Peoples Choice Poll

The Cambridge community can help determine which food trucks will vend in high-demand locations by voting in the People's Choice Poll! Voters will select their top choice of food truck at a given shift location, and public feedback will influence food truck scheduling at select locations and shifts.

The People's Choice Poll will open in January 2018


How the People's Choice Poll Influences Food Truck Scheduling

All food truck sites can host up to three trucks. The internal review committee has devised a point system to ensure that a diverse offering of trucks is available at each site. 

For more information about the food truck scheduling process and the People's Choice Poll, see the scheduling process outlined below:

  • Truck operators select the shifts they want as part of their Food Truck Pilot application.
  • Applications are reviewed by CDD staff, who employ a point system to organize the trucks. Truck operators are awarded one point for possessing any of the following business characteristics:
    • 51% women- or minority-owned business
    • 51% Cambridge resident-owned
    • Food Truck business is two years old or younger
    • Food Truck business with no Cambridge brick-and-mortar restaurant
    • Food Truck business with no more than 2 brick-and-mortar restaurants outside of Cambridge
    • Food Truck business not currently vending in any other Cambridge outdoor spaces (e.g. Cambridge Redevelopment Authority "Working Lunch" food truck program)
  • Applications are reviewed by CDD staff to determine if any applicants' menu items directly compete with identified abutting brick-and-mortar businesses at each location. Menus have been collected from identified abutting brick-and-mortar businesses to aid in this process.
    • Examples of direct competition include putting a pizza truck in front of a pizza shop, putting a pizza truck in front of an Italian restaurant that predominantly features pizza, or putting an Italian truck truck whose menu is predominantly pizza in front of a pizza shop.
  • After reviewing applications, CDD staff review schedule requests and plot locations according to the number of truck operators that have expressed interest in a given shift.
  • Shifts that multiple trucks have expressed interest in will be entered into the People's Choice poll, where the public can vote for trucks they would like at high-demand shifts beginning in January 2018.
    • For example, if 30 trucks applied for the Kendall Square Monday lunch shift, the poll would list each vendor and ask the public to vote for their favorite truck.
  • The People's Choice Poll will close on January 31, 2018. CDD staff will tally the results from the poll and award 1 point to winning trucks in each category.
  • The winning point is added to a truck operator's point total from initial application review by CDD staff.
    • For example, the winning truck of Monday lunch at Kendall Square might also be a minority-owned business with no brick and mortar restaurants in Cambridge and no brick and mortar restaurants outside of Cambridge. That truck would have 4 total points. 
  • An internal review committee will work to fill the three open spaces at each shift with the trucks with the highest points per shift. The internal review committee will make sure that at any given location and for any given shift the three trucks scheduled represent a diverse range of menu offerings, price points, and longevity of food truck businesses (new vs. established businesses). An effort will be made to give every vetted food truck applicant at least one shift before awarding any additional shifts. 

Food truck vendors at each shift and location will be announced to the public in March 2018. 

For More Information

Contact Christina DiLisio at 617/349-4601 or cdilisio@cambridgema.gov