Should Toronto limit number of licensed food trucks?
As anyone who's been following the food truck controversy knows most truck owners aren't happy with the changes proposed in the latest staff report. While most of the noise has surrounded the licensing fees and BIA provision, there's been less attention given to what some local food truck owners think is missing: a limit or cap on the number of food trucks that should be allowed to operate on Toronto's streets.
Limiting the number of licensed food trucks might seem like an odd request at first. To have a healthy food truck culture in the city wouldn't we want to take on all comers? More variety and competition is good for consumer choice, right?
But some food truck owners see things a different way. William Randolph of The Feisty Jack, who just Wednesday threatened to quit, says that many truck owners have been lobbying the City to cap the number of new licences. Limiting the number of food trucks on Toronto's streets, he says, would help existing trucks be more successful and enable them to more quickly recover the losses some have incurred up until this point.
In short, Randolph suggests the City adopt the following changes:
- Cap the number of food truck licences at 60 for the next two years. (There are currently 32 licensed trucks in Toronto.)
- Allow trucks to park on city blocks, 2 per block, 25m away of an open restaurant. If the restaurant is closed, trucks should be allowed to park closer.
- Eliminate the multiple licenses in favour of one license. Reduce the "cash grabbing" increase in price.
What do you think? Should Toronto cap the number of food trucks by limiting the number of food trucks able to get licensed?