Background Checks Increasingly Common for Food Trucks

By Michael Klazema on 10/26/2015
There is no doubt that the food truck industry is growing very, very rapidly. According to an IBISWorld market report, the United States food truck industry has seen an average annual growth of 9.3 percent between 2010 and 2015. At this point, the industry accounts for $857 million in annual revenues and employs nearly 15,000 people. Many towns and cities around the country have food truck "parks," where these mobile businesses set up a semi-permanent location to serve customers. Other food trucks remain mobile, moving from location to location to attract new customers and increase brand recognition.

The food truck industry is, in other words, unique. The mobile nature of these businesses, the rapid rate of growth, and the relatively small barrier to entry makes food trucks different than just about any other industry out there, in the food marketplace or otherwise. As a result, different cities and towns are having to be innovative in how they regulate these businesses.

Such is the case in Provo, Utah, one of the many American cities where food trucks are becoming commonplace. Predictably, those interested in operating food trucks in Provo have to meet a laundry list of criteria, with stipulations on the books from both the state government and from local municipal governments.

For instance, Utah law requires that food truck trucks have an offsite location where they can store food and other supplies. Health Department regulations also demand that food trucks maintain a daily log, documenting when different food items are being used. For the most part, Utah's state laws regarding food trucks are in place to ensure that no spoiled, contaminated, or mishandled food is being served to customers.

The municipalities, meanwhile, are the ones that require background checks are other licensing steps. In Provo, for instance, food truck operators need to obtain licenses and permits from the city and undergo criminal history background checks. Operators must also provide city authorities with photographs of their truck from numerous different angles, to prove that licensing information and other details are visibly displayed at all times.

Given the massive growth that the food truck industry has seen in recent years, it's not uncommon that background checks are becoming more and more common for food truck operators. These checks might include everything from criminal history to local civil court history. Since food truck operators aren't just preparing food, but also driving their businesses from point A to point B, driving history checks are hopefully a part of the process, as well.

Bottom line, if you are thinking about getting into the food truck industry, expect to undergo a background check through your city or state police department!


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