Food Carts - Choosing the right location

Updated: May 31

When looking for a location to set up a mobile unit, what exactly should you consider?

I have heard that some of the carts and slots in the downtown pods (3rd/Stark, 5th/Washington and 10th/Alder) are going for thousands of dollars a month. It’s not just the cart itself you are buying or leasing, but the actual stall in these prime locations as well. These pods have reached maximum capacity and most vendors think these are the most dynamic locations.


A dumpster over-flowing with grease and fryer debris A prime food source for rodents. Make sure the location you chose has a clean garbage area with frequenting pickups.

But when looking into a location, there are other things to consider than just heavy foot traffic. There are other amenities that will make your life easier to operate. Ideally you want to find a location that has plenty of electricity, dumpsters that are emptied frequently, port-a-potties that actually have warm running water (a requirement by the Health department if you use that as your primary restroom), a location that has a regular cleaning schedule, pest prevention program, and a gray water disposal system.

I am told each pod has its own personality and style. Regardless what pod you are in, the current members want to keep it profitable and safe. If there are unsafe practices going on (bringing food from home, buying from an unapproved source, illegal gray water dumping), we will eventually hear about it. The livelihood of the pod is dependent on each cart keeping food safe and following the food code.

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