In 2011 I wrote a number of times about the seemingly gathering energy in Savannah to open the door for certification and regulation of food trucks in ways that would benefit both businesses and consumers.
While the Savannah efforts seem to have evaporated — as so many seemingly energetic movements do here — things are still moving ahead in Atlanta, which is after all a huge city.On Thursday, the Atlanta Food Truck Park will host its grand opening at the intersection of I-75 and Howell Mill Road. The park will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day with a farmers’ market on the weekends.
So isn’t the whole point of food trucks that they can move?
Well, not necessarily. Outfitting a single truck for to-go food service and then parking it temporarily on someone else’s property can give the businesses all kinds of financial and logistical flexibility. I’m not 100% certain about current policies in Charleston (I think food trucks are pretty much limited to parking on privately owned commercial lots), but the city has a seemingly thriving food truck federation.
It seems inevitable that someone will get Savannah’s stalled food truck bandwagon rolling again at some point. I sure hope that any would-be investors consider Savannah’s size, demographics, and highly seasonal changes in activity. It’s likely that the first successful food trucks would be ones affiliated with brick-and-mortar establishments.
Still, I’m all for the effort, as long as we use other cities’ experiences as models and don’t try to reinvent the wheel.