Food Truck Nation: U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Food Truck Index
America’s modern founding as a food truck nation began in 2008 with the late-night cravings of a couple of Los Angeles-based entrepreneurs for Korean-style meat in Mexican tacos. Kogi Korean BBQ would soon gross $2 million in sales in its first year.
Mobile vending has been a part of the American culinary landscape for well over a century—"lunch wagons," or "taco trucks," took off after World War II as they followed the growth of suburbs to places where restaurants were rare. But Kogi’s early successes spawned gourmet imitators of an altogether different breed. Food trucks have thrived, in part, due to low barriers to entry and high consumer demand. Yet these barriers vary greatly from city to city. In many communities, regulatory burdens and inconsistent rules that govern how, when, and where food trucks can operate are threatening to stall the growth of this emerging industry.
Food Truck Nation is the most comprehensive study ever conducted on local food truck regulations. This report consists of two parts:
- The rules governing food trucks in 20 American cities and organized into an index, which borrows its inspiration from the World Bank’s Doing Business indicators and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Regulatory Climate Index 2014.
- The survey of 288 food truck owners and their first-hand accounts to drive the rest of the narrative and strengthen the findings of the index.