Nationwide, trucks brought in $630 million last year, an increase of 3.6 percent over the previous year. However, the rise of the food trucks hasn't come without trouble. A recent court ruling held that vendors in New York City aren't allowed to park in metered parking spaces. Truck operators in suburban Washington, D.C., are hamstrung by the hodgepodge of regulations that vary from one municipality to the next. A license to cook in one city is no protection from a citation in the next. Chicago wraps food trucks in more red tape than perhaps any other major city. Food-truck vendors are forbidden to cook on their trucks—or even do so much as slice a sandwich in half. In practicality, such restrictions limit the city's food-truck fleet to the small catering trucks known as “roach coaches” that typically serve construction sites and industrial parks.

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