AUSTIN (KXAN) – A pilot City of Austin program for mobile food vendors is getting positive reviews from vendors themselves, according to the city.
The city said it is now easier for vendors to get applications reviewed because the Environmental Health Services Division (EHSD) now offers walk-in services.
According to the city, application reviews for mobile food vendors such as food trailers, motor vehicles and pushcarts rose by 87% compared to the appointment process this time last year.
“The preliminary feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, underscoring the success of the walk-in services initiative,” said Marcel Elizondo, division chief of the Austin Public Health (APH) Environmental Health Services Division (EHSD).
Vendors were previously required to make an appointment to have their applications reviewed by the EHSD team, the city said. If vendors missed their appointment, they were required to reschedule, delaying the process for weeks due to limited availability of staff.
The city said the pilot program offers more staff available for one-to-one attention, which includes bilingual personnel to benefit more than half of EHSD’s vending clients.
“It is a priority of our organization to identify opportunities for improving effectiveness and efficiency. Offering walk-in services through this program does just that,” said Interim Austin City Manager Jesús Garza.
The city said the office is open 7:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday – Friday.
The pilot program started on July 17, 2023, the city said.