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Mobile Food Vendors at Stanford

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Version 4.1 November 29, 2021     

1. Policy

With the exception of Construction Food Trucks, Mobile Food Vendors may only sell at times and Stanford University campus locations (“Campus”) approved by the Office of the Vice President for Business Affairs (“Business Affairs”), Parking & Transportation Services and Department of Public Safety. Campus generally includes the geographic area encompassing Stanford’s academic and residential community and includes all roads and all parking lots which serve buildings occupied primarily by Stanford faculty, staff or students. Campus does not include parking lots exclusively serving buildings largely occupied by University lessees, such as Stanford Hospital, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, Stanford Shopping Center and Stanford Research Park.

Mobile Food Vendors must be engaged through Off the Grid and may only sell on Campus in accordance with the requirements of this Mobile Food Vendor policy and all other Stanford policies.

Unless a Special Event Food Truck is approved by the Office of Special Events and Protocol, Special Event Food Trucks may sell only at events with a Stanford University sponsor and only at times and locations approved in compliance with this Mobile Food Vendor Policy. 

Mobile Food Vendors which service construction sites (“Construction Food Trucks”) are exempt from this policy except as otherwise provided in paragraph 4 below.

2. Definitions

“Mobile Food Vendors” include Food Trucks, food stands and individuals selling food on Campus. Mobile Food Vendors do not include vendors who have executed a University lease or operating agreement for the location in which they are selling food. Mobile Food Vendors also do not include vehicles, such as pizza delivery trucks, whose sole purpose is to deliver food which has been ordered, paid for, prepared and packaged at a restaurant located off-Campus (“Delivery Vehicles”). In order to qualify as a Delivery Vehicle the vehicle must deliver food directly to each individual customer in their dorm or office, and may not establish any on-Campus location for central food pick-up.

“Food Trucks” include Mobile Food Vendors that (i) serve Campus on a regular established schedule and at a specific location (“Regular Food Trucks”) or (ii) serve special events (“Special Event Food Trucks”).

“Sell” or “Selling” includes all commercial distribution of food, including selling food or giving away free samples.

3. Food Trucks Selling on Campus

  1. Business Affairs will determine whether Food Trucks may sell on Campus. If Food Trucks are permitted, Business Affairs will:

    1. Collaborate with Parking and Transportation, Public Safety and Land, Buildings and Real Estate in order to identify locations for Regular Food Trucks that are safe, accessible, do not block sidewalks or traffic, do not interfere with University activities and are consistent with all campus parking rules and regulations and other policies.

    2. Contract with Off the Grid, a third party food truck manager, to oversee the Food Truck selection, qualification, scheduling and management. All Food Trucks must be scheduled through Off the Grid.

  2. Food Trucks must satisfy the requirements listed below:

    1. Engagement– Only Stanford students, faculty and staff may engage a Food Truck. Food Trucks may only be engaged to serve at University events. All Food Trucks must be engaged through a food truck manager who has agreed to source Food Trucks which satisfy Stanford’s Food Truck and other applicable policies. Student groups must consult with Student Activities & Leadership before engaging any Food Trucks. Food Trucks may only serve Campus with approval by Business Affairs, Parking & Transportation Services, Department of Public Safety and either (a) the Office of Special Events and Protocol (for Special Event Food Trucks engaged by anyone other than a student group) or (b) Student Activities & Leadership (for Special Event Food Trucks engaged by student groups).

    2. Parking– Food Trucks may park only in locations approved by Parking & Transportation Services and Department of Public Safety in order to ensure that the locations are safe and accessible; do not block sidewalks, fire lanes or streets; do not interfere with traffic or University activities; and are consistent with all Campus parking rules, regulations and other policies.

    3. Permit–Food Trucks must display dated, timed and location-specific documentation indicating that they are entitled to provide food services at that time and in that location. The documentation may be issued by Parking & Transportation Services or a food truck manager engaged by the University.

    4. Advertising- There will be no public advertising (e.g., social media, website schedule postings) of Food Truck locations.

    5. Noise– No music or amplified sound may emit from Food Trucks other than as approved by the University.

    6. Glass– No food or beverages in glass bottles or other glass containers may be sold or given away by Food Trucks.

    7. Sustainability– Food Trucks must adhere to Stanford’s zero waste guidelines on Campus. See Appendix A for specific requirements.

    8. Health code compliance, sanitation and waste disposal– Food Trucks must employ the highest standards for neatness, cleanliness and sanitation. See Appendix A for specific requirements.

    9. Compliance with laws, regulations and policies- Food Trucks must comply with all federal, state and local laws, regulations and codes, including vehicle codes.  They must also comply with University policies, including those related to environmental health and safety, vehicle use and parking. See Appendix B for specific requirements.

    10. Other requests– Food Trucks must comply with all requests of the Department of Public Safety or University officials related to the safety of the Campus or the proper functioning of the University, including requests to leave Campus or relocate.

    11. Insurance– Each Food Truck must carry Commercial General Liability, Worker’s Compensation Liability, and Automobile Liability Insurance coverage and limits as specified by the University including an additional endorsement that names Stanford University as an additional insured party. See Appendix C for specific insurance requirements.

    12. Alcohol Service – Food Trucks must comply with all California laws and Stanford University policies related to serving alcohol at events, including those related to insurance coverage, special one-day alcohol licenses and service to attendees.  For additional information please consult the following link:

4. Construction Food Trucks

Construction Food Trucks are only allowed within project boundaries and only by direct invitation of the site superintendent. Construction Food Trucks will be considered to be subcontractors or invitees of the construction contractor.

5. Administration and Enforcement

Business Affairs is responsible for administering the Mobile Food Vendor policy. Mobile Food Vendors operating on Campus in violation of these policies will be asked to leave. Stanford reserves the right to take all appropriate action against those failing to comply with this policy or these requests, including actions under civil or criminal trespass laws. This policy may be changed in Stanford’s sole discretion without any prior notice.

6. Related Policies

The following policies include related information:

Effective Date: January 1, 2013



  1. Each Food Truck must comply with and/or exceed applicable health codes and the highest standards for best practices for neatness, cleanliness and sanitation. The Food Truck must carry and display a valid Santa Clara County Health Permit.

  2. Each Food Truck must manage waste disposal in compliance with Stanford policies. In particular, Stanford requires adherence to its zero waste guidelines on Campus, which include:

    1. Use recyclable or compostable service ware and packaging.

    2. Minimize use of plastic bags

    3. Compost all food and compostable material.

    4. Recycle all paper, cardboard packaging/boxes, and plastics bags and bubble wrap.

    5. No expanded polystyrene/Styrofoam is permitted to be used on Campus.

    6. Recycle all plastic containers, metal cans, foil, and scrap, glass bottles and jars and milk and juice cartons. Food Trucks must provide clearly labeled bins for landfill/trash, plastic, metal, and glass containers, paper, and food and compostable material.

  3. All Food Trucks other than University Food Trucks must remove all garbage, compostable and recyclable receptacles, as well as all litter, garbage, recyclables and compostables, at the end of each shift. No litter or waste may be disposed of on Campus, even if trash bins are available.

  4. Food Trucks must prevent the disposal of any materials, including rinse or wash waters, any spilled materials or any waste, into streets, gutters, storm drains, or creeks.

  5. Other than University Food Trucks, no vehicle or equipment cleaning is to be performed on site.

  6. Vehicles and equipment must be free of leaking fluids.



Food Trucks must label, use, store and dispose of all hazardous waste in compliance with all Federal, State and local laws.

Food Trucks must comply with all Stanford requirements which apply to the use of portable generators. Generators must be quiet and no generators may be placed on the ground. Food Trucks may not refuel trucks or generators on University property other than at a gas station.

Food Trucks will not disturb building materials and shall stop work and report any inadvertent disturbance of such materials immediately to Stanford Environmental Health and Safety at 650-725-9999. Unless specifically qualified to do so, Food Trucks will not enter an area that is posted with warning signs or labels indicating the presence or chemical, biohazardous or radioactive materials or equipment or areas that may have residual contamination from such materials.



The following insurance is required for Food Trucks other than Construction Food Trucks and University Food Trucks unless otherwise approved by Risk Management:

  1. Commercial General Liability Insurance (bodily injury, property damage, and personal injury), including contractual liability insurance, in the amount of $2,000,000, with a single limit of not less than $2,000,000 for a single occurrence.

  2. Automobile Liability Insurance (bodily injury, property damage and personal injury), in the amount of $500,000, with a combined single limit of not less than $500,000 for all owned, non- owned, and hired vehicles.

  3. The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University, its trustees, officers, agents, representatives, students, employees, faculty and volunteers, shall be included as additional insureds by endorsement. On each insurance certificate, the Certificate Holder shall read as follows: “The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University, 3145 Porter Drive, Palo Alto, CA 94304-8440”. The Food Truck’s insurance shall waive their rights to subrogation.

  4. Workers Compensation Insurance and Employer's Liability Insurance, if required under the Worker’s Compensation laws of the State of California, in the amount of $1,000,000 per employee per accident or disease, covering all persons employed in carrying out the provision of food services. Worker's Compensation insurance will be in accordance with the Worker's Compensation Law of the State of California.

The Food Truck’s insurance shall be primary coverage, Stanford University insurance or self-insurance shall be excess and noncontributory.

Prior to selling on Campus, Regular Food Trucks and Special Event Food Trucks shall furnish the University’s Office of Risk Management (or the designated food truck manager) the insurance documents for all required insurance.