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Will Food Trucks Be Allowed to Service the Republican National Convention?

Republican Nation Convention

The Republican National Convention will be taking place in Cleveland this year and local food truck owners are hoping to have the opportunity to show off their incredible food to the influx of visitors. However, some questions on permits are bringing into question whether this will work at all. Cleveland Business has the story in an article titled Food trucks hit bumpy path to serve RNC.

The author writes, “When the Republican National Convention opens in Cleveland next week, area food trucks will hit downtown streets with dishes prepared specially for the event. However, food truck operators have endured a tortuous permitting process, involving security checks and possible last-minute inspections, similar to what others involved in the convention have faced. It has caused some frustration because the rules seem to change every day.

Izzy Schachner, owner of Streat Mobile Bistro and president of the Northeast Ohio Food Truck Association, is working with the Republican National Committee on the placing of various food trucks for the convention. About two weeks ago, he was told trucks would have to undergo another layer of inspections by Cleveland’s Division of Fire and Department of Building and Housing.

Then, last week, Schachner wasn’t sure if the inspections would be necessary after all. Schachner is remaining patient, saying he knows the city feels a heavy responsibility to keep people safe. “This isn’t something that happens all the time,” Schachner said. “I’m sure there is a huge learning curve in the city. And you have the (U.S.) Secret Service involved, and that’s probably one of the main reasons for the additional steps in the process.

“Everyone is trying to figure it out, and we’re on standby waiting,” Schachner said. “But most of the food trucks are already legally operating kitchens in the city, so we’re confident that anything they throw at us won’t be a big issue.”

Ken Hatfield, chef at Hatfield’s Goode Grub, initially thought he would station his food truck at Burke Lakefront Airport for a private party. He was recruited by Roaming Hunger, a food-truck hiring firm, to subcontract for a California catering company. Now he doesn’t know where he stands. “They can’t tell me exactly where I’ll be working or who is throwing the party I’m working,” Hatfield said.

Daniel Ball, Cleveland’s assistant director of media relations, said street vendors can call the city’s Division of Assessments and Licenses if they have questions. He added that the city has always required food trucks to pass inspections by the fire division and building department.”

This does indeed sound like a frustrating situation and Hoodmart is sensitive to the many issues facing mobile food providers. That’s why we offer a number of ventilation systems specifically for their needs. Stop by our website or give us a call to let us help ensure you’re up to code.

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