. Let’s put it another, simpler way:

            Everyone that serves a non-packaged food product doesn’t need to be regulated as “a restaurant”.

            Things can be viewed as a matter of degree.

            I lemonade stand shouldn’t be regulated as a restaurant. Nor should an ice cream truck. And I don’t believe a food truck should be either.

            1. They all shouldn’t be regulated.

        2. Sure, like 7-11 is a restaurant, yeah.

          An old friend of mine worked for a company that catered on-location movie sets from a truck, and it wasn’t just for the stage hands. Some of those trucks cook gourmet food. They aren’t just “Roach Coaches” anymore.

      2. It depends on the address where the food truck is registered. The truck can travel to different municipalities, but you would think they would be required to have a permit for that municipality unless there is an umbrella county permit they can get.

      3. They may be driving in from other, lower tax, municipalities. That’s the “problem” in DC, where the food trucks are cash-only, and the city government doesn’t get their full 10% sales tax.

    3. Fuck you, pay me.

    4. This was the quote that stood out to me, too. Fucking parasite.

  3. Finally got an example where the trucks were on private property, with the blessing of the owner (Best Buy).

    You down with this one, Tulpa?

    1. I’m not down with restrictions on food trucks on private property with owner’s permission.

      Though it’s not clear Best Buy gave their blessing in this case.

  4. Don’t know if anyone’s posted this yet, so threadjack:…..rine-again

    Thomas Sawyer is already quite familiar with TSA patdowns, seeing as they already spilled urine on him last November. Once should be enough, right? Nope.

    1. I feel relieved that this story is leaking out.

      1. HAH!

      2. spilled urine on hime for free?

    2. Thomas Sawyer has been put on a hightened alert list due to his past affiliation with known domestic terrorist, Huck Finn.

    3. A modern-day warrior
      Mean mean stride,
      Today’s Tom Sawyer
      Mean mean pride.

      1. He knows changes aren’t permanent, but a change of underwear is a good idea.

  5. The Mexicans are trying to destroy this country by stealing not only our jobs, but our employers’ sources of income. This is really beyond the pale. Food trucks are unregulated, unsanitary, anti-American peddlers of unhealthy foods like tacos, soul food, and ice cream. They just need to outlaw them already.

    1. I award you a B-. The hysteria is a little too over-the-top, but I like that you worked Mexicans into it (despite your undoubtedly knowing that a lot of food trucks are run & operated by white people).

      1. But, but, but, they cook Mexican foooood.

        1. Where do korean tacos fall on the racism continuum?

    2. Oh, and I believe Warty has an opening for a troll; I’d refine your material a little bit, but otherwise, I feel you should apply.

    3. ice cream


    4. D-. Just so, so obvious. If you can’t even conceal that you’re trolling, what good are you?

      1. Who the hell made you the comment police? Typical libertarian that’s actually a closet control-freak.

        1. He’s the one who tells everyone (else) to ignore the trolls.
          Control freak and hypocrite.

        2. Wow, total F. Go practice somewhere else for a few millenia.

          1. Stop controlling him! YOU BASTARD!

            1. Will it be able to control us? ‘Cause if I woke up trolling like that, I would just run towards the nearest living thing and kill it.

              1. Sounds like the plot of a mediocre horror movie. Military releases experimental mind-control device which causes ordinary people to start trolling so badly that they become homocidal.

                Shriek was just phase I.

                1. “God, you’re gay! You don’t think violence solves anything?!? What kind of monster are you, anyway?!?”

              2. Trolling well is an art form. All we currently have are the troll equivalents of Thomas Kinkade, painting their LOTR book cover paintings.

                1. Military releases experimental mind-control device which causes ordinary people to start trolling so badly that they become homocidal.

                  I’m safe

                2. Kinkade at least knows how to hire people who can hold a paintbrush. All we have is troll piss-christs,

                  1. Kinkade isn’t horrible – my grandmother used to paint like that. Maybe I’m just jealous that she wasn’t smart enough to say her paintings were inspired by Jesus and thereby make millions, which she could then have (partially) left to me.

        3. It was a fair question. What the fuck good are you???

      2. He was doing better before. It’s clearly a regular trying a new character. Come on, dude, try harder.

        1. Or stop doing in altogether. Don’t we get enough statist bullshit in our lives already?

          1. it

          2. Here at H&R, if you want to troll, you had better do it well, because otherwise you’ll get lost in the sea of retard trolls we already have. Excel, or fuck off.

            1. Excel, or fuck off.

              That’s the title of your self-help, book, right? Mine is Fuck You: Why You Should Go Fuck Yourself.

              1. Well, I was thinking of TRY HARDER, Moron or Why Do You Suck at This So Badly? as well.

                1. I have sand in my vagina!

    5. ReL Truth Will Out,

      The Mexicans are trying to destroy this country by stealing not only our jobs, but our employers’ sources of income.

      Mexicans are taking over our employers’ jobz!!!

      Food trucks are unregulated, unsanitary, anti-American peddlers of unhealthy foods like tacos, soul food, and ice cream.

      “Soul food,” ice cream, anti-American?

      This has to be a joke!!

    6. Food trucks are unregulated, unsanitary, anti-American peddlers of unhealthy foods like ….soul food….

      Why do you hate Black people?

    7. Fuck you, pal. I sure hates me some Messicans, but their cooking can stay.

    8. Food trucks are subject to the same food handling regulations, labor laws, insurance mandates and all the regulatory minutia that a brick and mortar operation. These are rolling kitchens, not job site 9am and noon “roach coaches”.

  6. the Municipal Code does not allow

    That which is NOT allowed IS prohibited!

  7. Dance, puppets!

  8. We finally started getting these in Orlando. Korean BBQ Tacos.

    1. I was hoping Korean BBQ Taco was a euphemism, sadly disappointed in your link.

        1. Well, Orlando has no shortage of Asian massage places either.

  9. Wow. We live in a world where politicians “consider” whether to allow something or not, just like that. Am I late to the party?

    1. Have you been asleep for 50 years?

      1. Sarcasm. Sorry, I should have indicated better.

        On the other hand, our totalitarian society is pretty screwed up, so this shit with the food trucks is hardly surprising.

  10. This says a lot about the quality of the restaurants in these areas.

    This going on in Kansas City years ago. The high class joints in the posh Plaza district were being put out of business by Hot dog stands.

  11. City officials said the Municipal Code does not allow for the new food phenomenon.

    Well, there it is then.

    If it’s not specifically allowed by law, it’s illegal.

  12. It seems obvious that sitting restaurants seek protection, and most likely, it’s corporate-owned chain restaurants and major franchisees.

    What should seem obvious is protection-seeking sought by landlords.

    And while it seems inexcusable to block local businesses on wheels, all-too-often, mobile businesses — food sellers, car washers — impose noise and congestion costs upon city residents for which they fail to compensate.

    Unfortunately, public employee unions seem to take the lion’s share of any such compensation if levied.

    1. except that this is on private property

    2. The word property means right of ownership.

      Yet, when anyone buys property within an incorporated municipality, they do subject to the rules of that municipality in the exact same way as a condominium owner agrees to the bylaws governing ownership of the condominium complex.

      For a municipality is nothing more than an incorporated entity, incorporated in perpetuity for the sole purpose of imposing standards and developing infrastructure for all those who agree to participate within the legally recognized boundaries of that incorporated entity.

      Thus, claims of “private property” fail to hold as in this case, the deed holder of the Best Buy parking lot agreed to operate the parking lot subject to municipality oversight.

      That said, there ought to be places in America where no one can claim jurisdictional control over private property, places where each man or woman can exercise his or her freedom. Perhaps all unincorporated areas within counties ought to fit this role, vigorously.

  13. What about emergency food delivery vehicles?

  14. “I like the idea of having a special events permit so we can control it and collect fees.”

    I’m sure you do.

    I like the idea of being slowly brought to orgasm by Scarlett Johanson and Aishwarya Rai at the same time, but you don’t see me using coercion to make it happen.

  15. Here’s another one:…..1107240362

  16. An alternative to fast food, Slow Food is all about preserving the traditional at all levels, both global and regional. We merge pleasure of the food with respect to the community and environment.

  17. The police “have told us they no longer want food trucks in Midtown,”

    Because it only matters what they want and no one else.

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