Mobile food vendors

All you need to know about operating food trucks and mobile food outlets.

Food trucks and mobile food outlets add to the colour and vibrancy of Adelaide and North Adelaide. They enrich the city streets, parks and laneways with buzz and activity while incubating and developing new and creative ideas and supporting new creative ventures from the community, entrepreneurs and businesses.

Mobile Food Vendor permits

Before you head out onto the streets with your van in tow, you do need to apply for a Mobile Food Vendors (MFV) permit. The regulations are governed by the State Government, but you’ll also need to abide by the City of Adelaide’s Mobile Food Vendor operating guidelines

Permit information

You can apply for a Mobile Food Vendor permit at any time. Permits are valid for optional durations from one to 12 month periods.

There’s a lot to know, so we’ve put some of the most frequently asked questions, and their answers, below.

Mobile food vending permits are issued on a per vehicle basis. You will need to list the registration of your MFV vehicle/set up on your permit application. This ensures that a mobile food business with multiple vehicles cannot apply for one permit to cover the entire fleet while paying the same price for a permit as a single operator. A separate permit will be required for each MFV Vehicle.

There are no restrictions on the number of permits available.

Up to six Mobile Food Vendors may trade in the city squares at any one time utilising the hard surfaces or turf within the square at Council’s discretion (excluding Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga and Hindmarsh Square/Mukata where trading on the turf is not permitted at any time).

The permit fees for a Mobile Food Vending Permit are:

1 Month Permit

$200

6 Month Permit

$1200

2 Month Permit

$400

7 Month Permit

$1400

3 Month Permit

$600

8 Month Permit

$1600

4 Month Permit

$800

9 Month Permit

$1800

5 Month Permit

$1000

10, 11, 12 Month Permit

$2000

The Mobile Food Vending permit is only applicable for on-street trading. If you wish to trade as part of an event, please contact the event organisers directly.

Vendors are required to check-in on the mobile app ‘Street Eats’ to show where and when they are trading. This is a compulsory requirement of the Mobile Food Vending permit. Remember: Council Administration conduct routine audits of the mobile app.

Mobile food vending is permitted in those streets and footpaths where there is adequate footpath space to accommodate it, while not compromising pedestrian access, safety or other street activities. There are specific guidelines outlining where MFVs can trade.

Mobile Food Vendors are required to maintain a 25-metre distance from all fixed food businesses (a food business located in bricks and mortar venue). Mobile Food Vendors may trade within 25 metres of a fixed food business if they have written permission from the business owner. This distance is only applicable when the fixed food business is in operation.

No. it’s not possible for Council to reserve locations for Mobile Food Vendors or coordinate locations for MFVs.

Parking for towing vehicles may be permitted for a fee upon application, in a legitimate parking space that is for 1 hour or more. The permit for towing vehicles must be clearly displayed and is valid only whilst the vendor is operating (including set up and pack down).

Please note: the towing vehicle is never to be parked next to the trading van/truck.

Mobile Food Vendor Permit holders are required to comply with all health and food safety aspects of their entire operation as contained in the Food Act 2001, Food Safety Standards 3.2.2 and Food Safety Standards 3.2.3

As part of the application process, MFVs must include Proof of Notification of a food business from the local Council where the majority of food preparation and food handling occurs.

The City of Adelaide Environmental Health Services Team conducts regular and random inspections and you must allow access when requested.

A Mobile Food Vending Permit may be cancelled or amended if the permit holder fails to comply with the permit conditions outlined in the guidelines.

Trading can still operate as a temporary food stall at events or markets as arranged directly with the event or market organisers.

We recommend you keep an eye on our What’s On page, to see what opportunities come up.

Ready to apply?

Great! Applications can be lodged online, but you’ll need to have the following details handy as they must be included in your application:

  • Public Liability Certificate of Currency for the amount of $20 million noting City of Adelaide as an interested party
  • a copy of your Food Business Notification with the local Council where your vehicle is housed, or where the majority of the food preparation and food handling is occurring
  • written proof of notification of your trade waste disposal agreement with your local Council or SA Water.
  • a photo of your mobile food vending vehicle set-up (or designs showing how it will look)

Apply now

Need more information?

If you have any questions regarding Mobile Food Vendor Permits, please contact:

Customer Centre

25 Pirie St Adelaide

Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm

08 8203 7203

Send an email