Florida Food Trucks May No Longer Need to Have a Commissary


Photo | Jim Carchidi

The state of Florida may no longer require mobile food trucks to have a “commissary,” or home-base restaurant, if they’re fully self-sufficient.

Currently, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations Division of Hotels and Restaurants requires food trucks and theme park food carts to have a commissary, even when they’re fully self-sufficient. The food trucks go to the commissary daily to get rid of garbage, prep and store food, etc.

The department is accepting comments until Aug. 10. To weigh in on the proposed rule, contact:

Michelle Comingore, Operations Review Specialist, Division of Hotels and Restaurants, Department of Business and Professional Regulation, 1940 North Monroe Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399, (850)488-1133, Michelle.Comingore@dbpr.state.fl.us


2017-03-31T08:43:04+00:00 By |Off the Wire|

About the Author:

Mobile Cuisine is the complete online resource destination for the mobile food industry. We are dedicated to delivering our faithful readers every must-read street food, food truck, food cart and food stand story bubbling up across the Web, along with exclusive news, interviews, and amazing photos.


  1. Tim Aug 8, 2012 at 9:45 am

    This is horrible! Worst mistake they would ever make. Not only will this hurt the commissary owners, but it will DESTROY the mobile food industry. People will no longer know if a food truck is clean or not & won’t eat there. I wouldn’t eat at a food truck if this law passes, & many other wouldn’t. This will hurt the mobile food industry. Why do we keep eliminating jobs instead of creating them. This law was enforced by the restaurants of Orlando Florida because they’re losing money to the mobile food trucks. Wait, a restaurant in Orlando can’t make business in the city of Disney? That’s Bullsh*t. This law is terrible. People will be getting food poisoning left & right if this passes. Yuck. People will be dumping their waste everywhere! Bad move Florida, let’s not let this get passed. I’m gathering people to protest this in Tallahassee if it passes. Imagine ordering from a food truck & then getting food poisoning because the mobile food owner dodged the inspector. That’s what will be happening. This is the worst idea ever, thousands will be out of work 🙁

  2. Mobile Cuisine Aug 8, 2012 at 9:53 am


    I’m not sure this law would be nearly as disastrous as you are implying. A truck owner not working out of a commissary does not mean a drop in food quality. Trucks in Los Angeles are not allowed to prepare food anywhere outside of their truck and their food quality is as good as anywhere. A truck owner who gets people sick will shortly find themselves closing their service window for good.

    After saying that, I do believe that many trucks will still use commissaries to prep many of their food products due to the lack of room inside their trucks, so I wouldn’t think you will see a bunch of commissaries or commercial kitchens shutting down or dropping staff members. In regards to getting rid of waste, I would hope that the state maintains a requirement for proper dumping…this is definitely a public safety concern.

  3. T P Jan 31, 2013 at 6:45 am

    Tim… what is the name of your restaurant/commissary?


    Health inspectors can walk on a food truck at any time to perform an inspection. Visiting a commissary does not guarantee that a food truck is serving healthy food. If you aren’t holding the food at the correct temperature, someone can get sick. How would the commissary keep the food truck’s holding temps in check? They can’t and they don’t. Also, the commissary doesn’t guarantee a clean truck. It is up to the manager of the truck to insure a clean environment in the kitchen.

    On another note, the general public has no idea about a commissary or what they are they used for. So, if this law passes, the consumer will go on about his business getting his lunch from the street vendors. Also, who’s guarantees that a restaurant is clean and healthy? The same person how inspects the food trucks.

  4. Not Tim Feb 23, 2013 at 12:48 am

    Tim…The Commissary does NOTHING to ensure a truck is clean/healthy. Tim, you are just lost. Have you ever heard of a commissary inspecting a restaurant? ah…NO. “it will DESTROY the mobile food industry” lol.. “People will be getting food poisoning left & right if this passes.” hahaha “I’m gathering people to protest this in Tallahassee if it passes.” lolhahalolhaha… ” thousands will be out of work” – thousands of? Names the thousands of jobs, by positions Tim! You can’t hahahahahaha Stop drinking while posting!

  5. not tim 2 Mar 11, 2013 at 11:32 am

    Tim lay off the crack

  6. marlene May 26, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    I think it is beautiful and hopes it passes, food trucks already go thru a lot as far as getting license to pass this and that, I would trust a food truck more than a restaurant kitchen a least you can see everything , believe me in the kitchen away from the beauty of the dining room all kinds of things, pests etc are going on every day!! Bravo Florida!!

  7. chef pete Jul 23, 2013 at 10:06 am

    people are so freaked out about “germs”! Get over it, let me tell you something about orlando kitchens, most of them suck and are way more filthy then any of the food trucks, thats why they are losing business to food trucks. If you are losing business to a food truck, it is because you are not doing something right. Laissez faire!

  8. Cindy Jul 24, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    I happen to own a commercial kitchen, which is also a franchise. I list all of my kitchens as a commissary to help the food truck folks as well as protect the consumer. By being a commissary I provide a certified, inspected kitchen where the food trucks can come to for inspections, dump their grey water, trash and such. With out my kitchen the inspectors would have a very difficult time if not impossible time trying track down these food trucks. Key word here “mobile”. By not requiring food trucks to have a commissay is a stupid idea. Ask yourself this the next time you decide to eat from a food truck
    1) where are they storing their food when their truck is not plugged in to keep their refrigerators cooling,
    2) no inspections means the food truck owner does not need a food managers certification (this is a food safety class required by the state for ANYONE handling food)
    3) where are they dumping their grey water (dirty, greasy water) and trash filled with old food
    4) no proper hand washing
    I could list many more reasons but just think about what you are putting in your mouth!
    FYI: my kitchen does not rely on food truck revenue to stay in business, I simply help people who take pride in their food business and care about the safety of their customers

  9. Not Cindy or Tim Aug 3, 2013 at 11:11 am

    I think It’s a great idea! Get rid of the commissary law if the food truck is self sufficient. The commissary does nothing to ensure the food is clean & safe for consumption. Majority of kitchens in south florida are filthy. Food trucks require to many regulations as it is. Maybe if majority of the restraints didn’t sux & weren’t so over priced we would eat there. Until them we support independent food truck business.

  10. Food truck in Miami Sep 24, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    Any update on whether or not this passed?

  11. Sheela Mar 24, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    My husband and I do commercial refrigeration and we see what’s in these restaurant kitchens. No one would ever eat at a restaurant if they were able to inspect the kitchen and watch what goes on behind the scenes. I would say 99% of all restaurants are filthy and the workers have poor hygiene habits. Ice machines are full of mold, mildew,slim! We have seen food dropped on the floor and picked up and put in someone’s sandwich, cashiers go from handling filthy money to making a sandwich never stopping to wash their hands! Cooks using the bathroom for long period of time and I went in afterwards just to check if there was evidence that he washed his hands and just as I thought… I found a dry sink, and no soap in the bathroom anyway. So this guy used the bathroom and believe me it smelled really horrible when he finished and the sink was bone dry!
    My son worked at a sandwich/pizza shop and spoke of the same horrors. We NEVER eat anywhere! Except our own home. We don’t know how places even pass inspection.

  12. JayRock May 5, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    1) Food Trucks must answer the request for a health inspector visit immediately. A good food truck has a webpage stating where they will be. You cannot dodge a health inspector and to imply that they can is giving out false information. They never stated anything about not having them inspected any longer. They are simply allowing the food trucks to be independent and not reliant on another system that affects their bottom line.
    2) If they plug can plug in their food truck at your place overnight, they certainly can do the same elsewhere that has plugs. What owner would let food sit and spoil over night?

    3)Proper handwashing…….they are required to have a hand washing sink on their trucks. Where do you think they wash their hands at the WHOLE time they are out serving people in the truck.

    commercial kitchens and commissaries still will be needed as not every Food truck vendor will want to fully prep in their truck.

    You statements are foolish and you are trying to use scare tactics to help yourself. I know you’re post is almost a year old but I had to say something.

  13. Don Jun 21, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    Am trying to support myself somehow by trying mobile food. Can anyone out there tell me if they know of a commissary in or around the talahassee area. Any info would be very greatly appreciated!!!

  14. FFA Apr 22, 2015 at 12:24 am

    Now we have to get the Department Of Agriculture to step up regarding shaved ice vendors and the commissary rule. When we operate out of a mobile vehicle with Food Manager Cert and proper sanitation our requirements shouldn’t be steeper than what DBPR requires for full Mobile food trucks. I mean it’s literally required because the “ice scooper goes in and out of the bucket” is what I was told by DOA. It’s costly and the law does not make sense. Things should be equal across the board.

  15. mJ Mar 28, 2016 at 8:16 pm

    Does anyone know if this law passed whereby a commissary is not required in Florida?

  16. AlbyTRoss May 20, 2016 at 10:16 am

    Are there any special required to serve crudos ie ceviches, sashimis, tartars etc…

  17. Lulu Mar 23, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    Yes that is correct, the state no longer requires self-sufficient trucks, but the county still requires a commissary.

  18. Antonino May 17, 2017 at 8:53 am

    Doesn't anyone knows which one are the restrictions parking in Orlando fl for food trucks?

  19. Antonio Jun 19, 2017 at 11:41 pm

    Hopefully they will allow food truck vendor to get water and dump wastewater from their private residence too. If the water source and sewer is also provided by the city, as long as they provided a proof like a utility bill that their water and sewer is from the city. Commissary or public kitchen water and sewer source is also from the city. So it doesn't make sense to me if they don't allow food truck to do it. The food preparations or the cleanliness is a responsibility of the food truck owner. Its the same thing either they prepare it in their truck or in commissary, if thy are dirty they are dirty, if they re clean, they are clean. Everything is a responsibility of the food truck owner wherever they want to prepare their food. The water and sewer is also their responsibility, if they are not responsible they are the one making their business bad. So hopefully they allow food truck owner to get water and dump their waste to their private residence.

  20. Michelle Aug 16, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    I think it's a great idea! I previously owned a food truck and found the expense of a commissary to be the bain of my existence. Not only that, but completely unnecessary. I had a completely fully functioning truck that I could wash and clean everything in. I could prep everything right inside without having to take my prepared items from a kitchen to my food truck. Talk about contamination issues…everything had to be wrapped and double wrapped to ensure nothing got into the food. What a pain! And inspectors could walk in at any time, just like a restaurant. You're held to the same standards with a food truck as you are a sit down restaurant. Btw, you seen what goes on in McDonalds kitchens? I have, won't eat there now. Also, as for cutting out jobs, putting restaurants out of business?? Horse crap! If you sell good food people will eat at your restaurant, I don't care where you are. Some people don't want to walk down the street with their food, they want to sit down. Also, how can you possible say this wouldn't create jobs? Not only is it creating a new entrepreneur, but they can't do it all themselves, so they either have to hire help, or bring the family in, which either way creates more jobs!!! And if they have an amazing awesome food truck, they either buy another one, or open a restaurant, so bam! More jobs! My vote hands down, is let the food trucks roll!!!! And if you don't like it, don't eat at them. Probably don't want your whinny butts at their windows anyway.

  21. Donna Aug 17, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    So Please confirm and if all possible, can you show the law that a Self Sufficient Food Truck does not need to go to a Commissary. and does any one know of a Liability Insurance for Hot Dog Carts and Food Trucks

  22. Jose N Rivas Sep 28, 2017 at 11:50 am

    I have been all over the world…I have seen people eating on streets where animals roam close to those places and NOBODY gets sick…..The US has one of the best forms of checking and keeping in balance those business that work or make money by selling food/// Drooping the commissaries will not affect the business and people will not get sick in bigger proportions, laws and regulations will not go away and inspectors will be on the streets doing their jobs as usual.
    We need to get away from that state of mind that if you go to a real famous FOOD CHAIN company, you will be safe and protected.

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