Food Trucks

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During October and November 2012, the City conducted a pilot program to study the feasibility of allowing food trucks to operate in downtown Greensboro. Read the feedback received from the public.

food truck

Motorized mobile food vendors, popularly referred to as food trucks, are permitted on private property in the City of Greensboro provided certain development standards are met, appropriate permits are issued, and zoning restrictions are followed.

A motorized mobile food vendor is defined as a "person or persons who prepare or serve food and/or beverages for sale to the general public on a recurring basis from a 'mobile food unit' as defined in 15A NCAC 18A.2601".

For complete information about specific requirements and regulations for mobile food units operating within the City, please review Chapter 13 and Chapter 26 Article VIII of the Greensboro Code of Ordinances and Chapter 30 of the Greensboro Land Development Ordinance.

Operating a Food Truck in the City of Greensboro

Where & When Food Trucks May Operate

  • Must be located on private property with written permission from property owner.
  • Allowed in zoning districts Central Business (CB), Commercial-Medium
    (C-H), Commercial-Heavy (C-H), Light Industrial (LI), Heavy Industrial (HI), Public & Institutional (PI).
  • Allowed at permitted special events and on active construction sites.
  • Only one truck is permitted per half-acre zoned lot, up to two trucks are permitted per zoned lot between a half and one acre in size, and up to three trucks are permitted per zoned lot larger than one acre in size. A special event permit must be secured for all occurrences of lots exceeding the maximums (e.g. food truck rodeos, festivals)
    • Not allowed 50 feet from the main entrance of any restaurant during business hours unless authorized by a restaurant to be closer.
    • Not allowed less than five feet from driveways, sidewalks, utility boxes, handicap ramps, building entrances or exits, or emergency call boxes.
    • Not allowed within 10 feet of any fire hydrant or fire escape.
    • No portion of the vendor sales area may occupy any required parking spaces for the principal use of the lot.
    • Must not operate from 3-7 am.
    • Trucks selling farm produce, dairy products, or ice cream (including yogurt, gelato, and similar items) may sell if lawfully parked on the street under specific conditions.
      • That such sales not be made on prohibited streets as defined in Sec.26-230.
      • The vehicle may not be parked longer than two hours in any one block during the same day.
      • That such sales may not be made within 500 feet of the City Farmers' Curb Market on Yanceyville Road between 6 am and 2 pm or any any school ground or public recreational area for children.

    Health Department Requirements

    All mobile food vendors must have permits required by the Guilford County Health Department or the applicable health department of the resident county of the mobile food vendor and comply with all regulations of the NC Department of Human Resources, Division of Health Services. A health department approval or exception letter must specifically list the food truck as a mobile food unit. Temporary food establishments (TFEs), as defined by the health department, do not meet the criteria to be permitted as motorized mobile food vendors in the City of Greensboro, but may meet the requirements to operate at Food Truck Rallyspecial events or within the nonprofit provision of the City code.

    Guilford County Department of Public Health
    Food and Lodging Division
    1203 Maple St.
    Greensboro, NC 27405

    North Carolina Food Manual
    Rules Governing the Food Protection and Sanitation of Food Establishments (Effective 9/2012)

    Greensboro Permitting

    An annual Business Permit  is required for mobile food vendors. There is no charge for this permit and it expires on June 30 each year.

    A Mobile Food Vendor Permit is required in the amount of $50 annually expiring on June 30. To apply for a permit, fill out this application and mail as instructed. The application includes: 

    • The name, home and business address of the applicant or the name and address of the owner of the vending business if other than the applicant.
    • A description of the types of food and beverages to be sold.
    • A description (including the size) and a photograph of any pushcart, trailer, or vehicle to be used in the operation of the business, including, if applicable, the license and registration number of any vehicle used in the operation of the business to restock or transport.
    • Two prints of full-face photograph, taken not more than 30 days prior to the date of the application of any person who will sell or offer for sale any food or beverage with in the city.
    • A copy of any approval required by the Guilford County Health Department pursuant to the rules governing the sanitation of restaurants and other food handling establishments (10 NCAC Ch. 10, Subch. 10A) and any other approval required by a governmental unit for the preparation and service of food.
    • Proof of an insurance policy issued by an insurance company licensed to do business in NC, protecting the permittee and the City from all claims for damages to property and bodily injury, including death, which may arise from operations under or in connection with the permit. Such insurance shall name the City as additional insured and shall provide that the policy shall not terminate or be canceled prior to the expiration date without 30 days advance written notice to the City. Such insurance shall afford minimum limits of $100,000 per person bodily injury, $300,000 per occurrence bodily injury, and $25,000.00 per occurrence property damage.

    Remember: A copy of the mobile food vendor permit, business permit, health department approval, and any written permission to operate on private property must be kept on the food truck at all times. When operating outside the City of Greensboro, additional licenses, permits, and regulations may apply depending on the jurisdiction.

    For additional information, contact: 
    Reggie Delahanty
    Economic Development Coordinator

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