Not Your Father’s ‘Roach Coach’

By STAFF | Las Vegas Review Journal

You could see this one coming.

For decades, mobile food trucks have been a common sight at valley construction sites. But in a trend that started in other cities, Ric Guerrero of the Slidin’ Thru truck and other local entrepreneurs insist they’re now offering a higher grade of near-gourmet cuisine from their mobile eateries — and attracting an enthusiastic new clientele to prove it.

So everything’s peachy? Think again. Local brick-and-mortar restaurateurs argue they jump through expensive regulatory hoops to set up shop — pulling special permits to do business outdoors once a month during First Friday, for example — only to see customers take advantage of their seating … to eat meals from a truck parked right outside their doors!

The truck owners respond that they face business licensing and Health District regulation, as well. Nonetheless, there’s already talk of piling on added restrictions to limit “unfair” competition from the food trucks.

Here’s a better idea: Instead of over-regulating anything that moves, municipalities should indeed examine whether traditional eateries face a heavier regulatory burden and create the desired “level playing field” by taking a scythe to any restaurant fees, licenses or regulations not directly and vitally related to health and safety.