Our members have already been where you are now and know how to get from idea, through buildout and onto the streets. Owning a food truck isn't complicated, but it does take a LOT of attention to detail to get through the building, permitting and licensing process. We've included what you need to know here.
1. Find a truck. Most food trucks are self-funded, but some people have been successful with crowd funding sites like Kickstarter. Craigslist is a good place to start looking for a truck/trailer. To search several nearby cities at one time from multiple listings, try SearchTempest.
2. Submit your proposed menu to the Louisville Metro Health Department. Use this form.
3. The LMHD will then inform you whether or not you will be required to use a Commissary Kitchen to prep your food. Use this form.
4. Build your truck, making sure to use a Master Plumber. Names can be found here.
5. Follow this checklist to get your LMHD Permit,
6. and your LouisvilleMetro Vendor's License,
7. and your LouisvilleMetro Vendor ID.
Are you in Indiana? Things are different across the river.
1. Find a truck. See above.
2. You'll need to take an approved Food Handlers Course. Choose from these. Your KY Food Handlers class and permit are NOT transferable.
3. Indiana licenses food trucks by county (not state wide.) Make an appointment with the county Health Department and take your truck for an inspection. Remember to take your food handlers certificate with you. Also take your Commissary Kitchen Permit if you are required to have one. Floyd County and Clark County are both in southern Indiana.
§ 115.369 MOBILE FOOD UNIT VENDOR STANDARDS.
(A) All provisions of this subchapter shall apply to mobile food unit vendors unless otherwise provided herein. The following provisions do not apply to mobile food unit vendors:
(1) Section 115.350(B) and (C);
(2) Section 115.351(C);
(3) Section 115.352(A) and (C);
(4) Section 115.356(C);
(5) Section 115.359(C);
(6) Section 115.360; and
(7) Section 115.361.
(B) A license shall be required for each vehicle or other conveyance engaged by a mobile food unit vendor. However, a separate license is not required for each location.
(C) In addition to written application, a mobile food unit vendor shall provide a written authorization from the business owner or an authorized representative of the business owner in which the mobile food unit vendor intends to conduct business on such business owner's property, and the location shall be submitted to IPL no less than ten hours before use.
(D) No mobile food unit vendor shall be licensed for a location closer than 100 feet from any occupied residence on a residentially zoned property as defined in the Land Development Code.
(E) No mobile food unit vendor shall sell or vend from his or her vehicle or conveyance within 150 feet of any restaurant, café, or eating establishment offering as a main featured item or items similar to that restaurant, café, or eating establishment at the time it is open for business unless approval is obtained in writing from the owner of the business. (Lou. Metro Ord. No. 210-2011, approved 10-14-2011; Lou. Metro Am. Ord. No. 260-2011, approved 11-17-2011)
Your mobile food unit License from LouMetro gives you permission to park for four hours at a parking meter, or other legal parking space within Louisville Metro.
By agreement, the 150 feet separation (E) is measured from the mobile food unit service window to the front door of the restaurant, measured along a safe walking path (using crosswalks, not "as the crow flies" and not just to a property line.