Food trucks must remain at least 200 feet away from restaurants under the new Chicago regulation (HT: Reason). It also appears food trucks must carry a GPS that will allow detection of violations (parking within 200 feet of a restaurant — apparently, any restaurant) which carry a fine of up to $2,000. Protection of restaurants is the obvious and apparently express rationale for the restraint imposed upon food trucks:
“We see no health or safety justification behind the 200-foot rule, and the city has never offered one,” says Kregor. “The only explanation for the rule is the restaurants’ demand for protectionism and the city government’s deference to those demands.” That’s no exaggeration. Even supporters of the new regulations freely admit they’re designed to protect brick-and-mortar restaurants. “We want food trucks to make money, but we don’t want to hurt brick-and-mortar restaurants,” says Alderman Walter Burnett.
Chicago’s Institute for Justice has more.
I continue to think, as I’ve mentioned here previously, the consumer welfare losses associated with local and city barriers to entry are greatly underestimated.