Updated March 25, 2011

Posted March 21, 2011

Staff report for GAPI Committee, March 25, 2011



Joining the National Gourmet Food Truck Phenomenon

On Friday, March 25, 2011, the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District (GGBHTD) Board of Directors approved a new pilot program at the Larkspur Ferry Terminal (LFT) through which the Marin County-based company, Event Bank, LLC, would host mobile gourmet food trucks on Friday afternoons from May through September.

GGBHTD staff was approached by Event Bank with the proposal of hosting up to five gourmet trucks at LFT that would sell food to Golden Gate Ferry customers as well as to the general public. The trucks would be onsite at LFT on Friday afternoons and evenings May to September. The exact hour of operation will be determined following the approval of the pilot program and are dependent on operational needs and parking availability.

The pilot program offers the following primary benefits to Golden Gate Ferry:

  1. Enhance customer safety: With the gourmet food trucks located LFT, the number of customers rushing for the parking lot after disembarking the ferry vessels will be reduced as customer stop to make purchases.
  2. Enhance ferry system familiarization: Event Bank will promote this unique and growing national phenomenon to Marin County residents, thereby bringing more people to LFT and thereby increasing awareness of the Golden Gate Ferry system.
  3. Enhance opportunities to cross-promote ferry service: Event Bank’s presence at LFT will assist in cross promoting other ferry services, such as the direct service to Giants games at ATT&T Park and ferry service to the Cal football games at AT&T Park in fall 2012.

Pursuant to the GGBHTD’s Master Ordinance, the Board of Directors must approve all business activity on GGBHTD property, and LFT is GGBHTD property. The selected gourmet food trucks will share 25% of their gross revenues to participate under the management of Event Bank. Event Bank and the GGBHTD will then split this fee 85%/15% per week to assist in defraying any associated operating expenses.

The Event Bank will follow all GGBHTD policies and procedures, as well as state laws. They will be responsible for all aspects of the gourmet food trucks, including personnel, set up and clean up costs, any and all damage and liabilities. They will indemnify and defend the District from all claims arising from the program, except for any damages caused solely by the District.

At the conclusion of the pilot program, if GGBHTD staff determines the program fulfills the benefits (noted above) without negatively impacting ferry services, a recommendation to establish a long-term program will be brought forward for Board consideration.

Additional Background

The founders of Event Bank successfully partnered with Golden Gate Ferry on the BOOKSTOCK event at AT&T Park in June 2009. The event promoted a single book by local authors and the extensive promotion and publicity from the event producers resulted in a sold-out ferry with 750 passengers. Event Bank’s producers have successfully hosted as many as 200 similar promotions in and around the Bay Area.

The gourmet food truck concept has become a very popular national phenomenon over the last several years, with several cities, including San Francisco, hosting extremely popular venues, such as Fort Mason’s “Off The Grid” event on Fridays in the summer. These mobile trucks are completely self-contained and offer gourmet-quality food at a low price. For example, Fort Mason hosts an “Off the Grid” event on Fridays in the summer which averages 900 people in attendance each week.

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