The common image of modern gourmet food trucks may be one of hipsters serving upscale urbanites, but the reality is that the way food truck owners are treated by cities provides useful insight into the ease or difficulty of doing business in different kinds of places.
That’s a key insight of a new “Food Truck Index” published recently by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Inspired by the World Bank’s Doing Business project, the Food Truck Index covers food truck regulations in twenty of America’s largest cities. The Index covers three key criteria: obtaining permits and licenses, complying with restrictions, and operating a food truck. It does so by using data on fees, trips to government agencies, and the number and level of government procedures collected in part by surveying 288 food truck operators.