Food Truck Pilot Program Begins Friday

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Friday is the first day that food truck permits can be picked up for the city’s pilot program.

The city is yet to receive an application for the program.

“The licensing fee was a little bit steeper than most of were expecting it to be,”said food truck owner, Joe Doering. The cost for the permit is $1100 for six months. It includes a $200 bond to the city that gets refunded.

“We were put on hold while the city decided if this was going to through or not,”said Doering. “No one wanted to go out and invest a bunch of money in a food truck before they knew this opportunity was going to be available.”

The pilot program was approved on April 6th and the city clerk's office was ready to accept permit by the April 8th.

Dwight Lykins, director of the Legion of Food, said one of the many reasons truck owners in his association were hesitant to apply is how long it took the city to approve the program.

“Our members have already started to plan out their summer and are committed to other events,” said Lykins.

Doering owns The Outside Scoop and he wants to get things going.

“But now that we have gotten the opportunity to do it I think we are going to work very hard to promote the whole idea and get all of downtown on board,” Doering said. “I think everyone will see that it is a great asset to have food trucks out and about.”

The owners of The Spot, Ben Norris and Hunter Wilson, couldn’t wait for the council to make a decision, so they planned without them. They rented a lot downtown at 12th and Walnut.

“Consistency is so important in our line of business. Your customers want to know where you are going to be,” Norris said. “Not only would it make it easier for our costumer but it also make it easier for us to prepare how much food we will need.”

Norris also said even though he won’t be taking part in the pilot program he is excited in the interest the program is bringing to food trucks.

It may be sometime before you see the food trucks out Doering promises it will happen.

“A lot of us will be out very soon but, within the next two or three weeks, you will see a lot of food trucks popping up downtown,” Doering said.