Food truck operators
Food-on-the-move is here to stay
Following a phenomenally successful 2-year trial, Sydney food trucks is now a permanent program that plays an important ongoing role in Sydney’s night-time economy.
The Sydney food trucks concept and trial was developed following our OPEN Sydney consultation in 2011 that revealed Sydney residents wanted more varied, accessible, and affordable late-night eating options.
Essentially kitchens on wheels, the trucks sell a wide range of freshly-prepared gourmet foods. From pasta, tortillas or dumplings to veggie burgers and Maltese pastizzi, each truck serves an average of over 1,700 customers a month in different locations across Sydney, with peak trading hours between 9pm and midnight.Trucks change sites regularly and are permitted to trade both in City-owned streets, and in 10 designated off-street trading locations including high demand sites such as Customs House, Pitt Street Mall and Hyde Park.
The program has been enthusiastically welcomed by residents and visitors, with a 2013 survey showing that 98% of Sydneysiders support the initiative. More than one-third of customers said they would otherwise have eaten at home, showing that food trucks are creating a new market and 72% feel food trucks made the area feel safer.
The Sydney Food Trucks app for Android or iPhone, which launched in October 2012, has been downloaded more than 90,000 times.
Potential food truck operators are also keen to join the program. To date, we have received over 800 enquiries.
Ben Siderowitz, with his NYPD (New York Pastrami Deli) food truck, is one of the latest recruits.
"Food has always been my passion," he says. "It started when I helped my grandma in the kitchen as a little boy and later I loved to cook for my friends and family. The food truck concept matches my personality, as I don’t like to be in one place for too long and subscribe to the philosophy of variety being the 'spice of life'.
"My early impression as an operator is that the general public is very receptive to food trucks and has readily embraced NYPD and our menu. I’ve been surprised that so many new customers have yet to taste New York style cuisine and this is exciting. It gives me the opportunity to make them their first Reuben or Pastrami on Rye! The overall customer response has been very positive and I love seeing the same people come back each week.
"Food trucking is working even better than I had hoped, even though it is a challenge, and sometimes you can put your sweat and tears into a day’s work for very little financial reward. But the bigger picture is always the most important. It’s exciting to be in an industry which is fairly new and on the move. This allows me to think outside the box and be an innovator rather than an imitator," he says.
The City's food truck project manager, says that the visible success of the program is attracting widespread interest.
"Parramatta and Liverpool councils are accepting food trucks with City of Sydney permits to trade in their local government areas. In the future, we’re hoping that other councils also adopt a form of food truck approvals so that we can expand our capacity and have food trucks trading across the [council] borders of Sydney.
"I’ve also had enquiries about our food truck program from Christchurch, London and even Lima, not to mention almost every major city in Australia!
"Food truck businesses are as small and as local as it gets and when allowed to thrive, they bring incredible innovation to our local communities. Some of the chefs out there are trying out some pretty quirky cuisines and people love it!" she says.
If you are a Sydney restaurant owner and interested in operating a food truck, you’ll be looking at set-up costs of $100,000 to $150,000 with operating costs averaging $6,000 per month, plus wages for up to 4 staff and food costs.
For more information on the current fleet or to download the free app visit:
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Last updated: Tuesday, 26 April 2016