Studies show that food trucks are not in competition with sit-down restaurants establishments—it's fast food with which they're in competition. (Which, good riddance.) And, in fact, it actually sucks to own a food cart. The Times Magazine reported this weekend that the reason there aren't 25 Wafels & Dinges carts for every hot dog cart (in fact, it's the other way around) is because "the business stinks."
"It’s nearly impossible (even if you fill out the right paperwork) to operate a truck without breaking some law," a councilmember told the magazine. And enforcement can be severe: "An Ecuadorean immigrant who sells kebabs in Bushwick [showed us] the six tickets that she and her husband received on a single afternoon. The total came to $2,850, which, she said, was much more than what she makes in a good week. She had a street-vendor’s license, she said, but didn’t understand that she also needed a separate permit for her cart." (Did you know everyone on duty at a food cart needs health-department certification, whereas at a restaurant only one person on duty does?)
"At the rates things are going, in 10 years you’re going to have everybody selling stuff on the street and nobody paying property taxes," the head of the 86th Street BID told Brooklyn Daily. Which is crazy. That's not the way things are going at all. And that's because, though it's hard to own a brick-and-mortar business, it's not because there are people with mobile businesses; those are also hard to own. Next time a restaurant owner tells you how much easier it is to have a food truck, ask them why they don't just own a food truck then? Is it because of a patriotic urge to pay property taxes?
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