"I think the two-hour rule is eventually going to be stricken from the ordinance because it's really not conducive for cooking," said Nuccio, who said sometimes a Beavers employee will park a car in a food truck spot overnight so the truck can take its place early in the morning.
To Weitz, this is a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't situation. "I don't know what the solution is, because if they start enforcing the two-hour rule, it's going to be bad for all of us, but people are just getting there earlier and earlier for those spots," she said.
"We're playing by the rules. We're going to stick to the two-hour limits," said Herrera.
Jennifer Lipford, communications director for the city's Business Affairs and Consumer Protection Department, said the city established the two-hour rule, in part, to prevent trucks from staking out spots and also to give more trucks the opportunity to use favored spots.
"We encourage owners experiencing difficulties to reach out to us," she said. "Recently, we've been working with owners to hear their concerns and explore opportunities for improvements."
4. Distrust with the city
But distrust exists between some of Chicago's food trucks and the city. Amy Le, who used to own the DucknRoll truck, said many owners felt that the city didn't listen to the concerns about the number and quality of designated spots and the 200-foot-from-a-restaurant rule. A lawsuit filed in November on behalf of the Schnitzel King and Cupcakes for Courage truck owners challenging the 200-foot rule and the city's requirement that trucks install GPS systems continues to move forward, with a status hearing scheduled for Sept. 27.
5.Lack of organization
Several truck owners say they'd still like to get a workable association going, though an attempt last year fizzled. "We had a discussion with a large group of the trucks about trying to set up a schedule that we would enforce as a group, but it takes one person not wanting to do it for it not to work," said Le, who had assumed a leadership role during her truck's operation. She noted that of 55 food truck owners in the discussion, 53 agreed to follow a schedule, but two said no. "I said, we can't enforce this if not everybody's on board."
CHICAGO FOOD TRUCKS BY THE NUMBERS
30 -- Official food truck locations in Chicago
2 -- Spots at each location
19 -- Trucks licensed to cook food on board
122 -- Total licensed food trucks in the city
200 -- Minimum number of feet between food trucks and brick-and-mortar restaurants