A wish list for the mobile food industry

Hibachi_Heaven_food_truck,_2013-03-04a
By altiemae (Flickr: Food truck, 3/4/13) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
This article is a continuation on the week-long series focusing on the mobile food industry: Food trucks, food trailers, and more.

The food truck industry, which by default includes food trailers, has seen an unbelievable amount of growth lately. But that’s still not perfect. With concerns regarding regulation and ongoing competition with restaurants, it’s important to take a look at what needs to be available for current and prospective food truck and food trailer entrepreneurs in the foreseeable future. For the purposes of this article, we are going to use a fictional city, Frog City, as our city example.

Commissary kitchens should be widespread.

Unless you already own and operate a restaurant, it can be extraordinarily difficult to have a place to store your food truck and its food. And for the commissaries in Frog City, those commissaries are large enough to supplement both food trucks, food trailers, and restaurant chefs. Although this does mean that commissary kitchens, in general, will likely have to be larger–this will mean at least an equal playing ground between restaurants and mobile food businesses.

The commercial vehicle market is easily accessible and marketable.

Except for experts in commercial vehicles, seasoned food truck/food trailer entrepreneurs, and here at One Fat Frog (although we only provide enclosed trailers and not trucks), getting the commercial vehicle you need is not often easy. In Frog City, it would be ridiculously easy for people to find a commercial vehicle–whether it’s a high-roof cargo van or an enclosed trailer–that suits their respective needs to start a food truck or a food trailer business.

Future regulations should treat restaurants and food trucks as equally and fairly as possible.

The battle between brick-and-mortar restaurants and food trucks/food trailers are continued to be fought across the nation. With more and more municipal governments regulating food trucks and one town even proposing to ban food trucks in their downtown area all together, it has never been more relevant to take a second look at regulation regarding the mobile food industry.

At the very basic level, Frog City should have license requirements for anybody trying to open a food truck and food trailer. This way, the licensing allows further legitimacy on establishing a mobile food business. But further along, there should be equal representation between food trucks and food trailers. It’snot unreasonable to ask the Mayor of Frog City to propose that food trucks and food trailers should not be economically discriminated against to the benefit of brick-and-mortar restaurants, but they should at least face the same health and safety regulations that current physical restaurants face.