|Mayor Nenshi with a baby perogy |
at today's event
“Certainly food trucks add to our urban vibrancy by bringing people to the streets,” said Mayor Nenshi. “This pilot project is also about demonstrating how The City of Calgary can be innovative, collaborative, and quickly cut red tape for the benefit of citizens. It’s one way by which we’re transforming government.”
In the summer of 2011, Mayor Nenshi’s office brought together groups including City of Calgary departments (Calgary Fire Department, Business Licensing, and Roads) entrepreneurs, business revitalization zones, Alberta Health Services, and the Calgary Parking Authority to determine how best to license this new kind of business. Within a month of first meeting, phase one of the pilot program began on August 11 with new food trucks rolling onto Calgary’s streets.
“The speed at which we were able to get this project operating was phenomenal,” said Mayor Nenshi. “And the flexibility of everyone involved in the pilot means that we can change the parameters of the pilot as quickly as we learn what’s working and what’s not. The success of this pilot project to date is a testament to the employees who made it happen and the leadership at the City who empower them.”
Phase one of the pilot program saw the introduction of the food trucks to city streets and collected initial feedback from all partners. Highlights include:
- Calgary has 10 food trucks owned by nine entrepreneurs (currently)
- As many as 15 additional entrepreneurs intend to start their own food trucks in the next year
- Trucks are often hired for specific functions (e.g.: corporate celebrations, charity events, business launches, etc.) and more than half of the reported operation time is spent on private property
- Trucks are adding to Centre City vibrancy on weekends with feature locations such as Central Memorial Park and East Village
- 311 has reported no more than 10 complaints about food trucks and, in most cases, this has led to swift changes to the pilot project guidelines; most other calls to 311 are inquiries about starting a new food truck business
- Social media is the main avenue for communication about the trucks. @yycfoodtrucks has more than 5,500 followers and individual trucks have many thousands of followers combined
- Total parking revenue from food trucks using on-street parking is approximately $1,200 to date
- Each food truck business license is $646 with an annual renewal cost of $611 (including $500 in lieu of tax)
- Calgary’s burgeoning food truck industry has garnered much national attention for the city including coverage of three Calgary trucks on the U.S.-based Food Network’s Eat Street
Phase two of the pilot project will include assessing the feasibility of food truck operation over the winter months and continued collaboration between all pilot project partners including business revitalization zones. This second phase will run from November 1, 2011 to March 31, 2012.
An important part of the Food Truck Pilot Project is to ensure public health and safety. Citizens should always look for the Alberta Health Services sticker on the food truck to make sure it has been properly inspected and approved.
For more information about the Food Truck Pilot Program, please visit www.calgary.ca/foodtrucks
- Daorcey from Mayor Nenshi's team