07/28/2015 01:31 EDT | Updated 07/28/2016 05:59 EDT

Vancity report says food trucks hampered by red tape, high costs

Vancouver and Victoria's booming food truck industry is hampered by high costs and red tape, according to a new report from Vancity credit union.

The report revealed that there's an estimated 80 per cent turnover of truck ownership in the industry.

Vancity says it is the first organization to study the industry and it chose to do so because it helps finance many of the small business owners of food trucks.

"Here's an opportunity for us to work together, to learn from the lessons of the food truck industry and maybe look at a Metro Vancouver licensing scheme that would allow food trucks to be mobile," said Catherine Ludgate, manager of community investment at Vancity. 

According to the report, there are approximately 305 food trucks in Vancouver and Victoria with an estimated revenue of about $50 million altogether.

Some of the report's recommendations include:

- Extending inter-city licensing to mobile food trucks as this would allow trucks to have one license to cover multiple municipalities.

- Addressing the need for more commissary kitchens. The lack of kitchen space is a common complaint among food truck owners.

- Building a solid business plan as food truck owners need to think through various financial scenarios.

Steve Ewing, founder of the food truck Yolk's, said new owners often underestimate the costs of running the businesses.

"The operating of food truck is much more expensive than anyone considered early on in the program."

He agrees that the lack of commissary kitchens is a major concern for food truck owners.

However, Ewing says there are still reasons to be optimistic — some owners like himself have now turned their trucks into brick and mortar restaurants.