We’ve often thought that one of the greatest “city-killers” is a political and bureaucratic situation where regulations curtailed entrepreneurial growth. In the food-service industry, often these regulations were justifiably focused on food safety issues. But the world has changed. Toronto, the world’s most ethnically diverse city, has finally found another way to embrace and celebrate the best of its diverse population—mobile food trucks. In the spring, the city loosened its strict rules on food trucks that previously hindered the growth in this industry.
Run by entrepreneurial chefs that are in different locations on different days, food trucks offer a wonderful array of tasty and imaginative food. Clean standards are guaranteed by their more formal prep-kitchens situated in industrial buildings. The fee is steep at $5,000 per year and trucks must be parked 50 metres away from established restaurants—or rent from parking lots. Nevertheless, a food truck offers a budding chef a relatively low start-up cost and a chance to test a concept before investing into a brick and mortar restaurant. And, with the advancement of social media, mobile apps and the internet, these entrepreneurs now have the necessary tools to reach and interact with a greater number of consumers (even without having a permanent location). Mobile apps such as Toronto Street Food App and Toronto Food Truck App provide location information, photos, news and events for Toronto’s food trucks. Many independent food trucks have their own website and active Facebook and Twitter pages.
Whatever the pros and cons, downtown workers and residents of Toronto enjoy this delight for the eyes, taste buds—and wallet!
Resident of Toronto or visiting soon? Be sure to check out Toronto’s Food Truck Alley, inspired by Hamilton’s Food Truck Alley—created for food truck lovers by food truck owners. They are open every week, Wednesday to Friday, located at the corner of Queen Street East and Jarvis Street. Here are a few vendors that you may have the pleasure of running into.
The Feisty Jack – British comfort food. They plan to open their first brick and mortar location soon
Steel Cut Coffee – premium espressos, tea and baked goods
Curbside Deliciousness – gourmet homestyle cuisine