Food Trucks/Vendor Units

Asked March 9, 2018, 12:18 PM EST

Can you pleae tell me if there is a sample Food Vending Unit/Truck Ordinance available? We are in the process of beginning one, and would like to see how MSU would suggest handling it. Thank you!

Iosco County Michigan

1 Response

Food trucks play a positive role in placemaking in our communities and can create an economic ripple effect throughout a neighborhood. Due to this, we are seeing many mobile food vending units/trucks spring up throughout Michigan in communities of all sizes. While it is important to understand the positive impacts that food trucks
have on a community, and it is also equally important to understand the need for regulation. Communities have a broad amount of discretion when it comes to regulating food trucks. In 2013, the National League of Cities analyzed thirteen food vendor ordinances and interviewed city staff and food truck operators about their regulatory experiences. They found that typical food truck regulations address the following items:
Permit review process and costs (a checklist is recommended);
Hours and locations for food trucks on both private and public property;
Sanitation, food safety, electrical and related permitting requirements; and
Pedestrian safety, traffic impacts, seating, signage, etc.

As summarized in "Food On Wheels: Mobile Vending Goes Mainstream,", communities can use a viariety of public engagement strategies for developing their ordinances including holding town hall forums, hosting private meetings with stakeholders and building relationships between competing stakeholders; begin a pilot program to see what regulations work or don't work after a set amount of time; target underserved areas of your community, and identify vacant private lots for multiple food trucks to gather at once. If a community engages many stakeholders during the ordinance development process, the outcome will bemore successful and new relationships will be forged.
If you are looking for ordinance examples from rural communities to larger suburbs and our largest cities, here are a few to choose from:
From the Village of Berrien Springs in Berrien County:
From Meridian Charter Township in Ingham County:
Vendor Application:
Vendor Ordinance:
From Traverse City:
For other MSU Extension articles on the subject of food trucks, visit here:

Thank you for your inquiry.