Jersey City regulations on food trucks have been hotly contested in the last several weeks; however a new law received initial approval from the City Council with only a few objections. The regulations were initially set for approval in May, but food truck vendors said that they would be put out of business by them.
The new regulations state that mobile food vendors would have to submit to criminal background checks, be unable to remain stationary for more than two hours unless they pay a $400 monthly fee, and be at least 200 feet away from any permanent eatery.
Though these regulations initially received approval, some council members have objected to the $400 fee, saying that it is in fact too low. One member said “That seems to be quite a bargain, in my estimation, to give someone and opportunity to do business from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day.”
Brick and mortar restaurant owners still object to these new regulations, claiming they pay well over $400 monthly to the city just to remain in operation. In a business where food trucks could potentially make $2,000 a day, $400 once a month seems very cheap in comparison. Restaurants also claim that many food trucks parking in one area steal business from permanent restaurants.
These regulations still require further approval before the nine member council will be ready to approve them.
This Saturday was the Parked! Food Festival was held at the South Street Seaport, in which food vendors from all over New York City gathered to serve their signature dishes to throngs of hungry New Yorkers. The event has been deemed a successful one by both food truck vendors and customers who attended, remarking that lines were shorter than expected and food came rather quickly. The largest problem at these events in the past has been long waits at the more popular trucks. Some trucks complained about their placement, either on side streets with less traffic or next to direct competition from vendors selling similar products, but in the end every truck said their sales evened out and they did alright by the end of the day. Customers also were able to move between lines quickly and sample many different types of cuisines.
Some new procedures were put into effect this year which may have streamlined the event for customers and vendors. Menu sizes were reduced and orders were taken outside the trucks to maximize efficiency within the truck. All of this bodes well for food truck events, as complaints in the past had decreased their popularity.
With improvements along the way in food truck events, we have many more to look forward to in the coming weeks. All About Downtown is coming to Jersey City on September 17th, featuring ten of New York and New Jersey’s top food trucks. Among these are Korilla BBQ, Luke’s Lobster, Two Pitas in a Pod and Mamma Marci. Then the week after this event is the one we have all ben waiting for, the 2011 Vendy Awards. This year the Vendy’s will be held at Governor’s Island, and you can purchase tickets here.