The ASSU Executive will bring food trucks onto campus starting this Friday as part of a winter quarter pilot program that aims to diversify late-night dining options. The food trucks, a pillar of the Executive’s platform, will be serving food every Friday and Saturday night during winter quarter.
The program will be run through Off the Grid, a food truck management company that works with over 100 vendors to organize and bring food trucks to locations across the Bay Area. Food trucks will be open from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. in two locations: Wilbur parking lot and the parking lot between Florence Moore Hall and Theta Delta Chi.
To navigate the legal and health obstacles to having outside groups serve food on campus, ASSU President Robbie Zimbroff ’12 and Vice President William Wagstaff ’12 worked with the University throughout the summer and fall. Administrators had been working on a mobile food vendor policy at the same time.
As of Jan. 1, 2013, the University enacted a mobile food vendor policy that sets guidelines for any food trucks on the Stanford campus. The food truck policy sets guidelines that cover everything from parking to sustainability.
“One of the primary concerns is making sure that everyone is properly licensed and permitted to operate in Santa Clara County,” Zimbroff said. “That’s one of the big advantages of what Off the Grid does. They will not send a vendor who does not have the proper clearances to meet county standards, and, additionally, to meet Stanford standards.”
Although the food trucks will not accept meal plan dollars, they will only be available to Stanford students, according to Zimbroff.
“The University is pretty concerned about it being just a Stanford program, and that’s who we’re tailoring it for,” Zimbroff said.
According to Zimbroff, the food truck program was preceded by a lack of late-night options in Palo Alto.
“Why not have someone who’s mobile and easy to get to come to us when everything in Palo Alto closes at 10 p.m. on the weekends and the only thing that will deliver past that time is Domino’s?” he said. “Hopefully it solves some of those problems of having more variety and more options and being really convenient for kids.”
However, the program remains a pilot for the quarter because of concerns about whether there will be enough student interest to keep food vendors on campus.
“They need about 80 to 100 kids to go to each food truck each [night] in order for it to be financially viable for them to continue,” Zimbroff said.