Toolkit Topic

How Should Local Government Deal With Food Trucks?

This is an item in our Local Government Toolkit

Food trucks—an increasingly popular type of mobile food vendor—benefit the community you represent in a number of ways:

  1. Provide a variety of food options in more locations to residents
  2. Enable operators to make a living for themselves and those they employ
  3. Provide revenue for the state, counties, and cities where they operate

As food trucks proliferated in Utah, some local governments went too far in their restrictions or otherwise struggled to amend or adopt ordinances that properly accounted for their business model. This triggered a series of state laws that encouraged and required the reduced regulation of these companies.

To allow for these beneficial businesses to feel comfortable operating in the city or county you represent, you should consider amending or enacting a mobile food truck ordinance that is welcoming and in compliance with state law. We discourage regulations that are not related to the health and safety of residents—such as food truck restriction areas and mandates to change locations frequently—that only benefit nearby businesses they might compete with. Furthermore, food trucks should be classified and regulated (in many ways) like other mobile businesses with much less restrictions, such as caterers and contractors.

It is important to note that food trucks must comply with all laws related to food service, including having their vehicles inspected by the fire and county health departments.

Are you a local elected official and interested in chatting with us more about this topic? Please reach out to us at—we’d love to chat!


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