Washington News

Restroom Distance Rule Change Now Effective

01/09/2019 - WaFood Trucks.org


On July 10, 2017, the State Board of Health (board) received a petition from the Washington State Food Truck Association, in which the petitioner identified the existing 200 feet distance to restrooms as a difficult requirement to meet when applying for mobile food unit permits and requested to increase this distance to 500 feet. The Washington State Department of Health consulted with the Washington State Food Truck Association and other stakeholders. In the fall of 2017, the department formed a statewide food safety advisory council consisting of industry, local health, and other stakeholders. The department worked with several members of the council on the proposed change and presented a proposal to the council at the May 30, 2018 meeting. The council recommended to the department and the board to change the restroom distance requirement from “readily accessible within 200 feet” to “readily accessible and within 500 feet.”  You can now see the WAC has been updated here:  https://apps.leg.wa.gov/wac/default.aspx?cite=246-215-09150

Minimum Wage Increases

12/20/18 - L & I 


The minimum wage in Washington will increase to $12 per hour starting Jan. 1, 2019, for workers age 16 and older.  Under state law, tips do not count toward a worker's minimum wage.  The cities of Sea-Tac, Seattle, and Tacoma have their own minimum wage rates. Check with those cities for specific information.  When Initiative 1433 passed in the fall of 2016, it set a schedule for Washington's minimum wage over a four-year period. As a result, in 2020 the state minimum wage will climb to $13.50. For the following year, L&I will calculate the minimum wage by using a formula tied to the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers.  Complete information about the minimum wage is available on L&I's website (Lni.wa.gov), including details about handling overtime, rest breaks and meals. There's also a minimum wage announcement online that employers can print off and post.

Labor & Industry Rate Increase

12/20/18 - Factory Assembled Structures program


On January 4th, 2019 fees for “Vendor Unit” plan submittals and for the Washington State insignia will be increasing by four percent. The new fee for Vendor unit plans will be $110.70 and the new fee for the insignia will be $22.70.  The revised fee table in WAC 296-150V-3000and additional information on this fee change is provided on the website here:  https://www.lni.wa.gov/TradesLicensing/Rules/ByTrade/FAS/default.asp.


Please be sure that any plans or insignia orders postmarked on January 4th or after include payment at the new rates.  If you have questions please contact:  fas1@lni.wa.gov.

SDOTs Permit Extensions Update

12/12/18 - WaFood Trucks.org


The process for extending right-of-way management (ROWM) permits is changing. Starting on November 28th, 2018, ROWM permits that meet the below criteria will be streamlined to bypass intake and screening and Hub review. This will result in shorter timelines for extension requests that meet the following criteria:

•        The location, space, and frontage of the impact must remain the same 

•        The size of the impact to the right of way must remain the same as previously permitted

•        The use and type of the impact to the right of way must remain the same 

•        Contact information must remain the same

If a request does not meet the above criteria, a Modification application must be submitted that will follow the same process as an initial application. To apply for an extension, submit the new Extension Application to SDOTPermits@seattle.gov   The subject line should be: “Permit#_Address_Extension”. 

Restroom Rule Distance Change

12/6/2018 - WaFood Trucks.org 

Per State Board of Health today re/restroom distance rule change.....

The rule becomes effective January 1, 2019 and WAC 246-215-09150 will then read “The permit holder shall ensure approved toilet facilities are available for employees: (1) Readily accessible and within 500 feet of the mobile food unit during times of operation , if at any one location for more than one hour; and (2) provided with handwashing facilities that meet the requirements specified under WAC 246-215-05210.”

Ready for Paid Family & Medical Leave Law?

11/25/18 - WaFood Trucks.org


Employment Security has released an online toolkit to help employers get ready for the statewide paid family and medical leave program that begins next year.  In short, employers will begin collecting premiums in January, 2019 in preparation for the start of employee benefits in January 2020. The toolkit includes withholding examples and allows the user to sign up for a newsletter with updates about the program.  Click here to download the toolkit.  To qualify for Paid Family and Medical Leave, you must work 820 hours or more in the qualifying period. The qualifying period is either: The first four of the last five completed calendar quarters; or

The last four completed calendar quarters.  All Washington employers, including out-of-state employers with Washington employees, are required to particpate with few exceptions.


  • Self employed individuals (May opt-in)
  • Federal Employees
  • Federally Recognized Tribes (May opt-in)
  • People who work temporarily in Washington (Example: Utility worker helping after a storm)

Labor & Industry will hold public meetings on overtime rules next week and will conduct public meetings in Seattle, Yakima and Vancouver to take feedback from the public on changes to rules that determine which employees qualify for overtime pay.  Participation is encouraged by business owners to attend these meetings because new rules would make more employees eligible for overtime, which would increase costs to business owners.  The federal government is about to complete a similar plan to change rules for overtime pay. Click here for details on the times and locations of the meetings on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of next week.

Progress in Policy Change

10/13/2018 - WaFoodTrucks.org


There were two positive policy changes for mobile food vendors in Washington to report this week.  The first is the notice by our state's food safety program manager, that the State Board of Health accepted our petition to change the minimum restroom distance rule of 200-feet to 500-feet (for mobile food units in WAC 246-215.) This change should be effective around January 1, 2019.   The second improvement shows in the ordinance passed by Walla Walla County Health to accomodate the commissary kitchen exemption law passed earlier this year.  They added language to allow for mobiles requesting to operate without a commissary.  In addition to this big step forward, they also added in a permit fee discount for non-seasonal food vendors if no critical violations are reported on 3 out of the previous four inspections.  Walla Walla County setting a good example for others to follow.


Blue Star Gas Offers New Food Truck Program

10/08/2018 - WaFood Trucks.org


The Blue Star Gas company, a supplier of propane offers a CardLock program so you can be trained at no charge to refill your own propane tanks and at a lower cost.   The training consists of a video and hands-on practice.  After completing the training, you will receive a card, which works just like a debit or credit card.  But, they have also just launched a Food Truck Program.  Here’s basically, how it works: food truck operator opens a Blue Star Gas account.  Once an account is set up, the food truck operator and/or their employees can refill their propane cylinders at either a manned Blue Star Gas location or an unmanned card lock location.

Every time the customer purchases 100-gallons of propane, a $20 credit will be applied to their account.   They keep track of your purchases for you so you don’t have to worry about redeeming a coupon.  

Food Safety Advisory Council Update

10/01/2018 - WaFoodTrucks.org


Last week, another large stakeholder group meeting was held to begin addressing the newly proposed code changes and what parts of the FDA 2017 code we will adopt. This first of 6-7 monthly meetings covered part 1 of 9 of our current code.  The comment period for code changes is still open, and can be submitted here: https://fortress.wa.gov/doh/opinio/s?s=12653

We will begin voting on new draft language at the next meeting, set for Oct 24th. The changes we make now to the food code will likely remain in affect for 8-years.

Select Changes in the FDA Food Code that will affect mobiles (not an inclusive list):

1. At least one person per shift must be a Certified Food Protection Manager. (As it stands now, they want to implement this and only allow limited risk based operations an exemption. )

2. New Person in Charge Duties that would include: Employees must verify safety of food deliveries during non-operating hours, Employees must monitor hot and cold holding temperatures, Employees must be notified in a verifiable manner of employee health requirements. 

3. Written response plan for cleanup of vomit and diarrhea :Requires a written plan to address specific actions employees need to take to minimize spread of contamination in food establishment. 

4. A sign or placard must be posted to notify customers that a copy of the most recent inspection report is available for review. 

State health is also implementing a limited pilot program among Thurston, Kitsap, Pierce, King and Snohomish counties for plan review reciprocity and is giving each county guidance to implement by end of October. This means if you want to be permitted in multiple counties, you will only need to pay for the permit in each county and not the plan review.

We will have the new state guideline doc being provided to all counties soon regarding the new commissary kitchen exemption. Stay tuned for updates.

Partnership with New Peatos Snack

09/20/2018 - WaFoodTrucks.org


The WSFTA is partnering with the new Peatos snack brand and hope to replace the old junk-style salty snacks that often come with a food truck hotdog, burger or sandwich with this awesome item that does taste just like Cheatos.  Their proprietary pea/lentil blend consists of 2x the protein, 3x the fiber, and less fat than anything that corny cheetah has to offer, which currently comes in 4-flavors.  Check out more here: https://worldpeasbrand.com/

State Health Food Code Open for Change

09/20/2018 - WaFoodTrucks.org


The Food Safety Advisory Council for WAC 246-215 rule revision input process begins.  State health has spent the past several months gathering and compiling our comments (along with the restaruant stakeholders, local health department people and consumers) and they are now ready to discuss the changes to our state food code.  The council intends to make us fully aware of the issues and potential changes for each code chapter/part so we are able to reach out to stakeholders prior to voting.  Each monthly meeting will present the issues for discussion by chapter/part and we will not vote on the items discussed until the following month’s meeting.  If you want to participate....


The first of several meetings is: 

Wednesday, September 26th from 10:00am – 3:00pm at the

Washington State Department of Health, Kent Regional Office

20425 72nd Avenue South Building 2, Suite 310 Room 307

Conference Call Information/ Call In Number: 1 (872) 240-3212

Conference Code: 200-939-509

Another Fire Permit Update

09/12/2018 - WaFoodTrucks.org


The City of SeaTac has updated their code for food trucks and now requires mobiles with a Type-1 hood to be issued a commercial kitchen permit at a cost of $114.  The city license for a mobile food vendor, with a cost of $150, includes the fire inspection, which is conducted by the Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority.  The fire authority is notified after the city license application process is complete, and will locate you to issue you a permit and then invoice you at a later time.  They are not accepting permits from a neighboring jurisdiction.

Labor & Industry's Legislative Plans for 2019

08/04/2019 - WaFoodTrucks.org


The department is considering a handful of policy proposals for possible introduction in the 2019 legislature. The proposed bill summaries that affect this industry are provided below:

1.       Creating an additional option for Factory Assembled Structures inspections (HB 2821)

L&I is seeking authority to delegate inspection duties through a contract to a qualified entity, including private third parties. This would create another option so that L&I inspectors would not be required to travel – whether to other states or other countries - to inspect structures (or custom built food trucks) assembled in factories. This bill passed the House unanimously in 2018, but died when it was not brought up for consideration on the Senate floor before adjournment.

 2.       Grants for small business (RCW 43.22) 

This proposal would create a grant program to assist small businesses comply with wage and hour, licensing and certification, and workers’ compensation laws and rules; ensure workers are provided the wages, breaks, and other rights afforded them under laws administered by the department; and increase knowledge by workers and employers of their rights and responsibilities. It would be paid from current workers’ comp reserves.

City of Renton  to Update  Code for Food Trucks

08/03/2018 - WaFoodTrucks.org


After almost a year of meetings, emails, phone calls and conference calls with the City of Renton, and after careful evaluation and review of their current food truck regulations, city staff presented some ideas to the Planning Commission, on July 18th, regarding changes to code. The newly proposed ordinance would change code to allow:

•Food trucks in Commercial Office zones with a Tier-1 Temporary Use Permit (currently, mobile food vendors need a Tier-2 Permit, which is costly, requires a long public comment period and is quite cumbersome.) 

•Food trucks to be permitted for use on private property within other zones, without the requirement of a permit. 

•Food trucks to serve within the public right-of-way, in the Downtown Business District, with a ROW Use Permit.

This is a huge step forward!  As many of you know, we’ve had permitting and licensing issues in Renton for quite some time.  We would like to thank the City of Renton for working with us, and we’d like to thank WSFTA members Turan (Silver Spork), and Nick (Athenas), for giving up their time and going to City Hall to speak and advocate on behalf of our food truck industry. 

Changes to the City Municipal Code are part of a legislative process and will take some time.  There will be a Planning Commission Public Hearing: Sept. 5th, at 6:00pm at City Hall, which is the meeting that we will need representatives from the mobile food industry to attend.  This committee will make its recommendation to the City Council on Sept. 26th.

State Board of Health Opens Food Code for Revision

07/14/2018 - WaFoodTrucks.org


The current chapter is based on the 2009 FDA Food Code and needs to be updated to the 2017 version.  The state board of health is looking to amend several existing sections to address issues that stakeholders have raised such as mobile food unit standards and donated food.  In addition, the board will incorporate changes relating to our recently passed Substitute House Bill 2639, Mobile Food Units - Commissary or Servicing Area Requirements, from the 2018 legislative session. The law exempts the requirement for commissary kitchens and service areas for mobile food units that meet certain criteria. 


You may reference the 2017 FDA Model Food Code online here  

The initial comment period is open until August 17, 2018. 

If there are items you would like to have addressed for revision, you can submit a comment or rule for revision/change here or go to the rules revision page here: www.doh.wa.gov/foodrules 


You can sign Up to Receive Updates by emailing: food.safety@doh.wa.gov


Select current proposed changes in the FDA Food Code (not an inclusive list) include:

  •  At least one person per shift must be a Certified Food Protection Manager 2-102.12
  •  New Person in Charge Duties (2-103.11) that include: employees must verify safety of food deliveries during non-operating hours, employees must monitor hot and cold holding temperatures, employees must be notified in a verifiable manner of employee health requirements, written response plan for cleanup of vomit and diarrhea
  • 2-501.11 - Requires a written plan to address specific actions employees need to take to minimize spread of contamination in food establishment 
  • 3-401.11 - Changes to time and temperatures for cooking ground meats and poultry
  • 3-501.13 - Vacuum-packed fish labeled “keep frozen until use” must be removed from sealed package before thawing in the refrigerator or before/immediately after thawing under cold running water 
  • 4-303.11- Chemical sanitizers used on equipment shall be provided and available for use during all hours of operation 
  • 8-201.14 - Clarified additional supporting documents that need to be included with a HACCP plan (such as a training plan, copies of blank forms) 
  • 8-304.11 - A sign or placard must be posted to notify customers that a copy of the most recent inspection report is available for review

Tech Colleges Partner With Food Trucks

07/12/2018 - WaFoodTrucks.org


Both Clover Park Technical College in Lakewood and Renton Technical College have partnered with the state food truck association to bring menu variety to campus.  Clover Park Technical College is located North of Tacoma in Pierce County and will host food trucks at lunch time Mondays through Thursdays starting summer quarter, vendors and students can find the online calendar here.

At Renton Tech, vendors can set up for a dinner service to 2,000 evening students and staff, Mondays through Thursdays starting in the fall and that calendar can be found here.  To see all the locations the association manages, check the pods/lots page here.

New Fire Regulations ARE Coming

06/05/2018 updated from original story posted 04/08/2018 -  Office of the Fire Marshal


Section 319 (Mobile Food Preparation Vehicles) of the International Fire Code is being added at the national level.  If left unedited, this is what will go into effect in Washington State July 1st, 2020, to be enforced by all jurisdictions.  And, all local jurisdictions can adopt more stringent laws at any time, and are already doing so.  As a part of the new code, vendors will be required to have hood systems cleaned by a qualified professional every 6-months, LP-gas containers inspected annually,  a gas leak detection device and have a fire permit.


The Washington State Fire TAG (technical advisory group) will be notifying the state food truck association of upcoming meetings concerning this new code section so that food truck industry can testify.  This new code change can definitely be an avenue for consistent maintenance standards across the state that the industry strives for.  However, the new law would require annual permits for food trucks.  This would not be an additional permit from the state, it would be the annual permit required from cities like Seattle ($400), Tacoma ($125) & Renton ($100) require now.  The big change here would be that instead of only a few cities like Renton, Tacoma, etc. requiring an annual permit, this would give all cities and counties in Washington the ability to ask for an annual permit if they so choose.  And, it does not dictate fees as this is left to individual cities to decide.


What this law does not do is provide for a statewide annual permit.  The idea for one state agency (like L & I or the State Fire Marshal’s Office) to issue a permit that is good for all jurisdictions is beyond the power of the State Building Code Council to dictate.  This is something that the food truck industry itself may petition the legislature to do. So, do you want to pay for a fire permit in every city or just one, state-wide?  (Find the 2018 IFC Code additions in Section 319 here.)


Food Trucks Return to Airport Cell Lot

05/26/2018 - WaFoodTrucks.org


We are relaunching at the SeaTac airport cell phone lot next Friday, June 1st. Peasant Food Manifesto will be there at 10am with media and Port relations for a soft launch and to celebrate the new license allowing food trucks to vend in the City of Sea-Tac!  There is a new calendar you can find here.  Based on incoming flight travel, the lot will have two available times per day you can book: 10am to 2pm and 6pm to 10pm Thursdays through Sundays. All the details to participate are on our site here.   Here we go SeaTac!


05/22/18 - WaFoodTrucks.org


The Washington State Food Truck Association has partnered with C-TRAN, which provides public transportation throughout Clark County, to bring food trucks to downtown Vancouver’s Turtle Place plaza with the hope of further revitalizing the area and providing a variety of unique mobile food menus.


In an effort to bring more vending opportunities to the ever-growing population of food trucks and to celebrate how street food can bring communities together, the Washington State Food Truck Association has been working to find new and underserved locations for food trucks.  In the same manner, the C-TRAN plan provides specific actions that take advantage of the future possibilities and opportunities for Vancouver's downtown.


A new food truck pod location, at 7th Street and Main Street plans to offer a rotating variety of mobile food vendors in Turtle Place plaza, served by The Vine bus rapid transit system.   The new food truck pod will start with lunch service weekdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to give the area unique food choices, with a possible food truck night market and weekend options.  To see which trucks will participate and their menus, vendors and the public can access an online schedule via the Best Food Trucks website at https://www.bestfoodtrucks.com/lots/profile/929


For vendors interested in participating, you will need to provide: a copy of your City of Vancouver business license, a Clark County Health Department food permit, a certificate of insurance, and agree to the Association’s terms and conditions.

Association Updates

05/20/2018 - WaFoodTrucks.org


The WSFTA has been busy setting up new opportunities to help grow our street vending presence and bring communities together.  We are launching another "on-street" location in the heart of downtown Everett, next door to City Hall, the police station and other Snohomish County government offices.  Vendors can book online for Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11am to 2pm, with the option to add on Mondays, beginning Thursday, May 24th.  The online calendar can be found here.

We also just signed agreements for a new food truck program to begin at the Port of Bellingham, Turtle Place transit plaza in Vancouver, downtown Renton, Randall Park in Yakima, and will have an announcement soon for the Port of Bremerton at the Naval Station Puget Sound.  Please check our Pods & Lots page for vendor details and other new locations coming online soon.


Sea-Tac Airport Pilot Program Gets a Restart

05/07/2018 - WaFoodTrucks.org


Beginning in June, food trucks will again be able to set up inside the airport cell phone lot as a part of a pilot program.  This pilot program was shut down after only 2-weeks last October when the city pointed out it had jurisdictional authority over the Port and the municipal code, at that time, did not allow mobile food vending.  The Association provided guidance to the City of Sea-Tac to help them create a new ordinance that allows the food trucks on both private and public property.  Vendors will be required to first obtain a City of Sea-Tac business license (see below for the application form, no need to provide a property consent form or site plan for this project) and contact the Association to participate.  Vendors are required to be a member of the Association.

SeaTac MobileFoodVendorApplicatio plus p
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New Sea-Tac Mobile Food Vendor License

04/04/2018 - WaFoodTrucks.org


You can now apply for your City of Sea-Tac mobile food business license, the details can be found here: http://www.ci.seatac.wa.us/government/city-departments/finance-systems/business-licensing

You are required to have the property owner's signature at the location you are vending and a site plan, there is an example site plan in the packet. The cost for out-of-city vendor's is $150.  

Governor Signs Food Truck Bill

03/22/2018 - WaFood Trucks.org


HB2639 providing for an exemption from the commissary kitchen requirement when mobile food vendors can meet a certain set of requirements, was signed by the Governor.  In attendance, and who worked hard to help fight for the passage of this bill, is Turan Wright of the Silver Spork, Jen Gustin of Boss Mama's Kitchen, Emily Wigley of the Orca Eats food truck on Vashon Island and Jimmy Valerie of the new Jimmy V's.  The main bill sponsor, Rep. Vincent Buys, his assistant Amanda and the food truck lobbyist, Tim Johnson of the NW Policy Group were also there to celebrate.


Sea-Tac Food Truck License Update

03/12/2018 - WaFoodTrucks.org


The City of Sea-Tac council met again last night, Beth of Peasant Food Manifesto and Jimmy V were our representatives in attendance and have confirmed the council will vote and pass the new ordinance allowing food trucks on March 27th.  This new ordinance will create a license for food trucks and allow them back at the Sea-Tac Office Center (and the airport cell phone lot).

Food Truck Bill Passes State Legislature!

02/27/2018 - WaFood Trucks.org


With a house floor vote of 98-0 and a Senate floor vote of 49-0, the Washington State Food Truck Association get its first bill passed.  This bill, sponsored by both Republicans and Democrats, will now allow a mobile food unit to be exempt from the state board of health or a local health jurisdiction's requirement to operate from an approved commissary or servicing area if the following conditions are met:

(a) The mobile food unit contains all equipment and utensils needed for complete onboard preparation of an approved menu;

(b) The mobile food unit is protected from environmental contamination when not in use;

(c) The mobile food unit can maintain required food storage temperatures during storage, preparation, service, and transit;

(d) The mobile food unit has a dedicated handwashing sink to allow frequent handwashing at all times;

(e) The mobile food unit has adequate water capacity and warewashing facilities to clean all multiuse utensils used on the mobile unit at a frequency specified in state board of health rules,

(f) The mobile food unit is able to store tools onboard needed for cleaning and sanitizing,

g) All food, water, and ice used on the mobile food unit is prepared onboard or otherwise obtained from approved sources;

(h) Wastewater and garbage will be sanitarily removed from the mobile food unit following an approved written plan or by a licensed service provider; and

(i) The local health officer approves the menu and plan of operations for the mobile food unit.

You can find a copy of the bill here: (and see King 5 interviews here:http://www.king5.com/mobile/video/news/local/new-food-truck-laws-could-benefit-owners-customers/281-8012725 )

HB2639 Passed.pdf
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New Renton Fire Food Truck Webpage

01/20/2018 - WaFoodTrucks.org


The Rention Regional Fire Authority has decided to reduce the current 20’ separation distance requirement to 10’ which will allow for more opportunities to utilize food trucks for events and activities in the City – while still maintaining a high level of fire safety.  THere is also a new website to find the other city rules and requirements along with a list of vendors who have already received their fire inspection and approval.

Truckaroo food vendor applications are now online here: https://www.wafoodtrucks.org/truckaroo/ .  We are now taking aps for interest, the deadline to submit is March 15th, and acceptance & confirmations will be announced March 30th.  Other details can be found here.

We will need street entertainers and volunteers!

Utah, Wyoming and Arizona Also Pushing Food Truck Bills

02/18/2018 - WaFoodTrucks.org


In Utah, proposed legislative action (SB 167) would expand upon the bill they passed last year.  This bill prohibits a political subdivision from charging a fee for a reciprocal business license, it restricts a political subdivision's ability to regulate a food truck through a land use or zoning ordinance, and prohibits certain regulations of a food truck on private property.

In Wyoming, HB128 requests state-wide food truck license reciprocity that may not exceed $100, the bill also prevents any political subdivision fom prohibiting the operation of a food truck in any location because of the location's proximity to an existing food establishment or other business.  If this bill passes, it would also implement state fire safety standards and prohibit jurisdictions from requiring a special event or temporary permit on private property.

In Arizona, HB2371, would curtail many city and county ordinances that limit where food trucks can park and what hours they can serve customers.  This bill would also implement a state-wide license.  Stay tuned as we track the progress of these legislative actions!

House Floor Passes Food Truck Bill Unanimously

02/14/2018 - Wa FoodTrucks.org


With 20-minutes to go before cutoff, the House called the food truck commissary kitchen bill (HB2639)  up for a vote, and it passed 98-0!  We are now off to the Senate with a first reading in the Agriculture committee on Feb 16th.  It is already scheduled for a public hearing on the 20th at 1:30pm and is scheduled for an executive session with aniticpated legislative action on the 22nd. Stay tuned for more updates.

Tacoma Fire and Clarification on Food Truck License Renewals

02/15/2018 - WaFoodTrucks.org


For those of you now just receiving your food truck license renewal notices....

The notice was specifically set up as two lines so it was clear that the regulatory license fee is $100 (this is only for those of you parking on public property or in the Right of Way) and the Fire Inspection fee is $125.  The payment for the entire $225 is made directly to Tax & License and the $125 is deposited into the Fire Department’s revenue account to cover their costs of the inspection.  In regard to the date the renewal is due, if the food truck is not currently using any of the approved City right of way locations and only operating on private property, you can request to close the Food Truck license at this time and would check the “Do Not Renew My License.  Business activity has discontinued.”  If you later decided to use the City right of way locations again you would need to reapply for the license.  As long as you apply prior to the activity being conducted there would not be a penalty associated with the fee.   

2nd Annual Assoc Event Announced

02/11/2018 - WaFoodTrucks.org


The Washington State Food Truck Association in partnership with the Bates Technical College, will host its second annual event this June, called Truckaroo.  The mission is to celebrate the uniqueness of street food while incorporating local ingredients and promoting the interests of small business owners.  After the “mob scene” we created at the state capitol for the first Food Truck Lobby Day last April, we wanted to repeat this fun day that showcased the best of Washington’s mobile food vendors as they display their unique culinary creations, said Lori Johnson, Director of the Washington State Food Truck Association.


Bates Technical College campus was chosen as the location to also help promote the culinary food truck program run by a previous student and board advisor to the Association, Chef Richard Houle.  The program, which consists of 40 credits, covers everything from sanitation and food safety basics to cost control, menu development and creating a business plan.   


Truckaroo Location: 2201 S 78th in Tacoma

When:  Saturday, June 16th

Time: 11am to 4pm 


Food trucks, trailers, carts & pop-ups, locally made beverages, live music, agricultural products and traditional street entertainment will be on campus for the whole family to enjoy.  Sponsors, local artisans, agricultural product representation, meal-kit delivery service providers, entertainers, cooking demos, and volunteers are needed.  More details here: https://www.wafoodtrucks.org/truckaroo/

Commissary Kitchen Bill Update

02/01/2018 - WaFood Trucks.org


This week, HB 2639 was called up for a hearing in the Healthcare & Wellness committee.  TIm Johnson from the NW Policy Group testified on behalf of this bill and explained to the committee members we are attempting to modernize our state rules with the language used in the FDA food code that states:  The local regulatory authority's decision to require auxiliary support services such as a commissary or servicing area should be based on the menu, type of operation, and availability of on-board or on-site equipment. 48- other states allow on- board prep and cook and with the proper conditions and supplies, Washington should allow this as well.  Testimony was also given by Jen Gustin of the Boss Mama's food truck located in Tacoma, Turan Wright of the Silver Spork in Auburn, Nick Parisi of Athena's located in Seattle, Emily Wigley of Orca Eats located on Vashon Island and the new kid on the block, Rick McDuffie of Subby's BBQ out of Duval.  These food truck owners took the day off to come to Olympia and speak on behalf of our legislative efforts, see them in committee and in the halls of the capital below.

King County Health

02/01/2018 - WaFoodTrucks.org


The next King County Food Stakeholders meeting has been approved for April 2nd , 2018. The meeting time is 10:30 am – 12:30 pm, and the location is at the Valley View King County Library 17850 Military Road South in Sea-Tac.  We will want to discuss the unfair policy for food truck owners to obtain a CBO for unlimited temporary permits and plan review approval reciprocity.  Instead of us hearing of new county policies after they have been implemented, lets participate at these meetings so we know what is being discussed and can head off issues that might impact your business.

Ferndale to Approve New Food Truck Rules

02/03/2018 - Discover Ferndale


On Monday, Jan 5th, a public hearing is scheduled before councilmembers who will consider adopting modifications to the Ferndale Municipal Code (FMC) and amendments to the Unified Fee Code (UFC) to include references to food trucks operating within the City limits. A map is being included to indicate where food trucks will be allowed on city property with a permit.  The FMC and UFC currently do not contain specific language regarding food truck operations.

Councilmembers will consider adopting modifications to Ferndale Municipal Code that would exempt vendors participating in multiple vendor events such as craft fairsfrom being required to obtain a business license from the City. According to City staff, “Applicants have suggested that a requirement that all vendors obtain a business license may have a chilling effect on these events, as vendors who are unlikely to sell enough product to balance the business license cost simply avoid events in Ferndale.”

New in Fire

01/31/2018 - WaFoodTrucks.org


The Renton fire permit fee was raised from $84 to $100 on January 1, 2018.  And, in the coming months (likely by March/April) they plan to reduce the separation distance from 20 feet to 10 feet in their municipal code.


The Valley Regional Fire Authority (this covers the Auburn, Algona and Pacific areas)  offers an inspection at no charge and is working on approving food trucks via video conference call, to avoid the burden of driving to Valley Regional for inspection. If you are planning to attend an event in this area, you will need to call Assistant Fire Marshal Larry Upton at: 253 288-5870 Monday through Friday.


New Industry Review Site



Designed by Matt Geller of the National Food Truck Association, is a new review site called "foodtruckindustryreviews.com. "  It is intended to review service providers, goods and other important industry things, and especially to try and shine light on some of the less than fair organizers out there. It will be launching in 5 cities to start, Philly, Houston, Seattle, LA and Atlanta. The site is under construction now. We can submit things to be reviewed. Please list the person or thing to be reviewed and as much info as you can about them. This is important if we are going to hold others, who want to do business with mobile food vendors, accountable.  Email what you want to be reviewed to reviews@socalmfva.com include the name, address, phone number and any other pertinent information and we'll make sure it's ready to be reviewed when it is officially launched.

2nd Annual Membership Meeting

01/28/2018 - WaFoodTrucks.org


The Association held its 2nd annual membership meeting, this year at the Renton Pavillion where it was also catered by Rain City and their new food truck Rain City Too.

This meeting was kicked off by the inpirational speaker, Tim Johnson of the NW Policy Group who is also the Association's policy advisor lobbying on our behalf in Olympia.  He spoke about our legislative efforts, how to affect policy change and most notably on our House Bill 2639 that just made it through the committee hearing process.  The speaker line up also included: Brett Howell of Bleu payment systems, a bluetooth system with no fees, never offline and is the new main competitor of Square and Kevin Davis who is the CEO of Best Food Trucks.com spoke about the changes coming to our online booking system to launch this month that will integrate a new mode of internal communications for all.  After a short break to refill on coffee, the rest of the speaker line up included: Johanna Peterson from Farmers Insurance, Clay McDaniel from Ripl, a social media for small business ap company out of Bellevue, Dan Perdue of Textiso, Ryan Schwalb from AAA Fire Protection, Chef Richard Houle from Bates Technical College's culinary program and Toby Kemple from Ethan Stowell Restaurants.  This meeting was filled with 4-hours of vendor information that ended with several lucky participants winning food truck A-board signs designed by our partners at Spittin Llama, gift baskets with $100 gift cards and a corn hole game!

Changes for Vendors Who Have a Type-1 Hood/Vent System:

01/23/2018 - WaFood Trucks.org


Per the 2015 International Mechanical Code:

506.5.3 Exhaust fan mounting:

Up-blast fans serving Type I hoods and installed in a vertical or horizontal position shall be hinged, supplied with a flexible weatherproof electrical cable to permit for fire inspection and cleaning, and shall be equipped with a means of restraint to limit the swing of the fan on its hinge.


The State Fire Marshals are now requiring them to be in place per code.  Labor & Industry does not require existing units that have been reviewed and approved to update and install the hinge kit unless alterations are made to the hood, exhaust or fire suppression systems or appliances related to the listed hood systems.   If and when the jurisdiction you serve in requires installation, in order to comply with this code, you will then need to apply for an alteration application through Labor & Industry for review and approval.


This was an issue for a vendor last year that came up during their Renton fire inspection which was not approved until the hinge kit was installed and re inspected for approval.  The company who did the vendor’s commercial hood cleaning and issued the service report had indicated there was not a “required hinge kit” and therefore indicated this as a “problem found” on their inspection report.

Legislative Press Release                 

 01/21/2018 - WaFood Trucks.org


- Exempting certain mobile food units from state and local regulations pertaining to commissaries or servicing areas.   


State Representative Vincent Buys (42nd- Lynden), introduced House Bill 2639 on January 10th on behalf of food truck owners in Washington.  This bill is intended to allow food trucks to prepare and cook their food inside their mobile kitchens as long as they maintain state and local health standards. This would increase food safety as well as eliminate many unnecessary additional costs. 


Currently, food truck owners must prepare all of their food offsite in a commissary kitchen, or other servicing area, and then load the food onto the trucks and must keep that prepared and cooked food at a safe temperature throughout the day.  This raises real safety concerns about maintaining safe food temperatures.


Mobile food vendors must submit a form to the local health department called a “Commissary Kitchen Agreement,” during the plan review phase of the local permitting process. Unfortunately, the high cost and limited availability of approved commissary kitchens have created a real hardship for many vendors.  It is not uncommon for a vendor to pay in excess of $1,000 per month in return for just 1-hour per day of kitchen use. Vendors are required to maintain a commissary in each county they service.  In some cases, new business owners are unable to open operations due to the inability to find any approved commissary kitchen in their county.  Most other states allow vendors to prep and cook on their trucks, including Oregon and California, and it’s time for Washington to update its code accordingly.


As stated in the FDA food code: the local regulatory authority's decision to require auxiliary support services such as a commissary or servicing area should be based on the menu, type of operation, and availability of on-board or on-site equipment.  This proposed bill would allow a mobile food vendor to be granted a variance (an exception), to the commissary kitchen requirement if the food truck has the same capabilities as a commissary kitchen.


HB-2639 has been co-sponsored by 11- other representatives, including both Democrats and Republicans and has been referred to the Health Care & Wellness committee.


Mobile Vendors Wanted  in Seattle

01/20/2018 - SPR


Parks & Rec will host a concessionaire information meeting on February 15, 2018 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Miller Community Center. This will address mobile food vendors and include trucks, trailers and carts. Find more details here.

New National Industry Review Site

01/01/2018 - NFTA


A review site has been designed by Matt Geller of the National Food Truck Association and it is called foodtruckindustryreviews.com. It is intended to review services, goods and other important industry things, and to especially shine light on some of the less than fair organizers or event hosts out there. It will be launching in 5- cities to start, Philly, Houston, Seattle, LA and Atlanta. The site is under construction now, but you are encouraged to submit things to be reviewed. Please list: the person or thing to be reviewed and as much info as you can about them. This is important if we are going to hold others, who want to do business with mobile food vendors accountable. Submit your email to:  reviews@socalmfva.com  and include your name, address, and phone number and any other pertinent information and we'll make sure it's ready to be reviewed when we launch.


Update on the City of Sea-Tac and Food Trucks

12/28/2017 - WaFood Trucks.org


The new City draft code being proposed will:  allow mobile food vending in all non-residential zones in both the primary use charts and those used in various overlay districts, eliminates the restriction in the Angle Lake Station Area District that only allowed mobile vending within the District Center, allows the activity as both the primary use of a parcel or as an accessory use, indicates that mobile vending may also occur in non-commercial zones in specific locations such as parks or schools, subject to the granting of either a Temporary Use Permit (which is granted by the CED Director) or a Special Use Permit (which is granted by the Parks Director when a City park is involved), does still prohibit mobile food vending from the "public right-of-way", requires vendors to be set up on paved surfaces, and authorizes the use of secondary signage (e.g., sandwich board signs).  Big thanks are sent to Michaya of the famous Ezells for speaking on behalf of the mobile food community at the Dec 14th meeting.  A Planning Commission public hearing on January 2nd should finalize this draft and they hope to have a final public hearing at the February 6th meeting.

What does all this mean?  Once voted on and written into code, food trucks will be allowed to vend at the Admin building as they were before and back inside the cell phone lot.  This is a win for food trucks!



Food Truck Pilot Program Being Considered for Puyallup

12/14/2017 - WaFoodTrucks.org


The Puyallup City Council weighed the impacts of implementing a Food Truck Pilot Program at the Dec. 5 Council meeting.  The proposal, put forth by the Washington State Food Truck Association, would modify some of the city’s regulations related to mobile food truck vendors.  Currently, food trucks are allowed to locate on private property through the city’s permitting process. The proposed pilot program would reduce or eliminate some of the geographical restrictions on the mobile vendors, including where they can park.  “The pilot program would allow these trucks to locate on public street parking,” city planner Katie Baker said at the Council meeting.  Read more here....


Protectionism at play? Politicians say "unfair competition" .

John Stossel & Naomi Brockwell | December 12, 2017


Do you think politicians have the right to decide what is fair competition?  Do you think the Restaurant Association has politicial power with their donations?

See the short video here and share it with others!


New Health Department Advisory Council

12/12/2017 - WaFood Trucks.org


The new Food Safety Advisory Council has developed a form to intake your issues as a mobile food owner.  The health department form can be found below and can be submitted for dicussion and resolution at the next state meeting to be held on January 24th (time and location TBD).  For a detailed description of the purpose and goals of this new council and to see who are the stakeholders, click here.

Microsoft Word Document 47.9 KB


Sea-Tac City Update

11/20/2017 - WaFoodTrucks.org


Per the City Planning Manger, they are going to begin discussing potential Municipal Code amendments regarding food trucks, with the City’s Planning Commission at their regularly-scheduled meeting next Tuesday, November 21, 2017. The meeting begins at 5:30pm in the City Council Chambers.   The Commission has been briefed on our issues and has been provided guidance, however we still have strong concerns based on their Plannning Commission packet which states they are considering allowing food trucks only on private property.  The Commission’s packet is posted to the City’s website and can be found here.  Stay tuned for more updates!

Bellingham Pilot Program Update

11/20/2017 - WaFood Trucks.org


The City of Bellingham decided to install  50-amp power access for food vendors, to relieve the food trucks from having to run generators during lunch service at the City Hall location.  This great downtown spot is one of 3-approved in the pilot program the Association started earlier this year, vendors can participate via the instructions found here: https://www.wafoodtrucks.org/bellingham-1/.

Per the City Planning Department: "it’s looking like we’ll likely make the pilot locations permanent, and have interested participants apply through a more streamlined right-of-way use permit.  We could consider expanding to additional locations as well, if there are areas of interest identified - - New draft regulations are being taken to the Council early next year.

SeaTac Airport Forced to Shut Down Food Trucks

10/26/2017 - WaFood Trucks.org


Six months ago, the Washington State Food Truck Association sent a proposal to the SeaTac airport introducing the idea of a small (3-month) pilot program that would bring one food truck to the cell phone waiting lot, twice a day, 5 to 7 days of the week.  This was not a new idea, in that several other international airports have done the same thing and have been highly successful.  The WSFTA and a couple people from the SeaTac airport Dining & Retail Services department spent 6-months working out the details necessary to start this program, which involved vetting all the vendors for health permitting, a hold harmless agreement, certificates of insurance, arranging a hand washing station to meet county health code, establishing an online schedule, a place for the community to comment, etc.


The launch day of Monday, October 2nd included 3-food truck vendors, one Port Commissioner, the Port press, several news & media outlets and many cell phone lot users waiting to pick up travelers.  The new program was very well received and no complaints were heard.  On Friday, the 13th, the program was shut down via a cease and desist letter from the City of SeaTac to the Port of Seattle.  One local coffee shop had alerted the SeaTac city council that bringing food trucks to the airport was unfair competition for his business.  The food trucks that had been doing Wednesday lunch at the Kilroy building, since June, were also told they could no longer vend inside the city limits.  The City has stated a ban on food trucks.


The city has since posted a PDF document (found below) answering food truck related questions, which includes their statement that food trucks bring unfair competition to existing restaurant businesses and in a Land Use committee meeting held last Thursday evening (Oct 26th), the Deputy Mayor Pam Fernald repeated this same point multiple times.  It was pointed out to the city, that for local government to decide fair competition is constitutionally impermissible as stated in many lawsuits in other parts of the country, for example this lawsuit in Austin, Texas: http://ij.org/case/san-antonio-vending/


We would like to shed light on the fact that the City of SeaTac’s position is to not allow food trucks due to not having "the same burdensome overhead as brick and mortar and it is unfair competition."  This is the stance a few other cities have recently taken here in Washington that include the City of Kent and Auburn.



Stay tuned for update! 



Increasing Fees

10/19/2017 - TPCHD


Pierce County plans to increase their mobie food vending fees again this year and has a plan to increase them in a three-year plan by 6 percent in 2018 and an additional 4 percent in both 2019 and 2020.  You can comment on this fee increase by email to Patricia Darden, pdarden@tpchd.org .  The Board of Health will vote on this increase on Nov. 8th.  The annual fee is going from $530 to $565 and the new plan review is changing to $765.  If you are tired of being considered a rolling ATM machine for local government fees, please send your email NOW. 


Guaranteed Paid Family Leave

10/10/2017 - Per The Seattle Times


Washington state is now among a handful of states that guarantee paid family leave, after Gov. Jay Inslee’s signing Wednesday of a bipartisan plan approved by the Legislature.  The measure offers eligible workers 12 weeks paid time off for the birth or adoption of a child or for the serious medical condition of the worker or the worker’s family member beginning in 2020, or 16 weeks for a combination of both. An additional two weeks may be used if there is a serious health condition with a pregnancy.  Under the new law, both employers and employees pay into the system, and weekly benefits are calculated based on a percentage of the employee’s wages and the state’s weekly average wage — which is now $1,082 — though the weekly amount paid out would be capped at $1,000 a week.  Workers who earn less than the state average would get 90 percent of their income. Employees must work at least 820 hours before qualifying for the benefit.


Self-employed individuals who elect coverage pay only the employee share of the premiums, and employers with 50 or fewer employees are exempt from paying the employer share. Companies that already offer such programs can opt out, as long as they are at least equivalent to the state program.

Premiums of 0.4 percent of wages would start being collected on Jan. 1, 2019, with 63 percent paid by employees and 37 percent paid by the employers.

According to a Senate calculator, an employee who makes $50,000 a year would pay $2.42 a week, while their employer would pay $1.42 a week, for a weekly benefit of about $703.

Food Trucks Coming to Downtown Kent

09/13/2017 - WaFoodTrucks.org


The Washington State Food Truck Association has partnered with the city of Kent to bring food trucks downtown, to the Town Square Plaza  at 426 West Smith Street starting Wednesday, September 20.


This location was chosen by both city planners and a handful of local food truck owners, and will offer food trucks the ability to park in the plaza on weekdays from 11am to 2pm to give downtown some new energy and bring unique food options to the area.  The food trucks are hoping to see a lot of foot traffic from the local courthouse, the city hall, the police and fire departments, commuters from the nearby transit station and students from the Green River Community College.  This new opportunity will run as a pilot program to see if this is a viable location and one that is popular with the community.  To see which trucks will participate and when, access the schedule via the Best Food Trucks website at BestFoodTrucks.com/lots/profile/828


In an effort to bring more vending opportunities to the ever-growing population of food trucks, the Washington State Food Truck Association has been working with city planners in many counties to find new and underserved locations for food trucks.  Small food truck lots or new designated parking sites can offer a distinctive dining experience because they are more casual than a sit-down restaurant and can bring even very diverse communities together.  Lori Johnson, the Director of the state food truck association says “I don’t see why we can’t build on the successes of the Seattle food trucks in other emerging markets like Kent.”


“Mayor Suzette Cooke says her staff is excited about new dining options downtown.  “The popularity of food trucks in other cities is well-known. We’re thrilled to bring this new dining experience to Kent.”



For vendors who wish to participate in this new pilot program, you will need to provide: a copy of your King County Health Department annual food permit, a certificate of insurance, and agree to the Association’s terms and conditions of the program.

The WSFTA Starts Work with City of Kent

07/31/2017 - WaFoodTrucks.org


"Bill Ellis wants to turn the industrial Kent Valley into an innovation district", states the Puget Sound Business Journal.  The Washington State Food Truck Association can also see the great potential for food trucks to bring more vitality to the corporate spaces in Kent, as well as other under serves areas.

"The transformation of the region, which is the fourth-largest center for manufacturing and distribution in the U.S., is already underway. Approximately 55,000 employees work for Amazon, Boeing, REI, Starbucks and other companies in the Kent Valley. Kent is the seventh-fastest-growing city in the U.S. and job growth is predicted to be as much as 40 percent in the next decade. Like their counterparts in South Lake Union, Amazon workers in Kent Valley want to grab lunch at food trucks and sip craft beer at a pub after work. Access to those amenities can be a recruiting tool for companies."  

The Association plans to offer some new vending opportunities in the 3rd largest city soon.

L & I Worker Classification Clarified for Food Trucks

07/25/2017 - WaFoodTrucks.org


If your food truck is not moving to different locations during the day, all operations are reported in 3905, base rate = .41. 1101 - (base rate = 2.15),  is for route food services that travel to various locations throughout the day.  Anyone with any exposure to the nature of the business is reportable in the basic classification, so any cashier or clean-up person would be reportable in 3905 in a food truck operation that doesn’t travel from place to place throughout the day. Even if the food truck is going to one location for the day then packs up and goes home, they would be reportable in 3905.


Anyone working in a route food service where the food truck is travelling from place to place throughout the day is reportable in 1101, regardless of activity, so yes, the cashier must be reported in 1101 also. The only exceptions are:

·       a worker who is preparing the food at the base location for distribution on the route food truck, which can be reported in 3905; and

·       clerical office or sales worker meeting criteria in WAC 296-17-31018: Exception classifications. Hours cannot be split between another class and these classifications; must have no exposure to the hazards of the business.

Food Trucks Are Added to Seahawks Training Camp

July 23, 2017 - WaFood Trucks.org


After months of communications with the Seahawks, we were able to get food trucks approved to participate at the training camp facility in Renton starting Sunday,  July 30th.  1-2 trucks will park each of the 11-training days inside the facility parking lot as 2500 fans arrive to watch our world-champion Seahawks train for the upcoming season.  Association members were solicited to submit a scaled down version of their street menu to the marketing team and the following vendors were chosen: Ezells, Lumpia World, Peoples Burger, Charlies Buns N Stuff, Tabassum, Meat on a Mission, NaanSense, Cathouse Pizza and the Silver Spork.  We are very excited to offer our supportive members such a cool opportunity in exchange for their participation.

Quarterly Public Health Seattle & King Cty Food Stakeholder Meeting

July 23, 2017 - WaFood Trucks.org


On Monday, July 16th the King County Health Department held a stakeholder meeting with a food truck panel.  Becky Alias first spoke about the new food safety rating system that has a phased roll out for restaurants.  Ratings are based on 4-separate inspections and 3300 restaurants now have their window rating smiley face decal. This system will be applied to food trucks by the county, but there is no timeline in place yet to incorporate restaurants on wheels.  The food truck panel consisted of James Barrington and Matt Davis of Woodshop BBQ, Henry, an inspector and John Shin, a King County plan review specialist.  They each spoke to the challenges and frustrations on each side of the plan review and approval process.  The lack of commissary kitchen space was a topic as well as clarifying that commissaries do not have to be a permitted facility, but that it is the permit for the mobile unit that covers the commissary facility.  This opens up the idea of using senior center kitchens, and other non traditional facilities that meet the county's requirements.  Another topic of discussion was the redundant need for a 3-compartment sink and the custom work required on most units coming from out of state.  Joe Graham, from the state department of health, confirmed that we have been bringing him enough food truck specific issues that they have decided to re-open the state retail food code to address needed changes since the code has not been open for change since 2011.  A new state-level stakeholder group will form and meetings set to begin in October.  We have been asked to appoint a few people to this group as we did with the state-level L & I stakeholder advisory panel.  Other people in attendance at the meeting included our FDA Pacific Region Retail Food Specialist (who mentioned there is now a national mobile food code), a food business specialist from the Ventures organization that offers an 8-week food truck program that is based on annual income, a quality assurance manager from the Compass Group, a rep from Seattle's Biz & Econ Development and 3-reps from the Washington State Food Truck Association.

State Food Truck Assoc Builds Brewery Partnerships in Auburn 

July 5, 2017– The Washington State Food Truck Association has partnered with two new brew options in downtown Auburn to bring you a variety of food truck menu options from local small business owners.

Scamp Brewery and Tap Room located on 16th St just held their official grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony on June 30th.  It is located next door to the very popular Evergreen Market pot shop and will have a schedule for food trucks to participate on Thursdays through Saturdays.  More information about Scamp Brewery can be found on their Facebook page here

CRFT Beers is a bottle shop and tasting room with 41-rotating taps and a popular Featured Brew Night on Thursdays.  To learn more about their events check their Facebook page here:  or their Twitter handle @CrftBeers.  Both locations are in high visibility areas with heavy traffic and are hoping to build their customer base with the popularity of the food truck and craft beer relationship.


Tacoma Update - No Pod Required

07/03/2017 - WaFoodTrucks.org


As many of you know, Tacoma launched its first food truck pod last March on Tacoma Ave S, with great (initial) success and a huge crowd of hundreds on the first day even with poor weather.  After only 2-weeks, the food truck owners were scared off by the violence of the homeless group that occupied space near the library, which the city had considered a "homeless hot spot" unknown to us at the Washington State Food Truck Association.


We then entered several weeks of back and forth with a city planner, who was not very willing to help us find a spot to relocate the food truck pod.  This is after each vendor participating paid a $225 fee that allowed them to park on public property (via new City Ordinance passed last year allowing mobile food vending in certain areas.)  This city planner said they were "flooded" with food truck complaints and she did not want to help further the life of food trucks in the downtown Tacoma area.

We filed a public records request of these complaints, which amounted to no more than 9 complaints filed.  They consisted of mostly abandoned food trucks in neighborhood, private property locations, and there was not one complaint of a permitted and licensed food truck on public property.  In addition, the city planner had initially told us that Tolefson Plaza would be a viable location and then when we requested to relocate there, she told us this was no longer an option and admitted to us, she is unhappy with her job and no longer wants to work in her current capacity.


The Association was quite determined to fight for the rights of these small business owners and find them a place to offer the residents and local business owners a great lunch option from their local gourmet food trucks, a population that continues to grow.  We spent several weeks to relocate the food truck pod over to 951 Broadway, where the Farmer's Market is held on Thursdays.  The new food truck pod would have run Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 11 am to 2pm as before, but no permitted vendors wanted to participate.  


We want to be sure licensed and permitted food trucks in Tacoma know that there are public spaces you can utilize on your own (do not need to be set up as a pod) and feel that this information is hard to find.  Please find below a map showing the approved locations (other locations may be approved by contacting us) and the requirements to park on public property.  When Tacoma vendors are ready for more scheduled organization, we are here and happy to support....

Approved FT Zones
Feb-2017-FTZonesMap (1).pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 266.5 KB
Tax & License requirements for street permit
FoodTruckVendorChecklist (1).pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 260.8 KB

Director's Trip to Washington DC

06/26/2017 - WaFoodTrucks.org


Since 2010, the DMV (DC, Maryland & Virginia) Food Truck Association has been fighting for food truck small businesses. Founded by 17 owner/operators who defeated a proposed food truck moratorium, the FTA has quickly grown into one of the largest food truck associations in the country. Che Ruddell-Tabisola, who is known for being the most prominent voice of the DC movement (holds a Master's degree in international conflict analysis and led the national "Freedom to Marry" campaign) and their first full-time Executive Director spent an entire day showing me the complete "ins and outs" of the DC food truck community.  Not only did we eat from his famous BBQ Bus (which offers incredible smoked meats & sides), parked near the Capitol, we sampled the best from several other food trucks that are all regulated to be no more than 18.5-feet in length so as to fit in a metered parking space.   DC has many designated vending locations that were designed to revitalize spaces using the public right-of-way.  Food trucks that pay a non-refundable $25 dollar application fee are placed in a monthly location permit lottery, and then if chosen must pay a $150 location permit fee before being authorized to vend from the designated location.


Che also toured me through their most well designed and shared commissary kitchen and their local, custom food truck builder.  Founded in 2007, the East Coast Launch Pad manufactures dependable, long-lasting mobile food units and will deliver to anywhere in the country.  I have toured other builders, and I can honestly say these guys do incredible work AND build to each state's required specifications.  Best of all, they design and build Tavern trucks, which have yet to hit Washington.  These trucks (which vend for private catering gigs) are outfitted with an ice marker, speed rails, bar sink, and beer tap. A bar platform slides out and sets on the ground. There's also a full kitchen inside with a grill, six-burner range, refrigerator, and sandwich prep station. 


Another influential person I met in DC, was Alex Cooper, the events director for the DMV Association.  We spent 3-hours on a park bench in Faragut Square exchanging mobile food info from coast to coast.  Alex is tasked to organize the next annual convention in 2018, but is more famously known for being only one of two managers of the Spud Nation food truck expansion.  Before Spud Nation, in his United Kingdom homeland, Alex owned a profitable food truck business called Nom Catering. While developing this business, he was involved in the startup and creation of one of the first food truck associations in that nation, and has a long history in event management, specializing in conference and exhibition design. 

It is too hard to sum up all that I saw and learned from our partners in DC, but it was the most inspiring trip I have taken in years and can foresee many awesome things to come for our own mobile food industry here in Washington with enough support and participation!     ~ Lori Johnson

Yelm Food Truck Regs Adopted

06/13/2017 - Yelm Business Association


YBA President Cynthia Schmier commends everyone involved in seeing this proposal to fruition for Yelm.  “On behalf of the Yelm Business Assn. (YBA), I wish to recognize the hard work of Yelm’s Community Development Dept.,....The YBA also acknowledges the contributions of Washington Food Truck Assn. Executive Director Lori Johnson.” Yelm City Council adopts YBA-initiated Food Truck Regulations 

The Yelm City Council adopted Ordinance 1022 updating the Unified Development Code (UDC) this evening, implementing new and updated policies of the Comprehensive Plan with the following amendment: Section 16 shall be re-titled “A new section of the Unified Development Code shall be established at Chapter 18.71 YMC entitled Mobile Food Vending.”

For more click here

High Sales Tax May Figure in to Where U Run Your Small Biz

06/12/2017 - WaFoodTrucks.org


Of the top 10 most populated counties in the state, King and Thurston counties enjoyed the largest overall taxable retail sales percentage increase. Renton and Spokane Valley saw the largest increase of the most populated cities.

More details found here.

Big changes coming to the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department

06/06/2017 - Alhasha McLean


Currently the only way the public is notified of a restaurant that has been closed for infractions is by a restaurant being “closed” for business. In Tacoma-Pierce County there are many restaurants that have incurred multiple infractions that are not known to the public until they are forced to close which is a great health concern for all. Even still the previous closures are not made public.

Beginning in four weeks a new service will roll out that will be able to provide an alert for any restaurant that has had to close for an infraction for more than 24 hours. System limitations have prevented them from being able to notify the public like King & Thurston County’s does via an email alert service. These counties can send an alert every time a restaurant is shut down including temporary closures. Keeping the public very informed. Tacoma-Pierce won’t be able to inform on temporary closures however 24 closures is a good start.

State Food Truck Association's First Lobby Day

04/21/2017 - WaFood Trucks.org


The Washington State Food Truck Association held its first Food Truck Lobby Day on April 13th with the intent to introduce state legislators to the modern day, gourmet local food trucks and for these mobile chefs to "show off" at our state capitol.



13-different food trucks, trailers, and carts all lined up on the state capitol grounds and served a lunch for 3-hours to over 2,500 people.   This was the first year for the young Association to hold a Lobby Day, “we based our expectations on the popularity of Beef Day”, said Lori Johnson, Executive Director, who organized the event along with Chef Richard Houle of the Bates Technical College, and their lobbyist Tim Johnson of the Northwest Policy Group, LLC.

Vancouver Food Truck

Ribbon Cutting

04/18/2017- WaFoodTrucks.org


Vida Flare will hold its Ribbon Cutting Celebration with the awesome Greater Vancouver of Commerce Members & Red Coat Ambassadors on Wed., May 3rd, 4pm-6pm, at Fortside Brewery located at 2200 NE Andresen, Suite B in Vancouver, WA. The ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at 4:30pm alongside fellow small business entrepreneurs & community members. Food samples will be available at the food cart on a first come, first serve basis. Guests may purchase drinks at the Fortside Brewery! Raffling of prizes courtesy of fellow small businesses will happen & must be present to win! Vida Flare hopes to see local media & community there!


About Vida Flare & Vida Flare CEO, Carmen McKibben

Vida Flare is a mobile food experience that delivers Southwest Mexican Cuisine that is flavorful & unique to NW region. Using the great NW food cart community culture, Carmen has brought her Southwest Mexican mobile culinary vision & roots to life! Vida Flare is about food & community, which are two areas that are important to its founder. In fact, Vida Flare carries that mantra on its diverse food cart honoring the Southwest, Mexican, & Northwest cultures, its name, & motto: WHERE LIFE & FOOD IGNITE!

RSVP here

New Snohomish Health Department Policy

04/17/2017 - WaFoodTrucks.org


If you have an annual health permit in Pierce or King County, you no longer will need to duplicate the plan review process to apply for your annual health permit in Snohomish county.  Please find the policy document below and contact us for a few tips in getting through the new policy process.

New Snohomish Policy SHD_Mobile_Food_Ven
Adobe Acrobat Document 58.6 KB

Seattle's Restaurant Success Program

04/10/2017 - WaFoodTrucks.org


The Food Business Roadshow on Tuesday, May 2nd and the

Restaurant Success Orientation to be held on Tuesday, April 18th which will give people an opportunity to learn about resources available for restaurants and mobile food businesses. The Orientation will be set up as a workshop and will cover the different permits and licenses that are required for restaurants and mobile food operations.  Eventbrite links allow you to register for the two different events. Registration is not required but it’s recommended. Please feel free to spread the word about both events to your communities. Your help and participation are much appreciated!


Eventbrite links:

Restaurant Success Orientation – Tuesday, April 18th – 3:00p to 5:00p - https://restaurantsuccess1.eventbrite.com

Food Business Roadshow – Tuesday, May 2nd – 3:00p to 5:00p - https://restaurantsuccess2.eventbrite.com

Two States Show Food Trucks Are Created Equal

03/12/17 - The Baltimore Sun/DesertNews


In Maryland, the bill first introduced in 2016, has been revived with new requirements and a fee structure for health department licensing for food trucks that would apply across county lines. This year's version (Senate Bill 262/House Bill 771) passed the Senate Feb. 22 and is currently in committee in the House of Delegates.  The restaurant association thought the initial bill would give food trucks an unfair advantage over their brick-and-mortar counterparts. But following the summer work sessions, the restaurant association ended up supporting the revised bill, according to Melvin Thompson, the group's senior vice president of government affairs and public policy.

"They’ve all agreed this bill is the answer they’re looking for," said Miller, a Republican representing Carroll and Howard counties. "It just simplifies what they have to do. They can get one inspection and operate in all these jurisdictions." Read more here.

In Utah, while lawmakers, lobbyists and interns fed on plates of freshly prepared meals, local food truck owners were able voice their concerns about the regulatory burdens of obtaining separate business licenses to operate in more than one municipality.  "This bill deals with some of the problems that our growing market of food trucks are encountering," said Rep. Kim Coleman, R-West Jordan, the bill's House sponsor.  Obtaining business licenses, arranging health inspections and complying with fire codes have been difficult and problematic for food truck operators with varied and sometimes conflicting regulations in various jurisdictions, Coleman said.  She said the bill sets statewide reciprocity in the licenses for food truck operators.

The House voted 73-0 on the bill's final confirming vote Thursday night!!! 

Read more here.

Utah Senate Bill Gets Mass Attention

02/27/17 - Libertas Institute


Republican Sen. Deidre Henderson, is sponsoring legislation to streamline the process to allow such businesses to thrive. "In a public policy brief late last year, we outlined the many regulatory burdens faced by food truck owners throughout Utah as a result of duplicative and redundant ordinances and fees required of them by city governments.  To respond to this concern, Senator Deidre Henderson has sponsored Senate Bill 250, which would streamline these regulations, eliminate redundancy, and prohibit problematic city regulations.  Specifically, this bill would:

  1. establish a reciprocity system so food truck owners don’t have to obtain a business license in each city in which they desire to operate;
  2. prohibit cities from establishing protectionist boundaries around restaurants in which food trucks are denied the opportunity to operate;
  3. prohibit cities from denying a business license for a food truck on the basis of the applicant’s criminal history; require that counties honor health and fire permits issued in other counties; and
  4. streamline event permits and other regulations.

This is a great start towards freeing up the market for food truck owners who currently struggle to succeed!"   


Important to note:

Representatives from both the Utah Association of Counties and the Utah League of Cities and Towns spoke in support of SB250.

"Cities like food trucks. Local jurisdictions like to have food trucks in their communities, but it's new and regulations sometimes take time to catch up," said Cameron Diehl, league director of government affairs.

Diehl said cities have been trying to handle the growing number of trucks the best they can.  With SB250, cities will also still retain local authority when it comes to land use and zoning laws. Diehl said the league will provide guidance to cities as they develop rules regarding food trucks.  Full article here.


Other articles reporting on this include:










Tax Exemtion Bill

02/12/2017 - WaFood Trucks.org


A newly introduced bill would continue to provide for the tax exemption on "certain products that impart flavor to food" and "that impart flavor to food during the cooking process and (a) Are completely or substantially consumed by combustion during the cooking process, such as wood chips, charcoal, charcoal briquettes, and grape vines; or (b) Support the food during the cooking process and are comprised entirely of wood, such as cedar grilling planks. The exemption provided by this section does not apply to any type of gas fuel.  The Washington State Food Truck Association will support this bill.


L & I Food Truck Advisory Meeting 

02/10/2017 - WaFoodTrucks.org


The third state Food Truck Advisory Committee meeting was held this past week in Tumwater and new fire safety standards was the main topic of discussion.  The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) is currently writing new mobile cooking operations into the NFPA 96 code.  As a committee of stakeholders that include two food truck builders, representatives from L & I, the Fair Association, the state Fire Marshal, the Restaurant Association and the Washington State Food Truck Association, we went over voluntary compliance and how Annex B (Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection

of Commercial Cooking Operations) will affect our current state codes.  This committee is responsible for providing a report to the legislature by September, and we voted in favor of requiring mobile food units to take an annual fire safety training class and discussed an inexpensive online option.   This fire safety training is one of the components of the new NFPA standards.  We also talked about the need for an annual check on propane/gas lines, instituting a state-wide fire permit and gas leak detection.  L & I, who is now approving approximately 300-mobile units a year, will now post a checklist of building requirements for those owners wishing to do a custom-build and more consumer changes are coming to their website soon.  More news will be posted on the fire safety training in the coming months, so stay tuned for updates.




Tacoma's Food Truck Fire Permits

02/01/2017 - WaFoodTrucks.org


The City of Tacoma and its food truck population is growing after the new city ordinance to allow on street vending in 5-new locations passed last year.  As a part of this, the local fire department will conduct an inspection of the mobile unit and ensure the fire safety equipment, suppression unit for the grills and fryers are tested, and clean & inspected by a certified agency approved by the city Tax and License office. Per Lieutenant Hansen, they "will be looking at the LPG connections, the LPG bottle and its date of hydro, if the extinguisher has been serviced, and to ensure it is a class K extinguisher and some other safety items."


The Tacoma Fire department conducts business inspections of the entire city and charges an inspection fee. During the inspection,  they will collect information about the owner and truck and log the data in their system, which will create an invoice for the owner. The owner should expect a once a year fee of $35. The same trucks over the year, will be inspected at different events but the owner will only be billed once, just like any other business operator in the City of Tacoma.  Only vehicles that are not listed in their database will be inspected.


New L & I Fire Safety Bulletin Canned Aerosol Cooking Spray

02/02/2017 - WaFoodTrucks.org

Kitchen Workers Burned by Aerosol Cookin
Microsoft Word Document 2.1 MB

WSFTA Held 1st Annual Meeting

01/29/2017 - WaFoodTrucks.org


The Washington State Food Truck Association held its first annual meeting on Sunday at Odin Brewery in Tukwilla, where both members and non-members had been invited and over 60-people were in attendance.  The meeting was kicked off by lobbyist Tim Johnson who spoke about how and why the Association was formed, the importance of building and maintaining a presence among the legislative community in Olympia, and some of our future legislative goals including a "Bill of Rights" for food trucks.  The Association Director, Lori Johnson, talked about our grass roots efforts and accomplishments in 2016 and projects in the works for this year including local policy reform and the big Lobby Day event at the capitol scheduled for April 13th.  Marilou Shea spoke about the Mobile Vending University program she leads over in Pasco, Daniel Williams from Diamond Capital explained his new Limitless payment processing, Ace of Trades presented their mobile kitchen repair services and Ryan Schwalb from AAA Fire & Safety educated everyone on the new leak detection device now available.  The new NFPA fire code was a huge topic and we talked as a group about how this is different from the commercial cooking regulations that fire inspectors have been using in the past.  This meeting was a great way for vendors from all over Washington to meet each other, hear others issues and concerns and see the Association as "family"-like group of support and information. 

Bellingham Approves Street Vending Project

01/27/2017 - cob.org


The City of Bellingham is partnering with the Washington State Food Truck Association to test several "on street" mobile food vending opportunities. Beginning in January, 2017, a pilot program to allow pre-approved food trucks to operate in three on-street areas downtown will launch.  Read more...

Food Trucks Invading Everett

1/11/2017 - Snohomish County Tribune


Diners line up during a chilly lunch hour on Friday, Jan. 6 to buy meals from food trucks (The Vet Chef and Stick It or Stuff It) lining the Wetmore Avenue Plaza in Everett. While the main portion of the plaza is fenced off for maintenance work on the fountain, it and the frigid temperature didn’t stop people from dining at the trucks. The food trucks convene at the plaza as part of an effort called “Food Truck Fridays” put on by the Washington Food Truck Association. The organization plans to open a second food truck space soon in the Silver Lake area with a grand opening Monday, Jan. 16. That food truck lot will run weekdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. a block south of Costco at 1831 Silver Lake Road. The food truck association launched in 2015.  Link to article here.

Food Truck Advisory Board Meeting

01/10/17 - WaFoodTrucks.org


Our next L & I food truck advisory meeting is scheduled for February 9th in Tumwater.  We will be discussing the new NFPA 96 (National Fire Protection Agency) changes to mobile food cooking operations, implementing a state-wide standard for fire inspections and more.  Please let us know by January 20th if you want to contribute.  As a reminder, James Barrington is the committee chair and Jonathan Amato is your industry representative on this board of stakeholders.


Dept of L & I Updates Labor Standards

01/05/2017 - WaFoodTrucks.org


Regarding the Minimum Wage Act and Initiative 1433

This initiative passed on November 8, 2016 and requires, in part, employers provide paid sick leave to employees starting in 2018.  Initiative 1433 directs the department to adopt and implement rules to carry out and enforce the act, including but not limited to, procedures for notification to employees and reporting regarding sick leave, and protecting employees from retaliation for the lawful use of sick leave and exercising other rights under Initiative 1433 and Chapter 49.46 RCW. The department's rules for enforcement of rights provided in Initiative 1433 must be at least equal to enforcement of the minimum wage.  

1st Food Truck Lobby Day at State Capitol

 Oct 9th, 2016 -  WaFoodTrucks.org


In an effort to raise the profile of the fast-growing food truck industry here in Washington, the state association will hold its first "food truck lobby day" at the capitol campus on Thursday, April 13th from 11am - 2pm.  Similar to the very popular, "beef day", hosted by The Washington Cattlemen’s Association, and the Dairy Federation, who serve slices of beef on buns, with chips and milk.  As reported, a line starts forming shortly after 11 a.m. , and by 11:30 a.m., it stretches about the length of a football field.  The Cattlemen held their first beef day about eight years ago.  Per their president in 2015, “I think it’s one of our best outreach days. It puts a face on who’s doing this and that there are consequences, good and bad, to policies.”

At noon, Gov. Jay Inslee dropped by. He ate a slice of beef and mixed with ranchers in the easy-going manner of a successful politician. He pointed to the line.  The food truck industry has made great changes and improvements regarding health & safety, and public perception over the past five years or so, but we still have a ways to go with many issues including state definitions of mobile catering, liquor permits, streamlining annual county health permits and dozens of city codes.  If you are interested in more details and participating, please check here for more information.

Bellingham's 4th Annual Food Truck Round Up Biggest Year

September 25, 2016 - WaFoodTrucks.org


The "Feed the Need" Food Truck Round Up is held as an organized partnership by local Whatcom County businesses to benefit Whatcom County food banks.  This year there were so many vendors they predict having to move the event next year to a bigger location.  The lines to get into this event were long, more than a 1/2 hour wait but the food did not disappoint.  Most of the vendors sold out many of their menu items and the beer garden ran dry.  Crowd favorites were Tornado Potato (all the way from King County), Cubano Cubano, JT's Smokin meatballs, the best pizza in town made by Pizzazza, and of course the chicken waffle sandwich made by Delicious Mischief.

WSFTA Starts New Pilot Pods

September 24, 2016 - WaFoodTrucks.org


In attempt to create more vending opportunities for local food trucks, the Association has partnered with the Tacoma Parks Department to bring you a 4-week pilot pod at the Sprinker Center on Saturdays from 11-2pm starting October 1st.  A similar 4-week pilot pod began in Bellingham this past Friday at the Public Market, where the cuban sandwich truck sold out before the lunch hour ended.  If participation and attendance is considered a success, these opportunities will be extended and possible evening times will be offered.  If vendors are interested in participating, all the details and the application can be found here.    

L & I Food Truck Advisory Board

August 23rd, 2014 - WaFoodTrucks.org



James Barrington of Hallava Falafel, chaired the 2nd official advisory board meeting held on August 23rd.   In his report, L & I agreed that there is a need for the association to keep a list of recommended truck builders…" there are a ton of truck builders in other states that promise they can build a truck to pass the Washington L & I permit approval process, but then consumers are disappointed when they find out they still need to spend another $10-20K to get their trucks up to speed."  The FAS staff will help us put together a checklist of things consumers can do before purchasing a truck, for example: shop around and be well educated with the rules and regs. 

James also commented "I think the next push is going to be figuring out who can be responsible to check that propane tanks are in good working order and serviced as needed, gas lines are tight and leak free and finally that hoods have seen their annual service."  As you all know, new fire safety regs for mobile food vendors are being written into NFPA for 2017.  Since zero people voted on having any annual association meeting, the board of advisors will be given the option to decide on any fire safety legislation.

No date has been set yet for the next food truck advisory board meeting.

City of Tacoma Passes New Amended Food Truck Ordinance , Constitutional?


An ordinance relating to food truck vendor regulations added a new chapter (6B.175), to create a standard process for food trucks to operate on public rights-of-way, passed on August 2nd.  There were five-approved food truck locations; three downtown and two in the Dome district, and are pending  the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department sales site agreement acquisition (restroom agreements) and the establishment of operating hours.  (See below for the 5-approved locations.)


As worded in the new city ordinance: the City shall establish locations "suitable" for food truck vending ...  And, When reviewing locations the City shall consider the following non-exclusive criteria before approving the location for food truck vending: be compatible with the public and local business interest in use of the public ways as public rights-of-way. Locations shall be identified by the City with a sign that will include the approved hour food truck vendors are allowed to operate. If an approved location is not identified with a permanent City sign, an A-Board sign that is approved or designed by the City must be posted by the food truck vendor prior to the location being

used, and such posting shall reserve the location for that food truck vendor for the operating hours indicated on the sign. Are food trucks and restaurants being held to the same sign standards? (For more information on these A-Board sign requirements and restrictions see below.)


As stated in the new ordinance, there was a stakeholder work group, consisting of food truck vendors, brick and mortar restaurants, the Washington Restaurant Association, the County Health Department and other City staff over the past several months to develop a food truck policy, but did not include the state association representing food truck owners.   It also mentions the use of findings from peer cities best practices.  Seattle, with a population of over 650,000 people (compared to Tacoma's population of approximately 203,000) has provided excellent examples of good laws that allow the industry to flourish while also protecting public health and safety, without protectionist barriers.


Per the Institute for Justice's Food Truck Freedom report "How to Build Better Food Truck Laws in Your City, cities should not regulate more heavily than necessary.  They should strive to enact narrow laws that address the particular problem at hand and go no further.  There are several examples in this report on how other cities have dealt with "suitable" locations and have made California an example after a court ruling proved that these types of restrictions are unconstitutional.  The report also recommends that cities not restrict when food trucks can operate.  Trucks should be free to vend at any time, or at the very least be subject to the same rules as brick-and -mortar restaurants.  Is vending from a specific location at a certain time, posing an actual public health and safety concern?


The new regulations also provide for a review process if other locations are desired for future operations. The person submitting the request for the location shall have the burden to prove that any proposed food truck vending activity will enhance and further the public interest consistent with the use of the public way by the general public and the City for other authorized uses and activities as outlined in 6B.175.060.


The city compiled feedback from nearby business owners and used the "cooperation of adjacent [owners] at a rate not less than 70%" as a part of their criteria in approving a site.  Some of the comments compiled (Per the Tacoma Food Truck Sites packet) included: "OK--but not popular with the owners/operators of the Post Office Building and the newly established food businesses inside.  Suggested hours of operations: Evening to late night. OK--but not popular with the owners/operators of nearby restaurants."


"Protecting a few select businesses from competition is not a proper government role."  As stated in another report from the Institute for Justice: existing businesses do not "need government intervention to protect them from food trucks. (And, as several federal courts have recognized, regulation for the sake of mere economic protectionism is constitutionally impermissible.)  


The Washington State Food Truck Association has sent over a dozen communications to the Economic Development Staff over the past year to help guide them in forming better food truck laws. It is our goal, to provide facts to support more food truck freedom.  It appears, that for now, Tacoma has taken the side of existing, non-mobile business owners.


The A-board sign must:  (Tacoma's sign info)


  • Be posted by the vendor 24 hours in advance of the location being used on the sidewalk directly next to the parking space designated by the City for food truck operations.  What if the sign is stolen overnight?
  • Indicate the hours the food truck vendor will be operating. Hours of operation at each location will be approved by the City.  What other food related businesses need the city's approval for hours to operate?
  • Only include wording approved by the City.  
  • Not contain business names, business logos, or any type of business advertising.
  • Be removed at the beginning of the food truck vendor shift by the vendor, unless the food truck will be operating at the location within the next 24 hours....

The five new locations are:


• Tacoma Avenue South, near the main library;

• South 11th and A Streets;

• Broadway, in front of Pierce Transit Park;

• East 25th Street, between East C and East D Streets; and


• Puyallup Avenue, near the Greyhound station


References for cities:

Food Truck Freedom - Institute for Justice

Seven Myths & Realities About Food Trucks - Institute for Justice's National Street Vending Initiative

National League of Cities - Helping City Leaders Build Better Communities: Food on Wheels

On the Go: Insights Into Food Truck Regulation - Harvard Kennedy School

Streets of Dreams: How Cities Can Create Economic Opportunity  - Institute for Justice

Payment Processing Provider for Food Trucks Partners with Association

08/04/16 - WaFoodTrucks.org


This First Data payment processing program, called the Clover Go Mobile is designed specifically to be competitive with Square,  and is for food truck merchants that will use the device on their phones or tablets. 


A lot of food truck vendors are using Square at a rate of 2.75% and the Clover Go program is 2.40% when transactions are swiped. (When keying a transaction with Square vendors are paying 3.75%, with the Clover Go they will pay 3.50% and a .15 cents transaction fee is charged for either service.) Most merchants or vendors are not taking the EMV chip cards and are not aware that they have to be PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliant with Visa/Mastercard rules by also completing a SAQ annually. The liability switch is now on the merchant and not the bank anymore.


There is no application or cancellation fee, and there are no other fees associated with this program other than a monthly fee of $4.95. The purchase of the Clover Go is $29.95 which includes the ability for vendors to be able to take EMV chip cards. (The liability switch happened October 2015 which means the merchant is now responsible for any data breaches.) With only the monthly fee of $4.95 the merchants are protected with Transarmor which adds an additional layer of security and they will receive access to complete their annual PCI Compliance SAQ which is mandated by Visa/Mastercard as well as giving them $100,000 worth of insurance if there is a data breach.  Square doesn't offer any breach protection for them nor do they have their merchants complete the SAQ, most truck vendors aren't aware of PCI.  There are no enhanced bill back fees on this program, and the program fees are taken off the top, which is the same for the Square program. 


As our members know, it is essential for me, as the association director, to research service providers we refer to, and I have established a direct contact at First Data who will handle new accounts and questions.  "I am glad that you take extra care in keeping them protected and that is why they should be processing EMV  (chip cards) and completing the PCI Compliance.  I hope to build a great relationship with you.   I have been with First Data for 15-years and my integrity  and concerns for my clients is of the utmost importance. I will never tell you something that I can't deliver., that is my service promise!   I want to be able to bring knowledge to the truck vending industry and also help them to lower their cost., help them to protect their business and their customers card transactions!"  ~ Arlene Brooks, Sr. Business Consultant. 

City of Bothell Approves Food Trucks

07/22/16 - NWNews.com


Food trucks are now officially allowed to operate in Bothell, thanks to an ordinance the Bothell City Council passed last week.   Dave Boyd, senior planner for the City of Bothell, said the city gets inquiries from vendors who are interested in setting up food trucks in Bothell, so the city wanted to create a way to license them.   Representatives from the UW Bothell/Cascadia Community College and the North Creek Business Park, where food trucks already set up at lunchtime to serve students and office workers, asked the city to formally allow the trucks in the city. Several local business owners worried the food trucks would compete unfairly with brick-and-mortar restaurants, while a few other business owners welcomed food trucks bringing more people to Bothell.  Read more...

Tacoma City Ord to Allow Food Trucks on Public Prop

07/26/16 - WaFoodTrucks.org 


The first reading of a new ordinance before the Tacoma City Council last Tuesday, will allow the trucks the ability to park on the street at five different locations in the city.  A final vote is several weeks away, with the next meeting set for August 2nd at 5pm.    A stakeholder work group comprised of food truck vendors, brick and mortar restaurants, the Washington Restaurant Association, Tacoma Pierce County Health Department staff and City staff representing Community and Economic Development, Tax & License, Code Enforcement, Traffic and

Parking met over the past several months to develop a food truck policy and regulation for vending from the right-of-way. The new regulatory license in Title 6 - Sales - Food Truck Vendors establishes

requirements and a process based on cooperative efforts by the workgroup, findings from a 2015 pilot

program and peer cities best practices.  Regarding signage, as a result of consultations with the Parking Technical Advisory Group it has been determined that permanent zoning signage would put an undue burden on the public use of the parking zones during nonfood truck usage. Instead, food truck operators will be required to post an approved A-board sign 24-hours prior to using one of the designated locations for food truck vending. This requirement is similar to how the City coordinates Special Event impacts to the managed right-of-way.  Find the Ordinance below and the memo to council.  Please comment on this new ordinance before it is sent up for a vote!

City Council Action Memorandum.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 52.8 KB
City of Tacoma Ordinance No.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 61.3 KB

Association Partnership w/AAA Fire

07/16/16 - WaFoodTrucks.org


Founded over 50-years ago, AAA Fire & Safety has grown to become one of the largest fire equipment service companies in the Puget Sound region. AAA serves all of western Washington, with headquarters in Seattle and local technicians based in communities from Bellingham to Olympia.   They are a quick-response “one stop shop,” for food truck fire suppression systems.  They have twenty-five mobile field technicians, and are on call 24/7.  Ryan Schwalb is their fire suppression division superintendent who will help the association move forward in crafting our safety policy and conducting a training class for members who need to update their systems to comply with the new NFPA guidelines.  If you need a fire suppression system or an update or repair, contact Ryan at  206-284-1721.

Tacoma Moves Forward with Pilot Program

07/15/16 - Tacoma News Tribune


Tacoma is in the process of rolling out new regulations for curbside food trucks, an effort to appease brick-and-mortar restaurants and property owners while allowing the burgeoning industry to grow.  The city has come up with five proposed food truck hot spots, located downtown and in the Tacoma Dome district, for those hoping to operate their trucks in the right of way in places with decent foot traffic for lunch and dinner crowds. Those locations have been OK’d by property owners, area restaurants, food truck operators and, importantly, the city’s parking task force, said Kala Dralle, an economic development specialist with the city of Tacoma.

They are: Tacoma Avenue South near the main library branch, South 11th Street near A Street, Broadway in front of the Pierce Transit park, East 25th near East D Street and Puyallup Ave near the Greyhound station.  Read more here...


To post to this group, send email to tacomafoodtrucks@googlegroups.com


Seattle Food Truck Survey Results

07/14/16 - WaFood Trucks.org


This research project, Insights into Seattle’s Mobile Food Vending, (conducted by Pacific Lutheran University) is the second phase of a study previously conducted for the City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development (Restaurant Success). It explores current mobile food vendors’ impressions of the Seattle & King County Public Health permitting process required to start their businesses, location preferences (particularly in public spaces permitted by Seattle Department of Transportation), how vendors finance their business, and important factors that make for effective marketing. This study also includes an experiment to determine factors that may contribute to effective social media marketing for mobile food vendors. The goal of this research is to provide recommendations, resources, or other tools that can be implemented to better assist people looking to start a street food vending business within the city limits.  To read a summarized version (and some of the report's recommendations) of this 50-page report, click here...