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Food truck lottery

Learn about the annual lottery and site selection process.

Our annual live lottery is scheduled for March 10, 2021.

Site Rules

Please adhere to all site rules and regulations set forth by the City of Boston. Not adhering to these rules may result in removal from the lottery program.

ABSENCES

You are expected to vend at your lottery site for every shift. If you have an emergency, you must notify:

Businesses that miss more than three shifts in one year are subject to removal from that location. They may also be suspended from future public site lottery opportunities.

Tows

If you arrive at your lottery site and notice that a car is parked, please immediately call the Boston Police Department (617-343-4911). When you call:

  • tell them them it’s not an emergency
  • provide them the license plate number of the vehicle, and
  • finally inform Mobile Enterprise Manager of this occurrence.
Vending without a permit

Vending without an Annual Food Truck Permit is prohibited by the City of Boston for all mobile businesses. If you are observed vending without proper documents:

  • you will be immediately subject to removal
  • you will be ineligible to participate in future City of Boston food truck programs, and
  • you may be fined by the Boston Police Department or another City of Boston authority.

Site lotteries

How the lottery system works

We award all public sites through a lottery system. There is an annual lottery before each vending season. Lottery sites are kept throughout the year, unless they are dropped. New vendors can submit an application on a rolling basis to join our program. They’ll be awarded sites based on what is available.

This year’s annual lottery deadlines:
Lottery type Application deadlines Lottery dates
Annual live lottery March 9, 2021 March 10, 2021 

Adding and dropping shifts

HOW THE DROP SYSTEM WORKS

Each quarter, food trucks have an opportunity to drop sites without a penalty. This must happen within the deadlines set forth by the City of Boston. We make the dropped sites available for new participants to use throughout the year:

  • You must submit the drop form by the drop deadline for each quarter. After you drop your site, we make the site available for other food trucks.
  • You have two weeks from the permit issue date to pick up your site permit at Public Works. You can also coordinate a pickup with the Mobile Enterprise Manager.
Shift add and drop deadlines

Below are the quarterly deadlines finalized for 2021. Food trucks must complete the drop form above to drop sites throughout each quarter. 

  • Quarter 1: April 15, 2021
  • Quarter 2: July 15, 2021
  • Quarter 3: October 15, 2021
  • Quarter 4: January 14, 2022

New participants may join our lottery program anytime throughout the year. They will be offered sites based on availability.

If you do not pick up your permit within two weeks, the permit will become invalid.