SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — San Francisco’s food-truck industry is changing its permitting process, putting the Department of Public Works in charge starting March 7.
Last year, the Board of Supervisors approved legislation where mobile food vendors can apply for a one-year permit. They will receive a packet that includes information like where the vendors would like to operate, and must document that they contacted nearby businesses about their intentions.
It used to be that individual police stations within the city granted permits for what was simply taco trucks, hot-dog, and popcorn stands, but according to the DPW’s John Kwong, things have gotten more sophisticated and the industry has seen plenty of change.
KCBS’ Mark Seelig Reports:
“It’s now an annual permit. It’s a little better regulated so that people know what’s going on,” said Kwong.
Kwong added there is a need to protect the rights of vendors, brick and mortar business owners, and to provide health and safety protections for customers.
Other provisions under the new rules state that applicants must have documentation to be able to prove they have a commissary to store their food after hours and a place to park their vehicle when not in service.
Close to a hundred vendors showed up for a recent workshop designed to answer questions about the new permitting process.
John Babbit who is just starting out with his food-vendor business, Doc’s of The Bay, understood that the industry and city are working together to streamline the process.
“I’m not used to this many hoops in life in general,” said Babbit.
Lamark McCullough is set to launch his mobile food business, A Taste of Chicago.
“Certainly everybody is looking for a permanent spot in San Francisco,” said McCullough.
And with the cost of the permits drastically lowered to just over $3,000 from $10,000, Kwong said entrepreneurs will have the ability to take a chance in this sluggish economy.
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