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Globe Editorial

Food trucks: Serving up jobs

May 4, 2011

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The arrival of food trucks in Boston has been as much an economic success story as a culinary one. Just take the example of the Clover Food Truck, one of the first to operate permanently in Boston. Last spring, when Clover began serving its vegetarian fare on the Greenway, the company consisted of one truck and a half-dozen or so employees. In less than one year, Clover has grown to include three trucks and a popular restaurant in Cambridge — a growing empire that employs more than 80 people. While it would be unrealistic to expect all of Boston’s new food trucks to expand at the same pace, the city is wise to give more local entrepreneurs the same opportunity.

Recently, three food trucks began operating on City Hall Plaza, bringing a jolt of energy and inexpensive lunch options to that windswept slab. Over the next year, dozens more trucks will be operating, thanks to an ordinance passed by the City Council late last month. The city hopes to open up its application process for new proposals within the next few weeks.

As the city considers new food truck locations and proposals, it should continue to encourage its entrepreneurs to serve healthy and ethnically diverse foods. Likewise, officials should offer truck operators incentives to set up shop in neighborhoods outside of the downtown area. An initiative that increases the number of good food options downtown is one thing; one that increases those options in commercial areas with less access to healthy, affordable foods, like Dorchester and Mattapan, would be even better.