While street food vendors are common in places like New York City and Chicago, there are few streets in Georgia that see this kind of activity. This may be because of the heavy regulations in place via Georgia state law; that regulate street food vendor businesses. Food vendors can't just set up shop on a random street; there are a host of regulations and rules that dictate how and when you may sell food outside of a brick-and-mortar establishment.
Vendors Can't Be Mobile
Georgia state law dictates the street food vendors can't roam to various locations, which is the hallmark of a street food vendor. Instead, they are not permitted to be in more than two locations, which Creative Loafing suggests has to do with the ability to regulate the vendor's facility via the Department of Health inspection. This is for trucks, trailers or push carts.
Mobile street food vendors have a different set of rules when it comes to special events. This is because street food vendors can operate under the event's general permit and liability insurance, which holds the event organizers responsible, if an attendee gets sick from the food. This is also the case for street vendors selling food at a nonprofit agency's event, as nonprofits are exempt from Georgia's food-related vendor rules.
No Mobile Cooking
Georgia's street vendors must have a facility in which to cook raw food before bringing it street-side to sell it, as per state law. According to the Creative Loafing website, street vendors must prepare the food in a "licensed, stationary, commercial-grade kitchen." Raw food absolutely cannot be handled in the mobile unit.
Atlanta Vending Ordinance
In Atlanta in particular, which is Georgia's largest city, street food vendors find a particularly unfriendly business climate. Creative Loafing states that in Atlanta, no vehicle is allowed to remain on public property for more than 30 minutes, extending to mobile food units. This is tricky because, as the magazine points out, state law says mobile units cannot move, but the Atlanta ordinance says it's illegal to say in-place.
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