Saanich is now taking applications for a lottery to determine the 10 food trucks that will roll into Beckwith, Cadboro-Gyro and Gorge Waterway parks this summer.
The food truck pilot program will run from July 1 to Sept. 8. Coun. Ned Taylor, who brought the project forward in 2019, hopes it will enliven parks and support local businesses.
The pilot was delayed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Taylor said the timing is right now because local businesses “desperately need new revenue opportunities” and residents are looking for safe things to do outdoors.
On May 31, Saanich staff will draw the names of 10 food trucks that will rotate through the five predetermined sites for five weeks each – two weeks each at Beckwith and Cadboro-Gyro parks and one at Gorge Waterway Park. Alternate names will be drawn and offered a chance to fill in should any chosen vendor be unable to attend on a certain day.
Taylor said the pilot will allow Saanich to test the concept of food trucks in parks and give operators time to build a loyal customer base.
Park users and vendors are encouraged to provide feedback throughout the summer, he said, so “we can make it even more of a success next summer.” Taylor has connected with several local businesses and food truck operators and anticipates high levels of participation and a wide variety.
Applicants must have a valid business license, a parks permit, commercial general liability insurance, approval from Island Health and a fire safety inspection. Vendors will also be required to provide garbage, recycling and compost bins, and organize their own water and power supply.
Two trucks will service Beckwith and Cadboro-Gyro parks daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and one will be at Gorge Waterway Park. They must be offsite by 10 p.m.
“We want our parks to be a place where people can gather (safely),” Taylor said. By selecting parks that can be accessed on foot, by bike and bus, the food truck pilot project will “contribute to building an active, walkable community.”
Staff will report back to council on the project at the end of the summer. Depending on demand, the program could eventually be expanded to other parks and seasons.
The deadline to apply is May 30 and more information can be found online at shorturl.at/owFQ9.
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