New food truck rules reign in San Francisco

CITY HALL — Food trucks in San Francisco will have to stay further away from brick-and-mortar restaurants after the Board of Supervisors passed new regulations governing mobile eateries.

The new regulations mandate a 75-foot ban around traditional eateries and allow food trucks to work the same location only three days in a row. The ordinance also provides for greater enforcement while allowing more access to schools and universities.

Supervisor Scott Wiener spent the last two years hashing out the legislation in an effort to create peace between mobile eateries and non-mobile restaurants.

Wiener described the old regulations as overly restrictive in some areas and too lax in others, though restaurant owners complained that the trucks have stolen half their customers.

Not every food truck driver is worried about the new regulations. 18-year-old Tandoori Chicken USA Manager Fredy Alfaro told SFBay his company’s website draws customers to his truck’s new location each day:

“I believe that people know our food and seek us out. We do our best to give our customers good food. People don’t want to eat the same food everyday.”

Diners happily munching on their lunch at the Civic Center’s Off the Grid location seemed blissfully unaware of any new regulations.

Anya Deepak said she preferred the food trucks to traditional restaurants because it gave them a chance to sit outside after spending all day in an office:

“I think I’ve eaten at every food truck in the city. You pay more, but you get good vegetarian food. Everybody can eat what they want.”

The new regulations allow food trucks on university and hospital campuses and also allow trucks to be closer to schools with a minimum distance of 500 feet for middle schools and 1000 feet for most high schools.