16 food trucks applied to be part of the Taste

  • Bob Block, Giana Wilkinson, Kelly Zoet, and Leslie Venetz buy lunch at the Brand BBQ Market truck in Chicago.
Bob Block, Giana Wilkinson, Kelly Zoet, and Leslie Venetz buy lunch at the… (Anthony Souffle/Chicago…)
May 16, 2013|By Leonor Vivanco, @lvivanco | RedEye

A total of 16 food trucks submitted applications to be part of this year's Taste of Chicago, the city said Thursday.

This year's food fest, scheduled for July 10-14 in Grant Park, will include licensed food trucks for the first time. The trucks will be parked at Butler Field right by the lawn seating for the Petrillo Music Shell where they will be able to set up starting two hours before each night concert and operate for the duration of the concert.

Applications to sell food at the Taste were due Wednesday.

Of the 16 who applied, how many will make the cut?

"At this point, until we have reviewed the applications, we cannot determine how many will be at the event. Once we have reviewed and coordinated the available space, we will release that information," Cindy Gatziolis, spokeswoman for the city's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, said in an email.

Those picked will be able to sell goodies accepting the Taste food and beverage tickets only. They will be able to sell up to four menu items plus two smaller "Taste" sample portions.

Food truck operators will have access to a hand sink, tent and refrigerated storage truck where they can keep food cold until they need to restock their trucks, according to the city's website. In addition, they will have space to prepare and cook food outside of the truck if operators have the required summer sanitation certificate.

The trucks will be charged a 25 percent commission on gross profits after paying a 10.5 percent sales tax, the application said. They will also pay $125 for a temporary food vendor license. But there was no application fee that other vendors pay to be part of the Taste.

By comparison, pop-up restaurants will be charged a 20 percent commission after taxes and avoid an application fee. Restaurants picked to participate in the Taste over five days pay a fee of $3,000.

The inclusion of food trucks at the Taste is one of the latest developments in the industry in Chicago. Last summer, the City Council passed the food truck ordinance allowing them to cook onboard. The city last week proposed adding 9 more designated food truck stands for a total of 30 where trucks are allowed to park for free up to two hours. Or they can park at metered parking spots 200 feet away from a restaurant.

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