Chicago food truck owners rail against proposed ordinance

June 26, 2012

Jewell Washington and Scott Kanowsky

Chicago’s city council could soon allow chefs to cook on food trucks, but regulations that could be put in place have raised the ire of some business owners.

The measure would require food trucks to stay at least 200 feet away from restaurants. A spokesman for an alderman who has endorsed the plans said the city would enforce that through a GPS tracker.

Lupita Kuri owns Sweet Ride, a cupcake food truck. She said being tracked could ruin her business.

“The number one thing you have to worry about is location, location, location,” she said. “It’s no different for the trucks and until that’s recognized and somewhat alleviated in the … districts that we do business then it’s going to get worse.”

Manny Hernandez, owner of The Tamale Spaceship food truck, said he hopes the ordinance won't drastically affect his business.

“They think they’re doing something right but if they want to see the big picture they’re probably not doing as much for us as a business,” he said. “They’re pretty much doing more for the city or for the restaurant association.”

Chicago Alderman Tom Tunney is co-sponsoring the measure and said the law could still be modified.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is expected to introduce the ordinance Wednesday.