Report asks cities to ease up on food trucks

OTTAWA, ON. – The Canadian Competition Bureau is urging municipalities to reconsider current by-laws that may keep food trucks from operating effectively.

The bureau recently released a report titled Promoting Fair Competition in the Restaurant and Mobile Food Industry outlining the benefits of the mobile food industry to the Canadian economy and the current restrictions on food trucks that may slow continued growth in the sector.

The report looks at six major Canadian cities and the restrictions they currently impose on food trucks, including restrictions on parking, volumes, and proximity to each other and brick and mortar restaurants. Recommendations are made to ease these, so trucks are allowed to operate in more places, for longer.

The report also calls on municipalities to not limit the number of food trucks it gives licenses to, and instead let demand decide which businesses remain operational.

Addressing fears that food trucks could steal business from brick and mortar restaurants the bureau says that it does not view them as competition for traditional food services.

“Mobile food services and restaurants largely reflect two different business models with different levels of investments and services,” it says.

The report says removing the barriers to food truck operations would help to attract new business, improve community safety, support affordable food options, and increase jobs.

Currently, more than 2,200 operational food trucks in Canada are expected to bring in more than $300 million in 2017.

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