The Washington State Food Truck Association will converge on the state Capitol in Olympia Thursday for Food Truck Lobby Day. More than a dozen vendors from across the state try to make a change in this booming industry. Last year, 300 new food trucks came into existence in Washington state alone.
One of the big changes they hope for is to standardize rules and regulations between each city and county in the state. Every city and county currently has different requirements, and the food truck community says that can often have devastating costs to small, independent business owners.
“It all depends on the city, and it all depends on the county. It’s all relative. Sometimes it’s no fuss at all, and sometimes it’s a little bit more than you would hope for,” Skillet Street Food Chef David Van Gelder said. “If the permits cost more than the event that you’re attending, unfortunately, you won’t be able to attend that event because of those reasons.”
Skillet Street Food will be one of more than a dozen trucks out at the state Capitol on Thursday. All of the trucks are members of the Washington Food Truck Association.
“The Washington Food Truck Association has a support system in place for all the different trucks in the mobile food community, and we’re kind of united in trying to get a bit more consistency between the counties and cities that we were discussing,” Van Gelder said. “It’s certainly not each for their own. It’s a united system, it’s a support network for one another, and that’s a big purpose of the association.”
The association also has concerns about what they call “unfair business practices.” The director of the Food Truck Association says they are disappointed with certain rules, like the one in Tacoma where the city requires 70 percent of existing local businesses to approve food trucks on public property.
The association hopes that lobby will introduce legislators to the variety of food and the diversity of mobile food small business owners.