It looks like the golden age of food trucks may have reached its end, as more and more vendors discover how hard it is to make money off the sidewalk lunch crowds. According to Crain's, only 500 out of 5,100 mobile food vending permits belong to actual trucks (as opposed to carts) and 400 of those are ice cream trucks. The number of "artisanal" food trucks selling things like barbecue and grilled cheese has hovered around 100 for several years now.
Some blame the prohibitive cost of getting the proper permits, while other barriers include weather and the fight for a prime location. Some businesses, like Rickshaw Dumpling Bar, have been forced to shutter everything (including the brick and mortar restaurants). Others, like Mexicue, are focusing on catering and full-blown restaurants. As Natasha Case, the owner of Coolhaus (which now has products in Whole Foods) puts it, "I would not recommend getting into the food-truck business unless you have a bigger plan."
· Food Trucks Stuck in Park [Crain's]
· Food Truck Permits Issued in NYC Flat Over Last Few Years [NYP]
· All Coverage of Food Trucks [~ENY~]