Truck Vendors Must Ask Permission From Competitors to Do Business


By Heather Callaghan

Is there a war on food truck vendors? In San Antonio, Texas there is…

Imagine if you had to ask permission from your competitors to continue doing business or face closure?

As more people catch the entrepreneurial bug, vending trucks make good sense. It’s a relatively mobile business that saves tens of thousands on start-up costs, creates independence and even bolsters local economies.

That is until cities in tandem with restaurant organizations shut them down. After all, they are competing food businesses. But is it really fair that food truck vendors in San Antonio must ask permission from their brick-and-mortar competitors if they can conduct business? And get charged for the “privilege” of asking? Is it right that the city hand selects who is able to thrive and who must close their doors? That is the current conflict as reported recently by Institute for Justice.

But it gets worse – speaking of closing truck doors, vendors must close down or move on out like nomads leaving their clientele behind if a new restaurant, convenience store or grocer opens within 300 feet of the truck’s newly acquired space. That’s quite a gamble for the truck vendor considering that at any point they can be pushed out by whomever should open shop in the area.

Food trucks face regulation too – they pay the city, too. Instead of finding ways to boost all businesses, it looks as though the city is punishing new businesses and fostering unhealthy competition among restaurateurs. But just think how restaurant owners would feel if they had to ask permission from McDonald’s in order to function.

If it wasn’t nearly insurmountable to start a brick-and-mortar to begin with, maybe this wouldn’t be an issue at all. What is the city really trying to protect?

The Institute for Justice is representing several San Antonio food truck owners in a pending Texas District Court case to challenge the city’s “no-business zones.”


Nobody should need their competitors’ permission to operate a business. But for over a decade, the city of San Antonio has forced food trucks to do just that. San Antonio bans food trucks from operating within 300 feet of every restaurant, convenience store, and grocer in the city. The law applies whether a food truck vends on private property or public property. This has created thousands of 300-foot “no-vending” zones all over town. The Alamo City is using government power to play favorites.

Heather Callaghan is a natural health blogger and food freedom activist. You can see her work at and Like at Facebook.

Recent posts by Heather Callaghan

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15 Comments on "Truck Vendors Must Ask Permission From Competitors to Do Business"

  1. Permission, licences, authorisation, concessions… there is just no end on taxations !
    We could live in a world of FREE if we would consent so; FREE WATER, FREE FOOD, FREE SHELTER… are real human birthrights

    • So who pays for all this free stuff? Where does the money for creation, regulation, and enforcement to make this “free” food, water, shelter, available, safe, and usable for everyone now and in the future??

      I agree that things need to change in this country, but you don’t have a coherent plan.

      • We all could save seeds from today’s meals (tomato/avocado/fruits…seeds) then learn on Youtube how to germinate and plant along roads, in parks… in a guerrilla way FREE FRUITS (WIKI) TREES – it could turn our planet into a FREE garden (=paradise)! This is the first step toward real liberty – Later, FREE SHELTERS could be build too – there are already technics and voluntary architects who would like to gift FREE homes but “the law ” /media hinder them to go ahead on gifting! Satanists who rule the world, want us to buy stars too! If we could agree that waters must be free, food must be free, homes must be free, then no money would be needed – people could work out OF PASSION and produce gifts! Live from gifts! A man would not be able tot buy/sell others for a salary!

        Have a look on Linux, Wikipedia.. – here, people already gift their time, knowledge for creating gifts that we all can share! The parallel system without money where people work out of passion, is on the way – without wars/revolution/blood scilently we are creating a better world of FREE. Just join us – start gifting, creating gifts, sharing… but do not any voluntary work for their satanic economic system that is based on profit – if we all could do so, their system based on money /profit/ abuse will bankrupt. Microsoft was obliged to gift Windows 10 because of Linux…

        Later, each one of us could be a SOVEREIGN PERSON enjoing dipomatic immunity (that elite have reserved only for own memebers ) – no political power should be delegate to others and problems could be resolved through consensus

        • And what are you going to do about the freeloaders taking whay you planted and then you having none, free sucks because of freeloaders, its why communism and socialism does not work.

          • gifteconomy | October 10, 2015 at 5:30 am |

            In communism and in socialism, one HAS TO PAY for water, food, shelter… just like in capaitalism! All these systems do not work for people, for us but for a tiny elite!

            In a gift economy – gifting works for people and creates ABUNDANCE! When FREE FRUIT TREES are all around, FREE BLACKBARRIES, FREE CHERRIES… no one need to steel! There can not be corruption, stealing, cheating… when all is for FREE! That’s why this system could heal the society!
            Google: gift economy; gerrilla gardening, vertical gardening, mother economy…

  2. Is it actually thousands of 600′ restrictd zones? Three hundred feet in any direction, right?

  3. San Antonio is clueless.
    Between the corporate “River Walk,” where the restaurants are so horrible, the hostesses try and pull you off the sidewalk, and San Antonio banned Uber (boo)

    Austin’s only an hour away, and have a booming food trailer industry, where vendors don’t need to ask permission from surrounding competition, and allow Uber.

  4. Wow!! So whomever is paying the most protection money (property taxes) to the (mafia) city council gets to have there way? Unless the mafia wants to use eminent domain and bulldoze your property/business for someone else that going to pay them more money. Thanks, Great reporting as always!

  5. But the restaurants have way more expenses and regulations. That’s the problem. Where I live, the vendors were not allowed to set up seating and have other restaurant amenities, because they didn’t pay the taxes for it. Then the food carts started putting in these things, against the law. Then got mad when they were told to get rid of them.

    I think there is room for both, as long as the rules are followed. They each serve a different market.

  6. Great comments. The restaurateurs (awesome title) OUGHT to join together to fight the property tax. That’s all this fight comes down to.

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