(ATLANTA, Ga.) More food trucks will be accessible throughout the Atlanta area as the city expands its food truck program.
Currently, many of the city’s food truck operators are located in and around the downtown area.
City leaders in charge of the expansion are hoping to provide underserved communities with more fresh food options as well as boost the economy and restaurant finances amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a report on the expansion by the Atlanta Voice, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told the outlet, “The expansion of the city's public food truck program responds to food truck operators and communities seeking greater opportunities for food trucks and the benefits they bring to communities.”
In addition to expanding the food truck program, the city is revisiting the idea of its public vending program to increase opportunities for entrepreneurs in the food industry.
The city saw its first food truck business in 2010 when Carson Young put his restaurant, Yumbii, on wheels. The Mexican and Asian fusion eatery soon expanded to a brick and mortar restaurant in Buckhead thanks to Kickstarter efforts. Young's food truck paved the way for more food entrepreneurs to bring their menus and expertise to the community in a fast and convenient way.
In a past interview, Young spoke on operating the city's first food truck and working with the city to outline regulations and guidelines for other foodtrucks.
"We started Yumbii in 2010 with our first truck, and our mission was to make easily accessible, globally-inspired food and educate people on how food trucks work. We also had to push for legislative changes in the city to help make that happen, and we are grateful the city embraced that concept and we’ve been growing ever since," Young said.
The city implemented its official program in October of 2020 after a resolution passed outlining specific rules and regulations to observe how food trucks operate on public property.
Currently, many food trucks in Atlanta operate by a multitude of rules and regulations. To operate publicly and inside of the city limits, operators must obtain permits to sell food in city parks, vend in a metered parking space when on public property and operate in designated areas while downtown if they are not hired by a private company or individual.
The updates to the program will expand the publicly designated area beyond downtown and allow food truck operators to apply for new locations that include street parking spaces in commercial districts throughout the city.
“The addition of newly designated food truck areas will enhance streets and pedestrian ways, increase economic opportunity for entrepreneurs and provide more choices in underserved neighborhoods with few prepared food options,” Bottoms said in a prepared statement.
Currently, there are only two permanent food truck parks operating in the city, The Atlanta Food Truck and Triton Yards. Both are located in the downtown area near Howell Mill Road and the Capital View neighborhood.