eHow’s Guide to Starting a Food Truck in NYC is Complete Garbage
Over the past year there have been countless articles and blog posts and tv segments dedicated to helping entrepreneurs take advantage of the food truck explosion that has been going on lately. But the latest entry, courtesy of eHow is quite possibly the worst I’ve ever seen. I probably shouldn’t get so mad, but crap like this is the reason why so many food trucks operators get blindsided by what they didn’t know about running a mobile food business. The eye rolling starts on suggestion #2:
“Follow New York’s licensing and permit requirements to the letter and avoid obtaining a permit on the black market”
And how exactly do you propose to do that?
Something like a dozen permits become available every year, and it takes year just to get on the waiting list. YEARS. In other words, not a single new gourmet truck that has launched in New York in the past 3 years got their permits directly from the city of New York. They bought them from somebody who already owned the permit (i.e. on the black market). Now, whether or not there are loopholes in the law that make that practice technically “legal” who is to say. But know that if you want to start to food truck in New York City, “following New York’s licensing and permit requirements to the letter” is practically impossible.
Let’s move on to #5:
“Pay as much attention to parking and driving laws as you do to satisfying customer requests for new menu choices. Adhere to the posted hours your truck is legally able to operate. Honor statutes that, for example, limit food trucks to within 20 feet of a building entrance in New York City.”
Tell me… where exactly in New York is there a “legal” parking space more than 20 feet away from a building entrance? I would re-write this paragraph to explain that technically there are practically zero legal spots for food trucks to park in this city. If you choose to open a truck in NYC you will be in a constant battle with police over parking tickets- which will essentially become a cost of doing business.
And number 6 just shows how little the author knows about what she’s writing about. Rickshaw Dumpling Truck doesn’t sell egg rolls. And bookmarking the “New York Street Food” website won’t help you to win the “vendor and rookie of the year” awards. Those are handed out at the Vendy Awards by the Street Vendor Project… an organization you should probably contact before writing another guide that “helps” people start food trucks in New York (or anywhere for that matter!)
If you are thinking of opening a food truck in New York City, scroll through our “Street Vendor Issues” category. Seeing what vendors go through on a daily basis will be infinitely more helpful in teaching you the business than the eHow guide.