Plano Loosened its Food Truck Regulations This Week, and Dallas Should Follow Suit

Categories: Food News

CajunTailgaters.jpg
The owners of this New Orleans-themed truck can now use their restaurant as a commissary.
If you want to run a food truck in Dallas, you've got to rent space at a commissary, place for food storage, ice, water, waste water and waste disposal and a place to park your rig when you're not tossing Cubanos out the window. Rent can run around $1,000 or more a month. And having access to all this at an existing restaurant won't cut it: It has to be a separate, commercial kitchen.

The same requirement was levied upon food truck operators in Plano until Monday. That's when city council voted unanimously, and wisely, to allow existing restaurant spaces to serve as commissaries, provided basic parking and other sanitation requirements were met in the process.

Ann Keady takes credit for pushing the legislation through. She and her husband Jason Key are living the ultimate food truck dream after their Cajun Tailgators truck expanded into a bricks and mortar location in downtown Plano. The two businesses now run in tandem, supplying the area with plenty of po'boys, gumbo and étouffée.

The food may have helped their cause. The Cajun Café happens to be located steps from City Hall, and according to Keady "they're our biggest customers." Keady says it took about three months start to finish to get the city to rewrite the code, and now their restaurant can serve as their commissary, saving them significant storage and waste disposal fees every month.

Dallas should follow suit. While Keady is right that most restaurants, especially ones in strip malls, won't meet the parking requirement, the law change will provide incentive for existing food trucks to open up traditional restaurants that do meet the requirements.
And it could also incentivize existing restaurateurs to hit the road with new food trucks, by eliminating the commissary fees from their operating costs. Imagine a fish and chips truck from Marc Cassel's 20 Feet, or a sweets truck from Dunia Borgra of La Duni. Dallas' streets could get very exciting very fast. All we have to do is be cool. Like Plano.

Cajun Tailgators, 1112 E. 15th St., Plano, 469-304-0313, cajuntailgators.com



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5 comments
asfeif
asfeif

there are a lot of other food truck regulations in Plano that need to be loosened -- like only allowing one truck per kitchen and requiring that the kitchen own the truck.

jackya501
jackya501

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Greg820
Greg820

Plano's ordinance makes way too much sense to be successful in Dallas.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

Ive always thought food trucks should be an extension of a restaurant, or the start up leading to a restaurant but Dallas makes that terribly expensive.  Good for Plano.  And lets hope other cities expand their horizons too.  Arlington does a Food Truck Friday now , but why not all week?


Anyone tried the Not Just Q truck yet?

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