Though the number and variety of concepts have changed dramatically in the past year-and-a-half, not much else has since the city first declared war on food trucks. The Daily News today reports that Dan Tang, operator of the popular Sugar Philly truck, recently hit some bumps in the road while trying to get his mobile-vending license renewed. It wasn’t because his truck was dirty, or that he was doing anything illegal. Rather it was because for months, he couldn’t get a a city food inspector to come out and inspect his truck. It seems the city is in over its head with food trucks, and with the growing popularity, and needless to say, the sheer number of them, the Health Department’s Office of Food Protection is overwhelmed.
This being Philadelphia, and the fact that the city prefers to operate in a stubbornly antiquated and backward fashion means that its inability to keep up with inspections is working against the entrepreneurial momentum that drives the mobile food vending business.
But there’s hope. This week saw the first meeting of the Philadelphia Food Truck Association, a start-up coalition of mobile food vendors formed to help lead the way through the treacherous legal channels that budding truckers must travel to get their munchmobiles street legal. It drew 60 truckers. Another meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. on January 11 and will take place at the Free Library of Philadelphia’s headquarters at 1901 Vine Street.
Here’s hoping the organization can smooth things out for food trucks before the trend as we know it runs out of gas.
It’s Not Easy Here to Keep on Truckin’ [City Howl Help Desk]
Law School students hold workshop for food truck entrepreneurs [Daily Pennsylvanian]