Inspired by Portland’s food cart program, the city of Vancouver is looking to expand the food carts found just outside the downtown core. The city is hoping that a Portland-style food cart system ill take hold just around the city.
Just half-way into a four year pilot program on food carts, the city itself began to reach its uppermost limit for food carts directly in the downtown area. There are already 103 permits issued for the permanent carts.
There will be another 12 operators added to the program each year for the next two years. These carts in clusters act as a draw for locals and tourists, particularly in the summer months.
The program has always hoped to get some of the carts outside the downtown core. Food cart clusters would help to draw customers into other areas.
The food cart fairs held by Dine Out Vancouver and the like have shown that the residents of Vancouver do have a desire for this kind of food. Street food draws people to gather together as does the advent of the farmer’s markets soon to come.
The market may hold another 10-15 licenses and officials are now evaluating this possibility.
The area of course is key. Even a distance of three metres can make or break a business of this kind. There are also mobile permits that can help ensure the best spots, but a good permanent cluster would make a difference for food operators, especially those new to the business.
According to some, just having a bunch of carts in the same place together can raise customer levels by about six times. A permanent position with other vendors allows for a more stable market and business.
More food carts in one area would allow for more of a street culture, something many in the city would be pleased to see.
Many foreign investors are drawn to the Vancouver real estate market because of both the city’s rugged beauty and its vibrant community street life.