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Credit: Katie Zhao

Philadelphia was ranked the fourth friendliest city for food truck vendors, according to Food Truck Nation, a project of the United States Chamber of Commerce.

The results were based on surveys of 288 food truck owners and their first-hand accounts along with rules governing food trucks in 20 U.S. cities. Food Truck Nation aimed to measure the economic impact of food trucks across major cities in the U.S., estimating a total of $2.7 billion in revenue brought in last year alone. Philadelphia followed behind Portland, Denver, and Orlando, respectively, as friendliest city for mobile food vendors.

Philadelphia also ranked first in complying with restrictions, along with third place in ease of obtaining food truck licenses and permits, according to the report.

But despite the relative ease of obtaining a license, the permit comes with a cost. The city was ranked no. 13 in barriers to operating a food truck, which can cost upwards of $25,292 in fees each year. Last September, food trucks around campus hiked up prices, citing high merchandise costs, which prompted a strong reaction from students and staff on campus. 

The Food Truck Nation report also described Philadelphia as the "Wild West" for food truck vendors, who have to navigate a range of rules that are not always consistently enforced. For example, some vendors are allowed to operate past midnight while others are not. In some areas, vendors can park within 30 feet of another food truck but in other areas they are not allowed to. 

In Philadelphia, vendors are also required to undergo health inspections at every large event where they sell food, which can quickly result in a total of 10 to 30 inspections every year

Despite the hurdles food truck vendors face, Philadelphia compares favorably in relation to other cities. “Philadelphia shows brotherly love to the city’s food trucks,” Food Truck Nation reported.

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