Chris Newman
Dec 22, 2018 · 1 min read

Yes, the barrier for entry is low. The problem is that racism and appropriation are forcing people of color to live at the bottom of the market permanently.

Food trucks have lower startup and operating costs. But for an operator who could successfully run either a truck or a restaurant*, the returns on a restaurant are much, much, much higher for lots of reasons —ranging from alcohol regulations to service capacity/volume to weather. If food trucks were a categorically better investment, you would not see the proliferation of investment in six and seven-figure brick and mortar restaurant concepts.

Assuming this wasn’t true, however, and that food trucks ARE indeed the better investment, then you’re effectively agreeing that there IS segregation in the food industry, but it’s OK because the colored section is more profitable. Racism doesn’t get a pass for moral luck. But as I’ve said — that luck doesn’t exist: racism and appropriation are in fact excluding people of color from the most profitable sectors of the food industry.

RE: Native Americans: the percentage of enrolled Natives who live on reservations is in the single digits. And among reservations, very few practice traditionally usufruct land rights — for most, it’s privately owned just like everywhere else. That being the case, we face the same racialized obstacles as every other disadvantaged minority, and for the same reasons.

*There are lots of entrepreneurs that don’t have the discipline, business skills, work ethic, or experience to run a restaurant, but could do fine operating a truck. We’re not talking about those people. We’re talking about

    Chris Newman

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