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Tuesday, September 27, 2022
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Dallas Loosens Restrictions for Mobile Food Services

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Non-specific food truck open for business. | Image by Simon Mayer

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The Dallas City Council unanimously passed a new ordinance on Wednesday to make it easier for food trucks, food trailers, and other mobile food service providers to operate in the city.

The reforms, which aim to boost the number of mobile food units across the city, were prioritized by Mayor Eric Johnson and the Quality of Life, Arts, and Culture Committee, chaired by City Councilmember Adam Bazaldua.

The ordinance amendments were the focus of Mayor Johnson’s State of the City Address in November 2021. 

City officials worked with the Better Block Mobile Food Vending Task Force and other community partners to recommend amendments to the law, as directed by Mayor Johnson and the City Council.

“Dallas is a great food city. But for too long, the city government has been far too restrictive to mobile food operators,” said Mayor Eric Johnson. “I am grateful to Chairman Bazaldua and to the members of the Quality of Life, Arts, and Culture Committee for crafting more sensible regulations that encourage entrepreneurs without sacrificing food safety. Together, we are working to make Dallas more vibrant and more fun.”

The new ordinance, to be included in Dallas City Code Chapter 17 (“Food Establishments”), will achieve the following objectives:

  • Allowing for less frequent commissary visits to Code Compliance Department-approved food trucks and trailers.
  • Reducing barriers to entry by allowing other types of food-service vehicles.
  • Expanding opportunities for small business owners to enter the mobile food service industry by cutting fees.
  • Expanding food preparation options on food trucks and food trailers.

“I am thrilled about today’s amendment to Chapter 17 of the Dallas City Code,” said Chairman Bazaldua on Wednesday. “The Quality of Life, Arts, and Culture Committee has been working tirelessly on making changes that will have a great impact for the City of Dallas. These changes will bring equity and opportunity for small businesses and to communities who have been left out of the changes in the traditional hospitality industry business model.”

The committee will examine the effects of the ordinance revisions after a year.

Additionally, city officials are considering a pilot initiative to create “Food Truck Zones” in local parks and green spaces.

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