Only 6 food trucks buy $5K permits on first day of sale
Permits for food trucks to operate on Toronto streets went on sale yesterday, and the scene was like the elaborate birthday party of a child that everyone forgot (or possibly abandoned because they couldn't afford adequate presents): dismal. Vendors were expected to crowd early, vying for the only 125 permits available - but instead, only six trucks showed (including newbie Randy's Roti). The city seems to be at a loss: if Toronto food trucks fought so hard for legislation changes, why the tumbleweeds?
Operators like Caplansky's Deli, Fidel Gastro's, and Hogtown Smoke lay the blame on the steep $5000 price tag and over regulation - for instance for trucks to operate from pay and display spots, they must be fifty metres from any restaurant, though no rule exists blocking restaurants from moving next door to one another.
As Hogtown Smoke's Scott Fraser told the CBC, "Even if the permit was $1,000, with all the limitations and parameters the city has included it's just not worth it." It looks like we'll have to wait a lot longer for the most awesome food truck summer ever, while Toronto trucks say they're prepared to look outside the city for ways to generate revenue.
It's not all doom and gloom for food truck lovers. While Toronto's most popular food trucks may not be rolling up street-side near you, food trucks can still operate as usual at special events, on private property as well as Green P parking lots. In short, food trucks will still be out there. They just won't be as widespread and accessible as everyone hoped.