MONTREAL — According to the Montreal Economic Institute (MEI), Montreal is burdening food-truck operators with too many regulations. Although in the last three years, the presence of food trucks has been a boon for the city’s entrepreneurs and workers, today, strict municipal policies are hindering growth in the sector, claims MEI.
In a study of restaurant openings throughout Quebec, Montreal ranked 74th for ease of operating a business. A large factor contributing to Montreal’s low score was its overly-strict regulations.
“These entrepreneurs must jump through numerous bureaucratic hoops in order to serve Montrealers,” says economist, Vincent Geloso. “A prospective vendor must acquire a permit of operation, which are limited by the number of food-truck sites designated by the city. To do this, a vendor must go through an approval process involving a lot of paperwork and then pay $2,075 for an annual permit, on top of all of the other costs associated with regulatory compliance.”
In the MEI Viewpoint, “Food-Truck Freedom for Montreal,” co-authors Vincent Geloso and Jasmin Guénette, argue that implementing new measures to alleviate cumbersome business regulations and taxes imposed on restaurants would help to alleviate stress for business owners while continuing to protect consumers.
“Mobile food vending offers great potential benefits as much for workers and entrepreneurs as for consumers. Sensible policy should avoid hindering the growth of this sector, while creating a favourable environment for healthy competition among food trucks and restaurants alike,” says Guénette.