The New York City Food Truck Association (NYCFTA), which was formed January 2011, is an association of small businesses that own and operate premium food trucks in NYC focused on innovation in hospitality, high quality food, and community development. The Association aims to reinvent food truck vending in a way that is beneficial to New Yorkers, New York City, food truck entrepreneurs, and their patrons. Find more information about the NYCFTA on facebook at nycfoodtrucks or twitter at @nycfoodtruck.
David Weber, President
• Promote community-oriented vending behavior to ensure food trucks are operating as good citizens
• Advocate on behalf of food trucks with local and state government for fair laws that reflect the changing realities of street vending
• Serve as a resource on food truck vending to the public, local government, and community organizations
Short Term Policy Goals:
1. Streamline Mobile Food Vending License Application
Work with NYC administration to develop a streamlined process for food truck employees to obtain mobile food vending license. Currently it takes 6-8 weeks to obtain a license; our goal is to reduce this period to 2 weeks.
2. Allow Vending from Metered Parking
Work with NYC administration to establish a fair way to vend from metered parking or other locations. The majority of demand for mobile food options comes from central business districts where parking is metered.
The food truck phenomenon has taken New York – and the country – by storm. Media coverage in popular television shows like “Eat Street” and “The Great Food Truck Race” (a cross-country trek that ended up in Manhattan) as well as Zagat’s inclusion of food truck for the first time in the “2011 New York City Restaurants” guide have helped make them a permanent (yet-mobile) fixture in contemporary city life. Food trucks have had a positive impact on New York’s social and economic vitality by bringing inexpensive and healthy food options to underserved communities, keeping their “eyes on the street” to promote safety, and opening brick-and-mortar restaurant locations and other related businesses.
The difficulties of operating in New York City are stifling this home-grown industry, cutting off tax dollars, and the potential for thousands of related jobs that may end up in other more business-friendly locations. The nature of street vending has changed, and the antiquated rules which have been on the books since the turn of the century should change with it.
Food trucks are hospitality incubators. They give entrepreneurs a chance to test out their operations, brand and food in different areas of the city and hone their concept before taking the leap to open a brick and mortar concept. Many concepts which started as trucks have gone on to open restaurants in neighborhoods where they are successful including: The Bistro Truck, Cupcake Stop, The Dessert Truck, Kimchi Taco Truck, Mexicue, Mud Truck, Souvlaki GR, The Treats Truck, and Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream. NYCFTA members employ approximately 750 New Yorkers and operate 75 food trucks. Members contributed more than $2M to the NYC budget in 2011, and anticipate contributing $3M in 2012. Twelve members currently operate brick-and-mortar restaurants and two are in the process of building out restaurants, thanks to their successful food truck businesses.
NYCFTA members donate time, money, effort and food towards a number of charitable causes which help New Yorkers including: American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, Big Brother, Big Sister, City Harvest, Donor’s Choose, Grand Central Partnership, Greenpoint Soup Kitchen, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Make a Wish Foundation, Share our Strength, Unicef, WSPCA, WWF & YMCA,.
NYCFTA members have won a number of national and international accolades for culinary innovation that bring tourists and visitors to NYC including: Top Ten Best Street Foods in the World, Travel+Leisure; Top Twenty Food Trucks in the USA, QSR Weekly; Nine Most Eye-Catching Trucks in America, Elle Décor; Best of New York 2011, Best Truck, New York Magazine; Best Mobile Food, “Eat Out Awards,” Time Out New York; Winner – Ten Best Vegetarian Street Foods, Village Voice; Best Cupcake, “Food Feuds,” Food Network; Best Dessert, Vendy Awards; and Rookie Vendor of the Year, Vendy Awards.