With the passage of a new ordinance last month, Chicago has caught up with other major U.S. cities like
The City of Chicago's Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection reported Friday that 34 trucks have started the application process for a mobile food vehicle license. Twenty-seven of those are seeking a mobile food preparer license, which permits on-board cooking. The remaining seven seek mobile food dispenser licenses to sell pre-packaged, pre-cooked foods.
Under the new law, the food trucks' hours of operation will be extended, enabling them to operate from 5 a.m. to 2 a.m. instead of the current 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The city also plans to establish designated "truck stands" in major business areas such as Lakeview, Lincoln Park, West Town and the Loop. The stands are expected to be ready by late summer or fall. Trucks also will be required to install GPS tracking devices--at the owners' expense--by Oct. 1, so the city can ensure the trucks are parked legally.
Tom Alexander, assistant press secretary for the Office of the Mayor, said he expects trucks to begin cooking food on board as early as next week. Trucks with mobile food dispenser licenses who didn't cook previously but wish to cook or prepare food will need to upgrade to a mobile food dreparers license.