The reasons food truck vendors are fed up with the city’s current handling of their business is no mystery. As it stands, food truck vendors must go through four separate city divisions before being permitted to do business. What’s worse, two of the city divisions whose permission is required to sell food to hungry customers are the division of building inspection and the division of planning and zoning. Only government could put the fate of a food truck in the hands of building inspectors and zoning czars.
Still, even after the hoops are jumped through and the truck has been parked, the permit lasts for only fourteen days and in a single location. Once the fourteen days are up, the food truck must change locations and go through the ridiculous permitting process all over again.
And whereas brick-and-mortar restaurants are allowed to use sidewalks for outside seating, food truck vendors are forced to stay off public streets and only do business on private property – after receiving permission from the city bureaucrats of course. Another perk given to brick-and-mortar restaurants is that food trucks aren’t allowed in industrial zones, and are thus prohibited from providing third-shift construction workers a hot meal. No such barriers exist in Lexington for other restaurants or taxi cabs.
So why all the barriers to entry for food truck vendors in Lexington? Naturally, the groups giving reform of food truck permitting the hardest time are food trucks’ main competitors: brick-and-mortar restaurants. That’s called crony capitalism, people, and it’s happening right under Kentuckians’ noses.
We’ll have more as this develops once the city of Lexington acts on the issue.