Tampa ranks highly in a list of U.S. cities that are best for the mobile restaurants.
With indoor dining not available or extremely limited at brick-and-mortar restaurants during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, food trucks became hot commodities, soaring in popularity across the country — including Tampa.
According to a new data analysis from Clever, a real estate research firm, the food truck industry is now valued at $1.2 billion, and many cities — but not all — are embracing them. Citing statistics from Roaming Hunger, Walk Score, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Yelp, Google Trends and Avalara, Clever found that Tampa ranks 10th in the country on its food-truck-friendliness scale, behind San Jose, California, but ahead of San Antonio, Texas.
Criteria for the rankings included number of food trucks per 100,000 residents, regulatory and operational climate, walkability score, number of restaurant-supply stores per 100,000 residents, Google searches for food truck terms and sales tax rate. The top 10 is populated by cities in the West and Pacific Northwest, but Orlando makes an appearance at No. 5, while Raleigh, North Carolina, occupies second place, right behind Portland, Oregon. Providence, Rhode Island, is the only other eastern city to make the top 10.
With just 1.6 food trucks per 100,000 residents and restrictive zoning laws and other regulations, Virginia Beach, Virginia, the release states, is the unfriendliest U.S. city for food trucks.