George Gibbs Center for Economic Prosperity

New Documen⁠t⁠ary Promp⁠t⁠s D⁠i⁠scuss⁠i⁠on of ⁠t⁠he S⁠t⁠ree⁠t⁠ Food Indus⁠t⁠ry and ⁠t⁠he Regula⁠t⁠ory Env⁠i⁠ronmen⁠t⁠ ⁠i⁠n Tallahassee and Across Flor⁠i⁠da

By: The James Madison Institute / 2014

Contact:  Valerie Wickboldt | | (850) 386-3131

New Documentary Prompts Discussion of the Street Food Industry
and the Regulatory Environment in Tallahassee and Across Florida
~ Attendees partake in Tallahassee food trucks and a free film screening of DOG DAYS hosted by The James Madison Institute in partnership with Tallahassee Film Society and Tallahassee Food Truck Association ~TALLAHASSEE — “#FunFriday, Food Trucks & a Free Film,” another Madison Movie Night hosted by The James Madison Institute (JMI), highlighted a new documentary DOG DAYS and the regulatory environment surrounding the street food industry.JMI in partnership with the Tallahassee Film Society All Saints Cinema and the Tallahassee Food Truck Association, welcomed dozens of attendees who enjoyed fare from local food trucks including Royal Porker BBQ, Street Chefs and Valhalla Grill which served prior to JMI’s free film screening of DOG DAYS. The DOG DAYS documentary featured an unemployed entrepreneur and a veteran hotdog vendor that take a joint leap of faith to keep the American Dream afloat amidst a sinking economy.”Events like this are important to the food truck industry because they open the door to a side of our business that is rarely seen. It is fun and rewarding to own a food truck business, but an extremely challenging endeavor — one that you don’t undertake half-heartedly,” said Beverly Rich, owner of Valhalla Grill and vice president of the Tallahassee Food Truck Association. “I commend Tallahassee officials for embracing the ‘Food Truck Revolution’ the way they have. However, unlike Tallahassee, there are counties and cities within Florida that have strict regulatory policies regarding food trucks and their day-to-day operations. We’re always keeping a constant watch on the trends of our industry and this includes the regulatory trends. We’re grateful of those who came out tonight to learn more.”Following the film screening, JMI Resident Fellow Bill Mattox and Ms. Rich led attendees in a discussion about the film and the regulatory environment surrounding the street food industry. Both shared information from a recent Washington, D.C. based Institute for Justice (IJ) study titled “Food-Truck Freedom: How to Build Better Food Truck Laws in Your City.”“America is experiencing a food-truck revolution, which has been played out here in Tallahassee,” said Mattox. “DOG DAYS is a great film to focus viewers attention on the fact that often overburdensome regulations crowd out creative endeavors and the many entryways for would-be entrepreneurs.”Highlights of the study include the below guidelines for creating food truck policy derived from legislative best practices of Los Angeles and other cities that have experience regulating food trucks and exemplify the principles.

In order to foster the conditions that will let food trucks thrive in their cities, officials should remember the two principles of good food-truck policy:

1) no protectionism; and
2) clear, narrowly tailored, and outcome-based laws.

IJ adds, “These mobile kitchens are a way for new and innovative chefs who are long on ideas but short on capital to try out new concepts and dishes. Thanks to their low start-up costs, food trucks give new entrepreneurs the opportunity to get into business for themselves at a fraction of what it would cost to open a restaurant. These new businesses offer consumers more dining options, create jobs, and improve the overall quality of life in their communities.” The full study can be viewed at this link:“We’re grateful to our partners and excited to bring this well-received documentary into light,” said John Fraser, president of the Tallahassee Film Society. “It’s exciting to see so many interested in this topic and we’re glad to have provided the venue for this discussion to take place.”For more information on JMI visit For more information on the partnering organizations visit their respective websites, and
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