You could see more food trucks in Delray

Posted at 6:56 PM, Jan 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-04 20:15:06-05

They're taking over South Florida, and soon you may see a lot more food trucks in Delray Beach.

The city is considering making a pilot program permanent. It would allow food trucks in the city and expand the hours and locations where they can set up.

It's music to the ears of Susan Burdzilauskas, who operates a food trailer called Flavor of Munich. It specializes in German favorites.

"You don't have to worry about going into a restaurant, if you don't have a lot of time and you don't have to do fast food, you can get something good for lunch," she explains the benefits of a food truck.

She's participated in Delray Beach's pilot program, which started in September 2014. During the trial period, the city tweaked rules. A city spokesperson says food trucks only set up at Saltwater Brewery, which does not have a kitchen. 

Not everyone is excited for the possibility of more food trucks in other parts of town. John Tarantino runs The Sandwich Man And Pizza Too in Delray Beach.

He says trucks get breaks on taxes and regulations, when compared to brick and mortar stores like his. 

"Their trucks are painted, but I can't put a banner in the window, that's against the law here," he points out.

The city's proposal includes rules to level the playing field.

Under the new ordinance, trucks can set up in commercial and industrial parts of the city, like along Congress Avenue and Federal Highway. They will not be allowed in the downtown area, or in city parks, except for special events.

The trucks have to be 200ft from existing restaurants. They can set up four days a week, and only three consecutive days in one location. They can operate from 9a.m. until midnight, but only for six hours at one location.

Tarantino says he's optimistic he won't lose customers.

"The best meal will have to win. I have a $5 hamburger, they're selling $10 hamburgers," he says.

Burdzilauskas, from Flavor of Munich, says her goal is not to put existing restaurants out of business.

"For people who want to sit down at a restaurant, they will sit down at a restaurant," she says. "If they just want a bite to eat, they'll stop at a food truck."

City commissioners will discuss this ordinance tomorrow at 6 p.m. It will need to be approved twice before becoming law.