Cook-On-Site Food Trucks Might Roll

Mayor Emanuel, Alderman Tom Tunney and Alderman Joe Moreno to introduce food truck ordinance Wednesday

Full-kitchen food trucks may be able to begin cooking on-site in Chicago if everything goes right in City Council on Wednesday.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Alderman Tom Tunney and Alderman Joe Moreno plan to introduce an ordinance that would allow food truck operators to cook food on the truck, rather than prepare and pre-package it in an off-site commercial kitchen.

“Chicago’s small businesses are the backbones of our communities and are a vital part of what make our city a thriving place to live, work and visit,” said Mayor Emanuel in a statement. “The food truck industry in Chicago has been held back by unnecessary restrictions, and my administration is committed to common-sense changes that will allow this industry to thrive, creating jobs and supporting a vibrant food culture across the city.”

The ordinance, which will be put to a vote Wednesday, would allow food trucks to prepare food to order and operate 24-hours-a-day, Monday through Sunday, while also protecting local restaurants and maintaining the high public health standards that traditional restaurants must adhere to.

“Our neighborhoods are full of a diverse assortment of food and restaurant options, from family-owned to fusion," Said Ald. Moreno. "Creating these sensible avenues for the food truck industry to develop right alongside of these excellent options will be a boon for our food culture and neighborhood business development.”

The ordinance will also designate Food Truck Stands throughout the city, where food trucks will be allowed to park and operate. The locations will be determined through discussions between Aldermen, businesses, and residents in each ward.

The push for cook-on-site food trucks has been ongoing in Chicago. In 2010 Ald. Scott Waguesapack (42nd) and former Ald. VI Daley (43rd) drafted a proposal which would have allowed full-kitchen food trucks to operate in Chicago, provided that they met with certain guidelines like driving a set route and staying at least 200 feet from restaurants.

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