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San Francisco’s Revamped Food Truck Permits Up For Grabs

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Customers line up at the El Tonayense taco truck on Harrison and 13th St. in San Francisco. (Dan Lu)

Customers line up at the El Tonayense taco truck on Harrison and 13th St. in San Francisco. (Dan Lu)

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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Several dozen applicants spent a long, wet weekend waiting in line on San Francisco’s 10th St., eager for a change at a simplified and less expensive permit for vending trucks.

“When did you get here?” asked KCBS reporter Tim Ryan.

“Friday at 6 o’clock,” responded Casey McEachern, who pitched a green tent to dodge the raindrops.

In fact, tents lined the sidewalk in front of the City’s Public Works office, where hopeful vendors were seeking permission to sell their goods from trucks.

KCBS’ Tim Ryan Reports:

“Our most popular one is the apple, bacon and cheddar,” said a woman who identified herself only as Tiffany with Toasty Melts, a soon-to-be-mobile grilled cheese restaurant. “People seem to go crazy over that one so it’s a good one that we like.”

The City recently simplified the vending permit process, shifting the burden of approving the permits from the police department to public works. The cost of obtaining a permit has also been reduced, to roughly $3,000. Previously, a permit to sell food from a truck in San Francisco cost roughly $10,000.

The changes in the permitting process were approved by the Board of Supervisors in November 2010, and were scheduled to take effect March 7, 2011.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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