Surprise, surprise. A city puts a lottery in place giving mobile food vendors an opportunity to win one of a few of the least desirable locations the city has selected for vendors to operate, and although the number of vendors has increased, the number of lottery entrants has decreased. Of course food truck owners won’t play that game, especially if the winners get to pay a high location fee if they win.

SYRACUSE, NY – Every year, in early December, the city of Syracuse offers hot vendors and food truck operators a chance to secure a city-sanctioned spot to set up the following summer.

Each year, despite a rising number of food trucks operating in the Syracuse area, fewer vendors show up for the event known as the “hot dog lottery.”

The city offers about 40 sidewalk spots and seven on-street food truck spots.

This year, just three sidewalk cart vendors and two food trucks paid the fee to participate in the lottery, in which they draw numbers to determine the order in which they pick spots.

The lottery was Monday: Those five vendors, plus one sidewalk vendor who waited until the lottery was over, claimed spots. Other vendors can still claim open spots for 2016 –on a first-come, first-served basis.

For the food trucks, the issue is that only a handful of the city’s official spots seem to be worth the fees. (The city charges $500 to participate in the lottery. A prime food truck spot costs $1,500 for the year, though the lottery fee is deducted for those who have paid it.)

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