Columbus, OH: Food Trucks, Restaurant Groups Work To Develop Mutual Rules

By Denise Yost  | –

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Food trucks are continuing to grow in popularity in Central Ohio, and an increasing concern for many is the regulation of the industry.

A pilot program that was launched earlier this year has allowed the mobile food trucks to park in a few dozen spots of public property around the city.

The spots are metered, require a mobile food vendor’s license, and the truck must be no longer than 25 feet to fit in the spot.

“There’s things that we’re trying to work with to get resolved to allow more trucks to participate and to open up the market more, just to get more trucks, you know, on the streets,” said Brian Reed, president of the Central Ohio Food Truck Association (COFTA).

COFTA is taking a proactive approach by meeting with members of the Central Ohio Restaurant Association to come up with a draft of rules to present to the city that both sides can agree upon.

“[What] we wanted the pilot project to do was to solicit lots of feedback of how we can go to a real permanent and good solution for the city of Columbus,” said Columbus City Councilmember Michelle Mills.

Items in the agreement would include:

  • Expanding the number of metered spaces a truck could use to allow for longer trucks
  • Deals where 80 percent of nearby businesses support the truck in the area
  • All area restaurants would have to sign off if the truck served a similar food.
  • Time restrictions for food trucks
  • Rules for trucks providing trash cans and cleaning up all trash within a set distance before leaving

“We want something that is better than what we have right now. If we can accomplish that by working with CORA and come to some common ground, then I think we are all for it,” Reed said.

Members of both organizations will continue to work together on a final draft to present to the city.