Browsing articles tagged with " Mobile Vendors"
The summer of 2013 brings 15 new street food vendors for a total count of up to 114 stationary vendors in Vancouver. Throw in the 20 mobile vendors prowling the city and we can say weâ€™re really cookinâ€™ with gas.
Next year, thereâ€™ll be 15 more spots and at that time the city will review the program to see where to go from there. This year, vendor locations were moved away from downtown core to areas like Beach Avenue, Victory Square, the Langara campus and the Queen Elizabeth Theatre area.
â€œWhen we began, we didnâ€™t think Vancouver Coastal Health would support these types of foods. Weâ€™ve worked with them, established a set of standards, including nutrition, built a relationship and helped create an application process with them,â€� says Sadhu Johnston, the deputy city manager. â€œWeâ€™ve come a long way.â€�
Iâ€™ll say. Vancouverâ€™s street food scene was rated No. 3 last month by Travel and Escape TV, behind Portland and Austin which had huge head starts. And in Portland, anyone who passes inspections can set up in a private lot or one of the parking lot pods which partly explains the 700 street food vendors. In Vancouver, theyâ€™re selected for quality and, as much as possible, green considerations.
Vancouverâ€™s 2013 vendors were approved to start May 1 but many are still waiting for trucks or carts to be finished. This year, the city didnâ€™t have a tasting panel as part of the selection process as was the case last year. â€œIt was very, very, very labour intensive for vendors,â€� says Johnston. â€œIt involved quite a level of effort but we may do it again in the future.â€�
â€œWeâ€™ve been learning a lot,â€� says Johnston. â€œThe first year, the lottery method didnâ€™t work very well. We moved to a panel of experts reviewing business plans, menu choices and improved the way we work with our partners from the health side of things. Certainly, we learned about where carts and trucks can fit in. There were some challenges around parking, like some trucks would have designated spots but someone would have parked there despite the signs on the parking meter.
Andy Fielding, president of the Street Food Association and proprietor of Kaboom Box (two locations at Georgia and Burrard and Georgia and Granville) says vendors are inspected â€œoften,â€� in response to concerns some people have about health standards. â€œInspectors come to the trucks and to the commissaries. I havenâ€™t worked in restaurants in this city but I understand weâ€™re inspected even more regularly. And besides, part of the experience of street food is seeing food being prepared in front of you. You can look right in and see whatâ€™s going on.â€�
The street food business is a challenging one because of the very short season. â€œItâ€™s akin to a retail store that makes its money at Christmas and you have to have a good location. Itâ€™s tricky and itâ€™s a challenge to be outside the downtown area. You really need a density of people,â€� says Fielding.
The Street Food Association, he says, represents about 30 top-tier vendors. â€œWe have a criteria for members and we represent the vendors doing the most unique and sustainable type of menus. Itâ€™s the kind of criteria the city uses to choose new vendors. Regular hotdog vendors are not part of the association,â€� he says. â€œIf an event organizer approaches us, they know our members are the top tier.â€�
And events are what will keep vendors afloat through the year. Farmersâ€™ markets and catering are important alternative revenue streams but more events are starting to emerge. â€œWinter is the Achilles heel of the street food business and weâ€™d like to organize more events through the winter.â€� Dine Out Vancouverâ€™s street food event and food truck festivals have been very successful in past years.
â€œWeâ€™re working with the former owners of the Waldorf Hotel (a food truck festival was organized in the hotel parking lot last year) to put on another festival.â€� They plan to have a food truck festival every Sunday from June 16 to mid-September at a parking lot across from the Terminal Ave. SkyTrain Station.
â€œWeâ€™re trying to organize more events at the art gallery. Weâ€™ve met with people there,â€� he adds.
â€œI could pretty much tell you nobody in this business is getting rich. I think if theyâ€™re honest, theyâ€™d all tell you that. But working on the streets is fun and Iâ€™d like to add that we add a lot to the city in general. Weâ€™re ambassadors, we bring people downtown, add vibrance and make it an interesting place to be.â€�
Two food cart vendors will continue serving food to people on the go in downtown Naperville at least until the end of the year.
After that, city officials will take another look at the program to determine what improvements need to be made if it is going to continue.
“Stuff does take a while to get fine-tuned, and maybe assuming that you … have a real good year and there’s no problems, then we’ll be able to finally get this thing so it runs more or less by itself like most other things,” Councilman Joe McElroy told the vendors.
The Downtown Advisory Commission and city staff have been looking at ways to ease issues like vendors being unhappy with the location they have been assigned and some vendors not showing up consistently. There also have been concerns from the business community that mobile vendors take business away from bricks-and-mortar establishments.
After discussing the program at three consecutive meetings and reviewing options like clustering the vendors, the commission recommended extending the permits through December instead of July for Joey’s Red Hots and John’s Rib House — the only two of the four permitted vendors showing up regularly — then taking another look at the program.
In making his case to the City Council for final approval, John’s Rib House owner John Singleton Jr. said he doesn’t think he makes enough money to hurt other downtown businesses and the program should be given time to improve.
“Like all new ideas, there’s going to be faults, there’s going to be some kinks you have to work out,” he said.
Councilman Paul Hinterlong said he believes in the program.
“The reason these guys came around was because the restaurants didn’t want to cook anymore when it became late enough, so it opened up a window for these guys,” he said. “Good for them. They’re filling that void.”
The issue, Councilman Steve Chirico said, has become “one of the most talked about small items.”
“Seems to me the only thing that’s wrong, we just need to get out of the way and let these guys sell hot dogs and pulled pork sandwiches,” he said.
The council unanimously agreed to extend the two vendors’ permits until the end of the year.
Glory Days Presents!, High Dive and Pelican Brothers will be hosting The Original Gainesville Food Truck Rally on Saturday. The event, the city’s third rally, will be held at High Dive, 210 SW 2nd Ave, from 5 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.
The event is free and does not require visitors to get tickets.
“This is a really new and exciting thing in Gainesville right now,” Pat Lavery, Glory Days Presents! owner and operator said. “They’ve been happening all over the country for a while now. We came up with the idea to try it out in Gainesville sometime toward the end of last year. ”
Previous food truck rallies were held in January and March.
“Currently, the city only allows us to do this event once every two months due to their zoning laws,” Lavery said. “But we hope that will change in the future.”
Lavery said the featured foods at the rally run the gamut of grilled cheese sandwiches, lobster rolls, burritos, wood-fired pizza and Hawaiian shaved ice.
Vegan and vegetarian options are also available.
Food Truck Rally vendors include Pelican Brothers, Charlie’s Snow Shack, Go Go Stuff Yourself, Grilled Cheese Wagon, Humble Pie, Kona Dog, Monsta Lobsta, Off the Griddle and Sizzle Wagon. Pelican Brothers will be hosting the event.
Vendors served about 2,000 people at the last rally, and half of the trucks sold out of food, the organizers said.
The Original Gainesville Food Truck Rally will also incorporate a free concert starting at 9 p.m. featuring local bands like Pilly Wete, Leela the Rams and The Partials.
“We’re kind of creating a starting point for people’s Saturday night,” Lavery said. “It’s creating a really positive economic impact for downtown and all of our surrounding businesses.”
He said the food truck rally has helped to support business at neighboring restaurants such as Five Star Pizza, The Jones B-side and Loosey’s.
“There’s really not a lot of places for food trucks and mobile vendors to set up around town because of different restrictions,” Lavery said. “This is giving a lot of these mobile vendors a place to go other than, say, festivals outside of town. They’re able to set up right here in Gainesville.”
Lavery also said the next food truck rally event will be held in July, which will coincide with the second anniversary of the opening of High Dive.
Parking for the event is available at the SW City Garage, 105 SW 3rd St., for $5. Free street parking is also available.
What’s more, those spaces would accommodate virtually all 200 food trucks licensed in the District, because only about 100 to 120 of them vend daily on the streets, said Vincent Parker, vending and special-events coordinator at the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.
Nonetheless, DCRA Director Nicholas Majett and Terry Bellamy, director of the District Department of Transportation, faced serious questioning from Vincent B. Orange (D-At Large), the committee’s chairman. Orange and others on the committee pressed the directors on a number of proposed regulations that would apparently restrict food trucks from vending and roaming in the Central Business District, the broad stretch of downtown where mobile vendors conduct most of their business.
But the committee saved its toughest questioning to try to parse a comment Majett made during his testimony. “Let me be very clear that if these proposed regulations are not approved and the District government was to strictly enforce the current laws and requirements for food trucks,” he had said, “that would have a drastic and immediate impact on the District’s vibrant food-truck industry.”
Council member David Grosso (I-At Large) said he didn’t appreciate the DCRA’s implied threat to enforce the “ice cream truck” rule, which governs all food trucks. That regulation, instituted before mobile vending turned gourmet, requires vendors to pull over only when people are waiting and to leave when their line of customers has disappeared.
“It’s not a threat,” Majett responded. The DCRA director said his agency regularly finds itself criticized — by restaurants, the public and the council itself — for not holding food trucks to the city’s laws.
Majett said the DCRA had been holding off on enforcing the laws during the now-four-year rulemaking process but that if proposed regulations fail again, the agency might feel more pressure to enforce the ice cream truck rules.
“This [rulemaking] time is not over,” Grosso said. “We’re still in deliberations here.”
Ultimately, Orange said he hoped all sides in the long-running process could reach a compromise in this latest round. Orange repeatedly cautioned some of the 60-plus speakers who jammed into the hearing room that no one would get everything he or she wants.
Orange emphasized the main legal hurdle that will make the D.C. Council’s task difficult: Unless it introduces emergency legislation, the council can only approve, reject or take no action on the regulations by the June 22 deadline.
Emergency action to amend the rules would require the approval of nine of the 13 council members, who will then have “their own ideas on the regs,” Orange said.
After Andrew Kline, the legislative consultant for the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington, argued for the committee to move the regulations forward to the D.C. Council for approval, Orange immediately signaled his panel’s position on the rules.
“We have to look at the reality,” Orange said. “If we had to vote today on the regs, the regs would not pass.”
Food Truck Shutting Down Due to New Regs
D.C. Food Truck Operators Fight New Zoning Plans
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Food truck operators suspended service Monday to protest proposed city regulations.
Seventeen mobile vendors converged on Farragut Square during lunch hour, which wouldn’t be so unusual. But instead of dishing up grub, they spent an hour asking would-be customers to write the D.C. Council about the proposed regulations, which would limit the number of food trucks in certain areas, require trucks to park only in lottery-assigned spaces and ban trucks altogether in areas with narrow sidewalks.
The Food Truck Association of Metropolitan Washington says the new rules would result in fewer choices and decreased competition.
“The proposed restrictions have little to do with protecting public health and safety, and everything to do with restricting competition and consumer choice,” said Doug Povich, Food Truck Association chairman, in a statement Monday. Povich is also co-owner of Red Hook Lobster Pound D.C., a popular food truck.
The Washington Area Restaurant Association contends food trucks are almost unregulated competitors who compete outside the doors of their businesses, News4′s Tom Sherwood reported.
At least two food trucks have shut down over the anticipated regulations, DCist reports.
Most recently, Cori Bryant, the owner of Pinup Panini, said last week that she “just can’t afford the war on trucks,” according to DCist.
However, Pedro Ribeiro, a spokesman for Mayor Vincent Gray told the Washington Post in March that the regulations were “not as bleak as food trucks want to make it out to be.”
Ribeiro said the city would allow “new-generation” food trucks to serve on the Mall, and would create a vending zone on the east campus of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, the Post reported.
The a five-member D.C. Council committee will hold a public hearing about the proposed regulations Friday. It’s unclear whether the regulations have enough votes to pass, Sherwood reported.
Stay with News4 and NBCWashington.com for more.
GARY SEMAN JR.
Food trucks operating in some of the busiest areas of Columbus will become part of a seven-month pilot program aimed at establishing new rules for the mobile vendors.
The program, which kicks off June 1, will be in effect in the Short North, Park Street, Arena District, Clintonville, Harrison West, University District, Near East Side and several points throughout downtown.
Right now, the 150 or so food trucks that move about the city are unregulated, unless they are part of special events, said Amanda Ford, assistant director of public safety.
“What we’re trying to do with the legislation is help regulate them, but also give them a place to legally sell from the street,” Ford said.
For more on this story, see the May 9 editions of ThisWeek Community Newspapers.
SCRANTON, PA - Scranton City Council on Thursday introduced new rules for food trucks that would require them to park farther from restaurants, bar them from operating overnight and increase their annual license fee.
However, the outcome of the proposal likely will hinge on whatever recommendations may be made to the city by the mobile vendors and brick-and-mortar establishments, after both sides meet next week to try to reach an agreement on what the new rules should be, council members said.
Council voted 5-0 on the introduction of each of three ordinances on the issue, including to repeal and replace a prior ordinance and amend the city code.
- Defining food trucks and carts
- Increasing their distance from restaurants to 250 feet, up from a required 100 feet now.
- Raise an annual license fee from around $150 to $500
- Prohibit them from operating overnight between 30 minutes before sunset and 8 a.m.
Stressing that the proposal is not set in stone, council members said the administration crafted the changes and they likely would be amended before adoption to take into account input of restaurants and food trucks.
Food truck owners have expressed concern about increasing the distance they must stay away from restaurants beyond 100 feet. An initial version of the draft rules called for a 500-foot distance that mobile vendors said would shut them out of downtown.
Because of those concerns, the administration shortened the distance to 250 feet, council President Janet Evans said.
Jo Marie Yamin, owner of “Eats” food truck for the past six years, said even a 250-foot requirement would be a hardship on mobile vendor
“If this passes, it’s really going to be a detriment to all the vendors because really we’re not going to have a place to park. Even 250 (feet) really limits us a lot,” Ms. Yamin said. “It doesn’t seem fair … Scranton is a great, great city. It has so much potential, and it seems like every time it steps forward it takes 10 steps back.”
Ms. Yamin also spoke of her pride in owning and operating a food truck and said she supports the city by buying foods locally. The trucks a
lso benefit the city, they have been embraced by the public and have become part of the city’s culture, she said.
Some residents agreed. Pine Brook resident Mary Chilipko said of food trucks, “I think we should just leave them alone.” Remarking on Ms. Yamin’s comments about enjoying her work, Ms. Chilipko drew a laugh from the crowd when she said, “I watched this lady come up here tonight. I never saw anybody so happy about their job in Scranton.”
Mrs. Evans said council wants to see both sides reach a consensus.
Councilman Bob McGoff also noted council does not want to shut food trucks out of downtown, but rather wants to promote dialogue between the two sides in updating rules that are fair to both. To that end, Leslie Collins, executive director of Scranton Tomorrow, a nonprofit community and economic development organiza
Councilman Pat Rogan also is hoping for a compromise but said he would oppose any new rules that would increase the distance from 100 feet.tion, met with brick-and-mortar establishments Wednesday to get their input. She will meet Tuesday with food truck vendors and hold a joint meeting Thursday with both sides, Mr. McGoff said.
Councilman Frank Joyce said that if food trucks and restaurants cannot come to an agreement on new rules, he would vote against adopting the ordinances as they now stand.
Find the entire article by Jim Lockwood at thetimes-tribune.com here
Naperville’s two active food carts would get to continue operating until the end of the year while more study is done on the program, under a recommendation from a city commission.
“At that point, see how it works, see if we’ve got the consistency, see if we’ve got the public input and … we could also survey restaurants and see what kind of impact … these two entities have,” said Steven Rubin, chairman of the Downtown Advisory Commission.
The commission and city staff have been looking at ways to ease issues like vendors being unhappy with the location they have been assigned and some vendors not showing up consistently. There also have been concerns from the business community that mobile vendors take business away from brick-and-mortar establishments.
Although the city gave out four permits in the most recent cycle, only two vendors have been active — a hot dog vendor and a rib vendor. Their permits expire in mid-summer.
In March, the commission shot down city staff’s recommendation to cluster vendors. Most of the discussion though centered on whether to keep mobile vendors at all, and the group just barely fell short of the votes needed to recommend elimination.
On April 25, staff brought forward a new suggestion — continuing to allow each vendor one location, which would be the Riverwalk or Fredenhagen Park during the daytime and the parking garage on Chicago Avenue at night. Staff also recommended expanding the daytime vending hours and giving the city authority to revoke a permit based on failure to perform.
Once again though, most discussion centered around whether to continue to allow food carts at all.
“To be involved in day-to-day overhead and stress of what it is to run a business and then to give someone the same opportunity without the same risk or investment, nobody has given me a case that’s logical and fair,” Commissioner Joseph Costello said.
Commissioner Christine Jeffries, president of the Naperville Development Partnership, said of the 45 downtown restaurants, 21 serve food until 11 p.m. and nine serve food after 11 p.m.
“If we let this go on and on, you’ll see some of these businesses close,” said Katie Wood, executive director of the Downtown Naperville Alliance.
Commissioner Dwight Yackley said group members need to be stewards of the downtown and questioned whether the carts add to its ambience.
“I just don’t see the benefit for adding something so people will have a hot dog at 2:30 in the morning,” he said.
But others defended the food cart program.
“I think it adds to the downtown,” Councilwoman Judy Brodhead said. “It’s a market other restaurants don’t necessarily hit, and I really have a hard time believing it would put somebody out of business.”
One of the current vendors, John Singleton Jr. of John’s Rib House in Lisle, said on a good night he makes about $200 to $250. Rubin said he does not believe those kind of figures would have a major impact on traditional restaurants.
Councilman Joe McElroy also said if the only late-night food option is a sit-down restaurant, people will likely will get in their cars and drive home instead.
“Frankly I think having people after they leave the bars spend 20 minutes eating a hot dog and a soda drink is probably a good thing,” he said.
Commissioner Steve Grosskopf also commented that he likes the “diversity factor” of allowing food carts.
The commission voted 8-2 in favor of extending the two active vending permits until the end of the year while more study is done. The recommendation will go to the City Council for approval.
SPOKANE, Wash. — The City of Spokane is looking into ways to make it easier for food vendors to go mobile.
City leaders said they are getting more interest from entrepreneurs who want to run a mobile food truck or food cart business in Spokane.
Leaders admit that the current process of getting permitted to run a mobile truck can feel confusing.
Spokesperson for the city, Marlene Feist said, “What we are trying to do is improve the rules so that people who want to do these kinds of businesses have an easier time doing business with the city.”
Last year Joile Forral and her business partner got a food truck on their own.
“The biggest issue was trying to find and figure out what regulations we needed to have, what’s required of us as far as the truck,” said Forral.
The city regulations vary depending how and where the vendor operates and officials believe the rules are too generic.
Officials say the city is looking to make consistent and easy to understand rules each business will have to deal with in order to encourage more mobile vendors.
The city hosted a meeting Tuesday night until 6:30 at the downtown Spokane City Library to discuss the issue.
It should be no surprise, but food truck owners across the country have shown their support for the mobile food vendors of Washington DC who are facing tough new restrictions.
A coalition of food truck industry groups from the United States is taking up spatulas with their D.C. counterparts over the District government’s proposed regulations. In a letter addressed to the D.C. Council, the food truck associations are voicing their opposition to proposed rules that would require mobile vendors to position themselves in spots with at least 10 feet of unobstructed sidewalk, as well as a lottery system that would decide which trucks get the plum parking spots.
The following food truck organizations have voiced their opposition to D.C.’s new regulations:
- Central Ohio Food Truck Association
- Illinois Food Truck Association
- Maryland Food Truck Association
- Minnesota Food Truck Association
- New Orleans Food Truck Coalition
- New York City Food Truck Association
- Philadelphia Mobile Food Association
- Southern California Mobile Food Vendors Association
Below is the letter drafted and signed by the participating food truck associations:
Dear D.C. City Council:
We are food truck owners from across the United States. We are hard-working Chefs and entrepreneurs and our food trucks have provided us with a pathway to building better lives for our families, our employees, and our communities.
This is why we are standing with our brothers and sisters in Washington, DC, to oppose the District’s recently proposed food-truck regulations. These regulations represent some of the worst food truck laws in the county and, if passed, would transform the District overnight from a leader in mobile vending to one of the worst food-truck cities in the nation.
These proposed regulations contain a number of arbitrary and counter-productive provisions, including one that would restrict food trucks where they are in highest demand to a limited number of spaces assigned by lottery. Food trucks would be prohibited from serving customers within 500 feet of lottery-assigned spaces and on streets where there is less than 10 feet of unobstructed sidewalk. For those dozens of food trucks that don’t win the lottery, the choice will be to either shut down for an entire month because of the limited number of viable places left to vend or leave the District of Columbia for more friendly jurisdictions.Leaving your livelihood up to the outcome of a lottery is a gamble that no small business owner should be forced to make. And no other city in the country requires 10 feet of unobstructed sidewalk in order for a food truck to vend.
We join the Food Truck Association of Metropolitan Washington in supporting targeted laws that address legitimate public health and safety concerns. But Mayor Gray’s proposal seeks to impose a one-size-fits-all approach that severely restricts where food trucks can operate and threatens the very existence of D.C.’s food-truck industry. Council members, please reject the Mayor’s proposed regulations and send them back to the drawing board.