New York City to Expand Number of Food Vendor Licenses

The food truck and other mobile restaurant industry has been extremely popular in major cities across the United States. In cities like Chicago and Portland, thousands of people line up every day looking to get freshly made food from a non-stationary food vendor. While food vendors have increased dramatically in recent years, New York City is one city that has not increased its presence. While New York City has held out, a recent news article (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/11/nyregion/new-york-city-may-double-number-of-food-vendors-permits.html?_r=0) has noted that this could change in the near future.

 

According to the article, the amount of permitted food vendors could more than double in the next few years. The city has previously set a cap of permitted food vendors in the city at just over 4,300, which is a significant amount less than is needed to properly serve the entire city. Since the amount of licenses available has remained so low, it has become next to impossible for some people to obtain a license necessary to operate legally.

 

Due to the restrictions on the amount of licenses available, many vendors in the city are working illegally with an official license or one that was obtained through the black market. For those that obtain one legally, a two-year license can cost less than $1,000. However, those that buy one through the black market will often pay more than $25,000 for an illegal assignment of the license. This not only is far more expensive, but greatly opens up the door for the possibility of fraud and other crimes.

 

While the city has feared that the food trucks could cause congestion in certain areas, they now appear poised to more than double that amount. This will pertain to any business that is looking to operate outside of a normal space, including hot dog and ice cream cart vendors. At this point, it is not yet known what the exact amount of licenses released will be, when they will be released, and what the cost will be. It is expected that there will be a huge demand for these licenses and food vendors will look to expand into New York.