Police Stalk Food Trucks…On Streets and Online

by Alex Levine, March 28, 2012

We thought it was bad before, but the Chicago Police are not just cracking down on food trucks, they’re stalking them. Yep, they are figuratively stepping in trucks foot steps with their pen centimeters from their ticket pad.

To be honest, we’ve wondered before how long it would take the police got with the times and logged onto Facebook. We’re glad it took so long, but the day has come and times are going to get much tougher for our beloved trucks.

Meet Sweet Ride. She looks badass, but she abides by the law. And still gets burned.

Today one of our most established food trucks reported being stalked (our words, not theirs) by the police. Here’s a series of tweets from Sweet Ride today: “The police were following us & informed us they are tracking our Facebook!! / You figure if they can get a food truck on ANYTHING, it’s $500 a pop per ticket. / But we did nothing wrong so no tickets. But they told us they were going to follow us so we called it a day. Stinks that we are scared to not do business.”

Sweet Ride keenly pointed out that there are 50+ food trucks in Chicago, and from a food truck’s perspective only about 20 legal [and profitable] spots in the city. How is it that we have so few legal parking spots in the city? The city mandates that trucks park 200+ feet from other food vendors. Honestly, we’re not clear exactly who they need to be 200+ feet from. Fine dining restaurants? Fast food restaurants? All restaurants? 7-11? No idea. This law pushes food trucks so far away from the restaurants (who are paying to squaller food truck legislation), that we the customers have to take a hike to get to them. In the end, they government is stripping consumers of their rights and deciding where we’ll eat and spend our money. They’re also stifling local entrepreneurs and the local economy.

Food truck owners are not ones to complain without coming up with a solution (in our opinion, they’re pretty fair to all involved). Sweet Ride continued:

“It makes you feel defeated. I almost wish the city would regulate the ordinance more so and just tell us where to park instead of this cat & mouse crap.”

Yes and yes. If the city’s not going to improve legislation so that the citizens of Chicago can patronize the food vendors that we choose to, at least clarify existing legislation to make working conditions tolerable.

Top Food Truck Blog Award

Voted Top Food Truck Blog