For Immediate Release
January 28, 2013
For More Information Contact:
Mayor's Press Office
Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s Office of Food Initiatives held its annual Live Lottery of Food Truck Prime Sites the night of January 16 to schedule food truck businesses across 17 locations in the downtown area and neighborhoods.
More than 50 food truck vendors, offering everything from gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches to Sri Lankan fare and tempeh tacos, gathered at City Hall to pick shifts for the April start of the 2013 season. Truck names were drawn at random by Director of Food Initiatives, Edith Murnane, and vendors were allowed to pick one shift at a time from available days and times.
“I’m thrilled that Boston's food truck program has grown so quickly and has expanded to such a diverse selection of vendors,” Mayor Menino said. “My administration has worked vigorously to allow these local businesses grow while providing the public with delicious, healthy, and accessible food.”
Since formally launching the food truck industry in summer 2011, the number of food truck business has steadily grown, with many newly permitted operators hitting Boston’s streets every month. In the last year alone, the City has welcomed 16 new food truck businesses and 23 new trucks. With an ever-expanding fleet offering some of the most creative and responsibly-sourced food in the City of Boston, ensuring equal access to some of the City’s most popular food truck sites has become a priority as more vendors are eager to satisfy Boston’s hungry food truck fans.
Following the success of the Mayor’s Healthy Food Truck Challenge, which saw three winning food truck concepts operating on City Hall Plaza, the City passed the Mobile Food Truck Ordinance in April 2011 and with it launched the Mobile Food Truck Pilot. Under this pilot, 15 Public Sites were opened on Boston streets in the downtown area as well as such neighborhoods as Dorchester and Jamaica Plain. The ordinance defined food trucks as distinct from other kinds of mobile vending, such as push carts or canteen trucks, and set rules and regulations for food truck vending including hours of operation, on-truck required equipment such as hand-washing sinks, GPS units, and fire suppression systems
Under the direction of the Mobile Food Truck Committee (comprised of many city departments including the Office of Food Initiatives, Office of Business Development, Inspectional Services Division, and the Boston Fire Department), 15 food truck vendors were welcomed into the pilot and scheduled at Public Sites based on a combination of vendor preference and sensitivity to take-out eateries within 100 feet of any given Public Site. In January of 2012, the Mobile Food Truck Program was launched with nearly all pilot-year vendors returning as well as a fresh batch of new vendors joining the ranks. Since then, the Mobile Food Truck Program has grown to include a total of 18 Public Sites, three of which are Cluster Sites that support groupings of two or three food trucks at a time.
Other cities – from Chicago to Ottowa, Canada – have taken notice of Boston’s unique food truck program and have sought guidance on how to launch their own program, including how to craft ordinances like Boston’s Mobile Food Truck Ordinance, or how to retrofit their community’s existing regulations.
With a big football game just around the corner, Boston’s new and veteran food truck owner/operators certainly know how to celebrate their industry and know how to do it with a sense of camaraderie and fun. To mark the occasion, and the start of the April 2013 vending season, our food trucks have shared some of their menu items and recipes that make for great game day – or any day – eating.