Food Truck Operators Might Not Be Able to Wear Tank Tops Anymore

The tank top regulation.
Hey girl, this is tank top regulation

The Dallas City Council’s Quality of Life Committee met this morning (and is probably still meeting) about potentially lowering the costs of streetscape licensing and street vending permits in downtown Dallas. Generally, I think this is good news for the city. Lowering the costs = potentially more restaurants with outdoor seating/more food trucks in Dallas = more pedestrians enjoying downtown =  everyone is happy. In George Lewis’ words, “Fees can be onerous, simply because food trucks are mobile, which means multiple cities.  Multiply $300 – $600 for all of the cities: Dallas, University Park, Highland Park, Arlington, Denton, FW, Carrollton, Garland, etc. and you rack up a chunk of government money.”

I snuck out of the meeting after the streetscape licensing part because I had to get back to the office, but the vending permits Powerpoint is on the committee briefings page, anyway.

The proposal is to cut vending licenses by half to $600 annually. Right now, food trucks are allowed to operate between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily, but the proposed update would extend those hours to 10 p.m. (Mon-Thursday, Sunday) and midnight (Friday and Saturday). There’s also a suggestion to require photo ID badges for all vendors, prohibit smoking by vendors while operating in the vending locations, and to establish a dress code. All these are unregulated right now and sound pretty fair, except… what’s up with this dress code? Take a look for yourself:

Appendix B: Proposed Dress Code

  • Proposed minimum dress requirements for vendors include the following
  • Clothing must be neat, clean and sanitary at all times
  • Walking shorts allowed, but no cut-offs ◦ No apparel with offensive or suggestive language,images, symbols
  • No tank tops or halter tops
  • No outer apparel made of fishnet or undergarment material

I don’t know about you, but I can imagine  it gets pretty hot in a food truck when the weather reaches over 100 degrees. No tank tops?? Perhaps people are afraid of tank tops for chest hair or other sanitary reasons (deodorant should do the trick), but George makes another good observation. “Funny thing about required clothing.  Pretty dumb… no tank tops or halter tops, yet Hooter’s, Twin Peaks?  Where’s the consistency?”

And those ladies even get to work indoors.

Overall, the city’s stance on food trucks seems to be heading in a fair direction. “In general, despite the occasional carping by the public about how behind Dallas is, I think that the city permitting and enforcement has done a pretty good job,” says George.


  • Pegaso

    Did someone find an armpit hair in their kimchi fries?

  • Wayne Conrad

    I don’t see why the city is regulating hours. If they’re on someone’s privately owned parking lot and not causing noise complaints or some sort of public nuisance, who cares how late or early they’re open? It’s possible that providing good sober up options on wheels might even cut down on drunk driving.

  • Wayne Conrad

    And honestly, I want to see scientific justification for any dress code measures that prove a public health risk. Why give potentially corrupt city hall employees even more tools to use for rent seeking?

  • FortWorthGuy

    Talk about a strange take on the dress code. Here in Fort Worth, the Central Market deli guys have been told they have to cover up facial hair in addition to the hair on their heads. The result is that they have to wear a hairnet over the offending part of their face. Either the chin area or the upper lip depending on where the hair is located. They look really odd too. But before you get upset at the health department guys, I have been told that this was due to an HEB in-house inspector causing all the changes. What puzzles me is that while these people in the deli meat department and the ladies in the prepared food service all wear the appropriate hair gear, apparently for health reasons, the people in the cooking school where food is also prepared and served to the general public do not wear any protection. Does anyone know if the facial hair cover-up has spread to the other CM’s in the area?

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  • YouhadmeatRyanGosling

    Eff the code, I want a double order of Him.

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  • MikeK

    I think the city may be trying to ward off the lingerie coffee kiosks that were popular in some other cities not that long ago.

  • Lakeisha D

    The only dress code that food trucks should have is their own. The city should only regulate within their means (zoning, parking) not uniforms per se; it takes away from the creativity. The city does not tell McDonald’s managers they can’t wear ties or Sonic employees can’t wear visor hats so why should food truck workers be restricted. Don’t they know how hot it gets in those food trucks in the Texas summers? My guess is no.