FAQ

Q – Why do NYC food trucks need advocates?
A - Running a food truck in NYC right now is very challenging.  The current regulations make it very hard to find parking to vend and to hire staff quickly enough to keep up with seasonal demand.  There have been a number of articles documenting these challenges:
- The Food Truck Business Stinks, New York Times Magazine
- Food Trucks Shooed From Midtown, New York Times
- The rise and stall of food trucks, Crain’s NY
The NYCFTA is working with the Administration, City Agencies, City Council, Business Improvement Districts, and communities throughout New York City in order to help reinvent food truck vending in a way that is beneficial to the City, food truck entrepreneurs, and New Yorkers.

Q – What is required to join the NYC Food Truck Association?
A – If you’re interested in joining, these are the main Membership Criteria:
1 – Branded food truck concept with unique menu.
2 – Commitment to abide by NYC Food Truck Association Guidelines
3 – Agreement to vend responsibly and not crowd popular vending locations
4 – Commitment to autopay dues monthly via echeck
5 – Approval by majority of current members in quorum vote

Dues are $99/month.  It can take two weeks for the accession vote to go through so please be patient.

Q – What are the best resources to learn about the challenges and solutions to mobile food vending in any city?
IJ is working on a project called the National Street Vending Initiative. They’ve published:

Also, the National League of Cities recently published a report on food trucks:
Food on Wheels: Mobile Vending Goes Mainstream

Q – Can you help me open a food truck?
A – The primary organizational focus of our organization is advocacy. Since we just started about a year ago, we don’t yet have the resources to help entrepreneurs start mobile ventures. However, we are working hard advocating on behalf of local government in the hopes of making it easier for future entrepreneurs to get into this industry.  In the meantime, NYCFTA President, David Weber has written a book which might be helpful to you, The Food Truck Handbook: Start, Grow, and Succeed in the Mobile Food Business.

Q – What are the best resources to learn about street vending in NYC?
A – NYC.gov has great information about permits, licenses, and even
a list of manufacturers and commissaries:
- Information for Mobile and Temporary Food Vendors
- Sector Guide to Street Vending (pdf)

Q – Can you help me secure a Mobile Food Vending Permit in NYC?
A – Mobile Food Vending Permits are required to vend on NYC Streets.  These permits are capped and non-transferable.  If you want to vend in NYC, you should know that the wait list for a city wide vending permit is very long, and the wait lists for city wide food truck permits are currently closed.  The best way forward is to apply for a restricted area permit for mobile food in a NYC Park.  (For more information, see Concession Opportunities at the NYC Parks & Recreation Department.) Also, it is worth looking into municipalities outside NYC such as Suffolk County, Nassau County, or New Jersey.
The NYCFTA does not endorse, condone, or facilitate illegal permit transfers.

Q – How can I get a job on a food truck?
A – Working on a food truck is an awesome way to spend your summer in NYC! You make good wages, good tips, and you get to be outside when the weather is amazing, while everyone else is trapped in their offices. However, in order to work on a food truck, you need a Mobile Food Vendor License (MFVL). Getting a MFVL can take 2-3 months, so if you want to be working on a food truck this summer, you should start applying now! Here is a guide to help you get a MFVL. Having a MFVL will set you apart from the competition as someone with initiative. You’ll stand a great chance of landing a job if you show up an your interview with your License in hand.

Q – I want to have food trucks vend at my public event. Is there anything I should know?
A - A food truck vending to the public as part of an event constitutes a “special event.” A Special Event shall mean street activities that promote, advertise or introduce a product, corporation, company or other commercial entity or the goods or services of a corporation, company, or other commercial entity to either the general public or to a portion of the general public. Accordingly, you will need to apply for a Street Activity Permit. Click here for more details.