Federal Competition Bureau asks municipalities to relax food truck laws
edmonton. tvnews.ca, July 18, 2017 by Diego Romero
The Canada Competition Bureau wants municipalities to relax their food truck laws to increase eating choices and competition.
City laws currently require a 20-metre distance between food trucks and restaurants with a similar menu, and a limit of two vendors per block to leave parking available for the general public. Vendors are only allowed to operate on Whyte Avenue between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m.
“I think allowing truck to operate in various areas of the city, Whyte Avenue being a big one – lifting restrictions on proximity to other established food and beverage outlets,” Jimmy Poblano’s Southwest Cantina owner Greg Lane said.
The national competition bureau asked municipalities to be more flexible about food truck laws and restrictions.
Despite a few restrictions, a number of food truck operators told CTV Edmonton they are happy with the city’s rules.
“In my opinion, the city is doing a really good job with the food trucks,” Calle Mexico owner Juan Talango said.
“I haven’t ran into any real issues or restrictions in terms of parking and permitting since I’ve been operating as a food vendor,” Orbit Food Truck owner Mark Swerda told CTV.
For more information about how to obtain a Food Truck permit, click here. For a complete list of food truck restrictions, click here.
A City of Edmonton spokesperson released a statement late Tuesday, scroll down to read the statement it in its entirety.
The City of Edmonton is committed to supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs, such as food truck vendors, in Edmonton. This includes streamlining the permitting and application process to make it easier for businesses to get up and running, while still ensuring the proper regulations are in place to maintain the safety of people and their property.
The primary purpose of regulating street vendors and food trucks while operating on City property is to ensure adherence to safety requirements, including fire, safety and health codes. The City of Edmonton requires proof of compliance with these regulations as part of the vending permit application process.
Due to a collaborative approach with our partners and customers, the City's approach to street vendor and food truck permitting already aligns with many of the suggestions recently released by the Competition Bureau of Canada in terms of not imposing regulations on mobile food providers that disproportionately impede their ability to compete with restaurants.
The City only requires a 20 metre buffer between mobile food trucks and brick and mortar restaurants with similar menus.
Number of locations/vendors
There is no limit on the number of food truck permits issued by the City. However, there is a limit of 2 vendors per city block to ensure parking is available for the general public in high demand locations.
The City does apply restrictions to certain zones that may be sensitive to noise or pose a safety risk in high traffic areas.
Hours of Operation
Approved vendors are permitted to operate on City property between the hours of:
· 5:00AM – 3:00AM in locations other than City parks unless otherwise specified on the Vending Permit.
· 5:00AM – 11:00PM in park locations unless otherwise specified by the park hours.
These hours of operation regulations are comparable to those for brick and mortar restaurants and pubs.
In an effort to ensure safer streets City officials worked with Edmonton Police Services to develop the Whyte Avenue Nightlife Entertainment District. The operating hours for food trucks in this area are from 10:00pm to 3:00am.
The City also holds regular internal department meetings to discuss improvements that can be made to the street vending/food truck permitting program. Additionally, the City meets with food truck vendors annually for their input on how to improve the program. This feedback led to the implementation of an online application process, which allows vendors to apply at a time that is convenient for them, reduces paper waste and provides a better tracking system.