Adelaide, AUS: Cap on Adelaide CBD food trucks begins

Delectaballs food truck owners Christina Adamczyk and David Porcaro.

By Anthony Templeton |  Adelaide Now

Delectaballs food truck owners Christina Adamczyk and David Porcaro.
Delectaballs food truck owners Christina Adamczyk and David Porcaro.

TWENTY-four food truck permits have been issued by the Adelaide City Council out of a possible 30 as its controversial new rules come into effect.

The new permit system, which started on Monday, includes 20 for regular operators, five for bricks-and-mortar businesses and a further five for entrepreneurs.

But only two fixed businesses, A Perfect Cup and Street ADL, have applied for the permits.

Six permits remain available, with three for bricks-and-mortar businesses and a further three for general operators.

Five new entrepreneurs will join the food truck program, including Daisy Burger, Madame Spice Fine food & Catering, Rolling Lemo, Saint Espresso, and Signor Arrosticini.

Acting Lord Mayor Houssam Abiad said he was pleased with the outcome of therevised food truck guidelines.

“I’m confident we have settled on a sensible balance that supports both fixed food and mobile food businesses, while encouraging the entrepreneurial spirit Adelaide is so well known for, in a way that is affordable and easy to navigate,” he said.

“Our mobile food vending program has produced many successes such as Veggie Velo, which now has a fixed food business to complement its mobile business, Delectaballs whose produce is now available through major (retailers), and let’s not forget Burger Theory who led the way with the incorporation of bricks and mortar in Adelaide and recently their new store in Melbourne.”

But the council’s new rules caused controversy and confusion when they were adopted last year because a cap on the number of food trucks allowed to trade in the city before 6pm was included for the first time.

Premier Jay Weatherill was so incensed at the changes that his government produced a discussion paper which explored whether to take over some of the regulatory powers governing food trucks and standardise the permit systems. The discussion paper is taking feedback until January 15.

The confusion over the cap was settled last month, when the council amended to the guidelines to effectively allow 20 food trucks — including 10 regular operators, five entrepreneurs and a further five bricks-and mortar businesses — to trade during busy lunchtime hours

But since the bricks-and-mortar permit take up has been low only 17 food trucks would be able to hit the streets under the current rules.

Delectaballs food truck co-owner David Porcaro said he did not believe the new rules would hurt his business, despite the cap.

“I don’t think all of the regular operators (covered by the cap) will want to go out and trade on the same day,” he said.

“There may be the odd occasion that happens but I don’t think it will have much of an impact.”

Chimichurri Grill food truck owner Greg Tillman said he believed the new rules would be workable but would have to examine their impact over coming weeks.

“We are pretty happy with them (the guidelines) but we will be watching how the demand is going and we might have to change the times we head out (to the city to trade),” he said.

The price of the new permits has increased to $2500 for one year, from between $100 and $1000 under the old seasonal system.