Food trucks have become an increasingly common sight in the downtown cores of Edmonton and Calgary, and even Red Deer boasts a few mobile eateries. It’s a trend Canadians have imported from our American neighbours, where food trucks have become a staple in cities like Portland and San Francisco. Here’s a breakdown of what goes into the business.

And the Kitchen Sink
You can only fit so much in a six-metre-long truck, so a real kitchen is a big help. For the new Next Act food truck, that’s simple – the Next Act Pub has a fully outfitted restaurant kitchen all ready to go just off Whyte Avenue in Edmonton. Drift, a popular new food truck in Edmonton, had to build a commissary kitchen from scratch. It’s worth the investment, though. The mobile restaurant becomes a catering business in the winter months when it’s too cold to take to the streets, so having its own kitchen makes the business viable year-round.

You Got a Permit for That Thing?
Because food trucks are still relatively new to Canada, the regulations surrounding them aren’t yet streamlined. Calgary’s food truck pilot program has made getting permits simpler in that city, but Edmonton’s licensing scheme remains a bit more complicated.

Food truck licensing in Calgary
annual business licence
$700 annual street use permit
Additional parking fees apply

Food truck licensing in Edmonton
annual food processing licence for kitchen
$208 annual travelling food sales licence for truck
$111 monthly street vending permit (per site)

You’ll Need Wheels