What Is A Food Truck?

The definition of food truck is “a large vehicle equipped with facilities for cooking and selling food,” but what exactly does that entail?

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Dave’s Dogs, a MFPV

There are two types of food trucks, the MFPV, or mobile food preparation vehicle, which actually prepares and cooks food by the customer (like Dave’s Dogs), and the ICV, or industrial catering vehicle, which sells pre-made food (like the Mobile Cafe). A MFPV has a small kitchen that varies depending on what is being sold from the truck; if they’re scooping ice cream then they’ll have a freezer, if they’re all about churros, then they’ll most likely have a fryer in their truck. A ICV on the other hand might have just a freezer or something to keep food warm or heat it up.

Of course, not all mobile food services work out of trucks either. There are carts and other vehicles, called mobile food devices. These have similar qualifications as an ICV, with no full oven or cooking device, but just devices to keep food warm or cool.

Of course, to have any mobile food device officially recognized and legally accepted as a place that can sell goods and wares, you must have quite a few licenses and permits, at least in the state of California.

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A sunny day photo of Neighbor Tim’s BBQ truck (and Neighbor Tim’s wife), which I believe is an ICV

You must have a business license, a mobile food facility permit, a health permit, a food safety certification, and a food handler permit, and those are simply for owning and selling food from a mobile unit. There are other permits and registrations needed, but those are for opening a business in general (such as workers comp).

With all of these legal regulations and physical requirements dealt with, there are only a few other legal requirements to meet until you have a running and successful food truck. These requirements include having a trash can (that you have provided) near your truck to prevent littering and excessive amounts of trash, you have to work in conjunction with a food facility, for storage, and possibly production, and you have to secure a place to sell your food that is not affecting traffic or possibly on specific streets, according to your town’s own laws about food trucks.

This may not be true for all people, as all of these laws and regulations are based off of California standards.

Thank you and remember, Keep Truckin’ On!

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Save The Food Trucks

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Recently, when I went to a food truck in Goleta, called Neighbor Tim’s BBQ, my mom started a conversation with Tim himself, and started talking about the food truck business. Something that came up was the recent lack of other trucks and we were wondering why they suddenly stopped selling. Tim told us about a new set of regulations that the city of Santa Barbara is going to put in place regarding food trucks. He was talking about how these regulations are strict and could possibly send him out of business, so I decided to research them a bit.

When I actually read the list of regulations to be set in place, I suddenly understood his concern. Some of these new rules, such as only being able to set up for an hour at max, and only being able to serve food from 7am to 4pm, would absolutely lead to at least one truck going out of business. And this is purposeful, as they originally tried to ban all trucks from all streets in the city of Santa Barbara, but couldn’t since state laws forbid that.

(Here is the actual list of regulation to be put in place in case anyone is curious -> http://civicaweb.santabarbaraca.gov/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?BlobID=167621 )

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After discovering that, I decided to base my blog off of that: food trucks. Of course, this blog’s purpose is only to bring awareness and a sense of understanding about to this subculture (not to have an excuse to go to a food truck at least once a week, not at all..)

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Throughout this blog, though, I won’t just be focusing on the specific trucks and the people who work there, (though I’m hoping I can make that a big part of it!) I will also be making posts about food trucks in general and about the whole culture. I will also hopefully be able to, with other people’s experiences, blog about food trucks and food truck events that happen outside of Santa Barbara!

So please, go out and support and enjoy your local food trucks, no matter where you live, and always think about the people who run them, who are just trying to start a business!

And always remember to Keep Trucking On!

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