LANCASTER – The City of Lancaster and the Food Truck Collective will work together to create a digital app for vendors to participate in the weekly Monday Nite Bitez for the 2023 season.
Monday Bitez usually takes place from 5-9 p.m., every Monday, at Sgt. Steve Owen Memorial Park, May through October, weather permitting.
“When the event started in 2016, food trucks weren’t as big as they are now,” Lancaster City employee Efrain Carrera Jr. said during a presentation at the board meeting. council of September 13.
As food trucks grew in popularity, the city and the Food Truck Collective agreed to open it up to local trucks to help provide a variety of food.
Food truck vendors raised concerns at the Aug. 9 city council meeting about payment receipts, the lack of accepted local trucks and the application process.
About 18 to 20 trucks participate each week. This year, at least 60% of the trucks were local, with a variety of dishes available, Carrera said.
The event attracts 200 to 600 people, depending on the weather.
“We have now created a link on our website that allows people to see the necessary requirements and apply directly on our site,” Carrera said.
Completed submissions are sent to the city, as well as the Food Truck Collective. The city has also created an interest form for any food vendor who wishes to participate in a city event.
Deputy Mayor Marvin Crist and Mayor R. Rex Parris asked what was being done to protect brick-and-mortar restaurants.
Monday Bitez is a one-night event, Carrera said, adding that Mondays are generally slower nights for restaurants. Some restaurants are closed on Mondays.
Councilor Darrell Dorris asked about similar programs on the east side of Lancaster.
Councilman Ken Mann said there will be opportunities for events on the east side of town.
“We are walking on this balance beam,” he said. “We have to get on with it. You don’t want to do something and now we have oversaturation.
Food truck operator Alfred Nunez, who operates Da Bomb Fish Tacos, is grateful to be a part of Monday Bitez.
“Monday Bitez has really helped us,” he said. “I would really like Monday Bitez to continue and especially if they could have more in all cities.”
He appreciates the opportunity to have a food truck and after trying a restaurant for two years.
“It’s not going anywhere,” Parris said. “We like it, we just want to make sure there are no problems on the road and that there don’t seem to be any.”