Food on the Move: The Food Truck Handbook

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Food trucks are expanding eating options all over New York. David Weber, founder and president of the New York City Food Truck Association (NYCFTA), Deborah Smith, owner of the Green Pirate Juice truck, and Jim Drew, owner of Phil's Steaks truck, discuss the growing mobile food movement. Weber’s book The Food Truck Handbook: Start, Grow and Succeed in the Mobile Food Business looks at the ins and outs of navigating in the industry.


Jim Drew, Deborah Smith and David Weber

Comments [27]

steve from New York

If any of you are interested in buying or selling a food truck, check out

May. 28 2012 04:12 PM
fred from ca

I just don't see how they can be that clean, a food truck can only hold so much water.

May. 17 2012 01:53 PM
Christine from NY

Unhealthy Mobile food exists thanks to Mobile / digital communication which is speeding up peoples expectations for everything, like Fast food, and 'letting' people unconsciously deny their beautiful unique skills and talents at person to person communication. We are killing (parts) of ourselves. Yes, this post is done via the internet. My lifestyle is not full of digital objects or methods. My BA is in Communication Arts & Sciences - HUMAN speech, body language, etc- at Queens College, way before it became "Media Studies." I will not trade in Communication Arts & Sciences or myself, ever.

Respectfully, Christine

May. 16 2012 03:07 PM
The Truth from Becky

I assume the health requirements are the same? Tuned in late may have already been discussed.

May. 16 2012 01:57 PM

Do we really need a book and a half hour on public radio to promote a trend that has long peaked???

...still, zzz.

May. 16 2012 01:54 PM
Meg from Brooklyn NY

In Flatbush BK, food carts and trucks serve diverse populations, adding to the cultural landscape.

May. 16 2012 01:53 PM
Justin from Queens

The amazing thing is that New York is known for these types of entrepreneurial
enterprises which include ALL street business like Busking Musicians,
Street Artists, of all kinds as well as Food Trucks etc.
The real question is why is The City "Opposed In It's Entirety" these things that make the City such a great place? And believe me all the city does is try to Rob theses businesses of cash and their outright business.
Why?........the city always hides behind public safety......yet no food trucks artists or musicians have caused death.....No?

May. 16 2012 01:52 PM
tom from qns

How about interviewing the artists of Union Square who have lost their rights -- their income has been devastated by the Park Departments new rules. We don't idle huge engines and/or generators that pollute the air.

May. 16 2012 01:52 PM
Lucia Samaras from Brooklyn

Do you get off-hours business from night shift workers?


May. 16 2012 01:52 PM

chris from ca~

...also a California intonation.

Hate to say it... 'cause I do agree with you.

May. 16 2012 01:49 PM
chris from ca

Mr Weber please stop finishing your sentences like if you were asking a question. This hype way of talking / improper intonation used by the younger generation really gets annoying after a while...

May. 16 2012 01:45 PM
Heide from Manhattan

Do the same rules apply to food carts as those for food trucks?

May. 16 2012 01:44 PM

Food trucks are growing "SLOWLY", in NYC????


There's a "cute" food truck, three to a block in the last 3 years!!!

May. 16 2012 01:44 PM
Myrel Chernick from NYC

My question is. Is there any regulation of the air pollution caused by the continuously running motors of the food trucks. I find some in my neighborhood to be particularly noxious and have wondered about this.

May. 16 2012 01:38 PM
john from office

I went to a much praised food truck and the food was COLD. Because you are buying from a truck in the cold. Lets not make a big deal out of something that has been in New York for years. This is like the cupcake craze from a few years ago.

Next week, the HOTDOG, OMG the best, bread from asian, pork raised in a commune, mustard grown and prepared by nuns. OH BOY

May. 16 2012 01:34 PM
Bob from Flushing

Do any of your guests know why Halal food trucks seem to have taken over parts of Queens? They're fine, but it's a limited menu. And you can't even find an old-fashioned New York hot dog stand anymore.

May. 16 2012 01:31 PM
Jenn from UWS

I live in Astoria and I know for a fact my neighbors prepare food for their "carts" (converted grocery carts) in their apartment. Is this legal? They create a ton of garbage weekly.

May. 16 2012 01:30 PM

As charming as the "food truck" craze is, it's really become an ENORMOUS...


...sorry, was I typing??

May. 16 2012 01:29 PM
Laura from UWS

How to avoid food poisoning?

May. 16 2012 01:07 PM
Son of Boaz from Brooklyn

That green and black truck is the Taim falafel truck. Best falafel in New York.!/taimmobile

May. 16 2012 12:51 PM

According to the EPA it's against the law for any vehicle to idle longer than 30 SECONDS. Noise laws are also broken by many of these trucks. The ice cream trucks are the worst offenders. If it can be heard 200 feet from the source, it it breaking the law. Over the last two years I've spoken to a dozen cops at Union Square park. They refuse to issue tickets. The EPA has an email complaint form that I've filled out, with license and location info. Never heard back from them. Perhaps WNYC can get someone from the police or the EPA to comment. Thanks

May. 16 2012 12:29 PM
Angry Citizen from Gramercy Park

I have nothing against sidewalk vendors.
But I find it outrageous that food trucks are allowed to idle at the curb all day, taking up valuable parking spaces and spewing pollution while legitimate restaurants have to pay for their real estate.

May. 16 2012 10:26 AM
R. von Gutfeld from Broadway around Columbia U.

I find having food trailers permanently parked 24/7 in front of residential buildings outrageous. When do they get the required daily health inspection according to City code, paragraph 89. Many of the carts that are not stationary are hooked on to trucks at night, the carts having no tail lights. What is happening to the City? It's vendor heaven with no regard for the residents who have to put up with the noise of Mr. Softee's deafening generator for the freezer and the clanking of spatulas on iron stoves at 3AM. I think the City has gone mad and surrendered to vendors instead of maintaining good residential neighborhoods.We the tax payers are getting the short end of the stick.

May. 15 2012 10:31 PM
David from Manhattan from 10019

Last Sunday, 13 May, 2012, I was having a walk in Central Park and passed by what used to be "Tavern on the Green." I noticed in the central, open-air space where there used to be tables and service (I think), there were a circle of Food Trucks. Does anyone know about these and maybe have tried any of them? Are they good? Are they expensive?

May. 15 2012 08:48 PM
Andrew from Brooklyn

I work as a food truck operator/vendor. No one owns spots on public property. Some spots require special permitting to operate, for example Central Park requires you to have a special Parks permit to vend. Other places such as midtown are usually free for all as long as it is a food cart (not a truck) and it is far enough away from building entrances, subway stations, bus stops, etc. There are all sorts of rules pertaining to where you can set up a food cart. A food truck, on the other hand, has less rights, considering they vend from metered parking spots, which is technically illegal in NYC. But no company owns a location. For instance, on my cart I only operate at a certain location on Wednesdays, whereas the next day it is a Halal vendor, the next day it will be an ice cream truck. The law of the land is generally based on respect and courtesy, considering many of these vendors have been working on the streets for even decades. How would you feel if one day some new cupcake cart was in your spot at 7 am when you'd been selling there for 13 years?

As for peeing, you just close your operation for 10 minutes and go use the bathroom. That's pretty much the only thing Starbucks has ever been good to me for.

May. 15 2012 07:13 PM
George from Brooklyn

What happens if you operate a food truck and need to go to the bathroom?

May. 15 2012 06:55 PM
james arrigan from new york city

Who controls locations in the city. Do these carts pay rent and to who. Recently I heard of a coffee vendor who when he goes on vacation rents his location out. And other vendors who feel they control locations and decide who works there on certain days. Any rules to follow. A cart owner in midtown who only works on saturday was told that he must leave because the person who owns the location (another cart worker) is giving it to his brother in law. The police were called and thankfully the policeman sided with the person who has has been working the location for the past three years. Another major confrontation is anticipated for next saturday morning since the brother in law claimed he would come back and kill this guy.

May. 15 2012 05:37 PM

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