The Dallas City Council is reevaluating its food truck regulations and considering expanding the ordinance to include detached trailers and shipping containers that serve food. The city is gathering information from other cities such as Portland, which found in a 2013 report that “food carts have positive impacts on street vitality and neighborhood life in lower-density residential neighborhoods as well as in the high-density downtown area.” Trailers or carts that serve food, as opposed to trucks, writes Taylor Adams for the Dallas Observer, are much cheaper to set up and operate, and vacant lots are plentiful.
“The purpose behind these changes is to keep those barriers to entry low, making it an affordable option for restaurateurs who have been forced to close or unemployed chefs or people with great food who aren’t ready to make the dive into a $200,000 food truck or a five-year lease, but they could spend $25,000 outfitting a food trailer” says Kristin Leiber, senior project manager for Better Block. With the pandemic forcing restaurants to drastically reduce service or shut down altogether, food trailers can be a lifeline for struggling businesses.
The proposal could reach the City Council agenda by March.