This is a guest post written by Sharon Shi, an Innovations Associate at SMGx who also enjoys and loves trying new foods.
NYC gets to do it. LA gets to do it. Heck, even trucks in Evanston get to do it! What am I talking about? Cooking on food trucks of course! Why is it that food trucks in Chicago still can’t cook on board? Trucks can’t event dispense a cup of coffee or let their customers squirt their own condiments on their food. It’s time for a change!
But have we really thought about the reasons why we want this change? Do food truck owners really want to cook on their trucks? Will they want to invest more in their trucks and assure their trucks meet regulations? They would have to add cooking equipment, propane tanks, sinks, and more to transform their truck into a suitable kitchen. Is that what consumers wants?
I believe the answer is yes! Imagine watching your food get cooked right in front of you rather than just watching it get taken out of a warming device. It would be like you’re sitting at the chef’s table in a restaurant but instead, they’re getting front row seats from a food truck. It’s an experience this hungry city of foodies is looking for. Customers will be coming from blocks away when they smell the deliciousness coming out of trucks. Although some restaurants may still feel food trucks are taking away from their business, Chicagoans from all over will enjoy inhaling the freshest ingredients as their hustling and bustling to their next destinations. And maybe it’ll up the game for restaurants and make them think more creatively about the way they market their business.
In addition, if food trucks were allowed to cook on board, customers would be getting their food hot off the grill. Food trucks owners would need to be careful when the weather gets warmer though to assure hot sweat isn’t dripping into the food, but thankfully they have a couple seasons before then. If they do legalize cooking on trucks soon, it’s another way for us to keep warm in the winter.
Matt Maroni, a Chicago food truck owner, started the movement a while ago, asking the city council to legalize cooking on food trucks. Matt and the Chicago food truck family started a petition on Change.org asking the Chicago City Council to legalize cooking onboard the trucks. Please join this revolution and sign the petition here. Hopefully together we can voice a change and finally have our food trucks cooking onboard like many other cities in America.
Until then, continue dining out with the food trucks! Who knows, maybe the trucks will start migrating north to Evanston for the winter and cooking on those trucks.