In just a few years, Tulsa has developed into a food truck industry. They do big business – but one question remains – do they bring customers to restaurants in their area or do they steal them away?
Food trucks must meet all the rules of the Ministry of Health and the rules of the road. It’s city guidelines that could change – a city council says it should protect and promote the food trucks.
05/16/2014 Related Story: Proposed Plan May Include Roadblocks To Tulsa Food Trucks
Tulsa’s food truck owners have become their own communities, and by working together they have generally avoided conflicts with surrounding businesses while their popularity has grown.
“It’s going great, man. At least we’re trying to be everywhere,” said Riley Bragg.
Bragg runs a hot dog truck and says trucks only go where they’re wanted. Bragg believes food trucks make business bigger for everyone.
“We don’t want to upset anyone or take their business away from them, but it comes down to what people want and if they want us around we will be there,” said Bragg.
Councilor Blake Ewing believes Tulsa’s food truck regulations are some of the loosest in the country. He called a meeting for food truck operators as the city ponders new policies that Ewing wants to put in place before big problems arise.
Food truck rules
“These are the stories we want to hear because they educate lawmakers about certain cases where there are unintended consequences,” said Ewing.
The guidelines could further remove trucks from restaurants if they don’t have permission. The policy is now 150 feet away – unless the restaurant wants the truck there – but it could change to 300 feet.
Laken Gooch has been driving a truck for almost a year, selling mini donuts, mostly at festivals. She said she never got into conflict with the site, but thinks that having a clear set of rules would help everyone.
“I definitely think we can work together to find a solution that is better for everyone and not biased in one way or another,” Gooch said.
Ewing said his main goal is not to create rules without input from the people who drive the trucks.
You can read the rules as suggested first, Here. Some will be changed and the council will have more public input once the final draft comes out.