NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation approved a food truck on Wednesday for use in parks in the city’s West Side borough, a move that could spur expansion of the industry.
The company behind the food truck, called The Big Dog, is working with the Parks Department to create a pilot program that would allow the park to host a food cart and other food vendors.
“The Big Dog has been a part of New York’s urban fabric for over 40 years and is excited to be able to continue serving up delicious food at parks and other public spaces,” said Joe O’Malley, The Big Dogs co-founder.
O’Malley declined to identify the location for the food cart or where it would be located, but said it would likely be in Brooklyn or Staten Island.
The Big Dogs is a five-man operation that sells everything from pizza and baked goods to baked goods and more.
O’Brien said it had not yet decided whether to expand its offerings to other parks in New York.
“I think we’re pretty well on track with the pilot,” he said.
Ola Shams, a partner at the law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Hauser LLP who has represented food trucks in New Jersey, Illinois and Virginia, said food trucks are already thriving in parks and will continue to do so.
“Food trucks are just getting bigger,” Shams said.
“They’re just getting the same types of things that are being served in parks that you’d find in other dining venues.”
Food truck operators said they would like to expand their businesses, but many fear competition from other vendors who are already serving the same basic menu and serving a similar price point.
Food trucks in the United States have grown quickly in recent years, with restaurants such as Chipotle Mexican Grill and Shake Shack expanding their menus to cater to a more diverse customer base.
Food trucks have also become more common in places such as Chicago, where restaurants such a Shake Shack and Chipotle have expanded their food trucks to cater more specifically to people who live in those neighborhoods.
But food trucks and other vendors in other cities have also been struggling to make ends meet as they try to compete with restaurants, with food trucks charging more for food and charging more to patrons.
In New York, the city is considering creating a pilot food-truck program that could expand its program to include other businesses and offer food trucks as well as other types of catering services.
Last year, the state began issuing permits for food trucks at parks.
The department’s final decision is expected to be made by March.