There have been a number of articles in The Stanford Daily recently about the new mobile food vendor policy and its impact on NetAppetit. I would like to help your readers better understand why the policy was implemented and why we are making no exceptions for any food truck.
In recent years, the number of uninvited food trucks coming on campus (of which NetAppetit is only one) has increased dramatically. With this increased interest, Stanford felt the need to ensure that the trucks serving campus operate safely and in a manner consistent with Stanford’s values – just as we do with every business operating on campus.
The mobile food vendor policies, like our policies for all food vendors, require that food trucks serving campus are properly licensed, have adequate insurance coverage and have all required health permits. We limit their locations to areas that are safe, with no equipment blocking sidewalks and with no customers at risk from passing car traffic. Trucks are not allowed to park in areas on campus where we prohibit commercial activity, such as the top of the Oval. We also want to be sure that they operate in a sustainable manner consistent with Stanford’s zero-waste guidelines. For example, they should use recyclable or compostable service ware and packaging, minimize the use of plastic and recycle their waste.
The policies apply equally to all food trucks, most of which have served campus for a number of years. We are treating all trucks in the same manner because of the importance of the health and safety of our community and in the interest of fairness.
All food trucks on campus, including NetAppetit, were provided with notice of our new requirements during the week of Nov. 26. NetAppeit received notice on Nov. 29, four weeks prior to winter closure, which began on Dec. 24, and nearly six weeks prior to the Jan. 7 implementation date.
During this time, NetAppetit did not contact any administrative office at Stanford. It did not contact Off the Grid until January 17, seven weeks after they received the notice and nearly 2 weeks after the new program was implemented. At this point, all of the slots for Winter Quarter were filled.
Off the Grid did not reject NetAppetit. Instead, it asked whether NetAppetit would be interested in working outside of Stanford and invited them to explore becoming part of its fleet of trucks. NetAppetit is also welcome to qualify with Off the Grid before the end of February in order to be placed in the rotation of trucks being scheduled at Stanford for spring quarter.
I hope this helps your readers to better understand why we have adopted the new policies and why they apply to all trucks serving campus, including NetAppetit.
Assistant Vice President for Business Development