Regulations and permit headaches keep food trucks from cruising down Easy Street

For the first time since Iowan Shon Bruellman started The Big Red Food Truck four years ago, he doesn’t have a permit to set up shop in Des Moines. The former hog farmer turned entrepreneur said the $2,000 for required city paper work and fees isn’t worth it, because he can spend half as much and get multiple permits for numerous suburbs nearby.

While the Des Moines truck scene booms, his pub-food cuisine, including tacos, ternderloins and cheeseburgers, is on the sidelines in the city limits. The entrepreneurial spirit of the business, the relative ease of the set-up and the lure of trying unusual foods make it an appealing way to break into the restaurant industry, especially as the economy continues to rebound, Consumers are spending more on dining out and specialty foods that are both convenient and hip, fill that demand perfectly.

Food trucks are a $960 million business and are projected to hit $1.1 billion in 2022, according to a report by IBISWorld. But the researcher also found that growth in the food truck industry is slowing — 7.3% in 2012 through 2017 and now expected at 3% through 2022 — due to increased competition, low profit margins and the sorts of municipal regulations that irk Bruellman.

Read more of this USA Today article by Zlati Meyer by clicking here.