City Hall hosted the final round of the Boston Food Truck Challenge yesterday where tasters waited in 45-minute lines to size up the competition before casting their votes. When the city first solicited requests, they ended up with an applicant pool 27-deep. Voters yesterday chose between the remaining six finalists: BBQ Smith, Clover, Bon Me, Lefty’s Silver Cart, Momogoose, and World Eats. Those results are still being tallied, but you can look here for the numbers early next week.
The three trucks chosen to occupy the prized City Hall Plaza spots must also cut the mustard with a judges panel who will analyze their business plans for long-term sustainability, as well as their product. A third factor that will determine the winners is the support they receive from on-line voters, which you can still get in on if you missed out yesterday.
The Food Truck Challenge evidences an initiative on the city’s part to actually encourage the growth of the food truck population. The organizer of the event told us that City Hall is focused on making the food truck licensing process more “explicit and transparent” and “far easier” than it has been. In the past, licensing has been a real roadblock to attaining the food truck dream, as was the case for Charles Kelsey of Cutty’s. The Brookline sandwich shop was originally envisioned as an upscale sandwich wagon, but Kelsey was so thwarted by a process he called “completely convoluted” that after “spending six months scratching [his] head just to get to the point of submitting anything”—which was shot down—he opted for the brick and mortar route, which proved to be faster than getting licensing approval.
Maybe now that the city is making way for more trucks, he might consider a mobilized outpost.
Previously: City Hall Plaza Mobile Food Court on Horizon