Late Night Food Vending

General Guidelines

Late Night Vending (LNV) Areas:

1. Certain areas within the Mall/ Concourse and downtown area are established for vending food and drink between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m.
Vendors operating as licensed Late Night Vendors are not considered Mall-Concourse Food Vendors, do not need a Mall/Concourse Vending License, and need not participate in the food cart review. Vendors operating as licensed Late Night Vendors are not subject to other portions of Section 9.13(6) or the Regulations Governing Vending on the State Street Mall/Capitol Concourse adopted under Sec. 9.13(6)(c), except Secs. 9.13(6)(k), (exclusive use and special events), (6)(l)2. (use of electricity), (6)(l)3. (emergency vehicle access), (6)(l) 4. (relocation), (6)(m) (insurance), and those Regulations listed in Sec. 9.13(4)(s) (safety requirements for non-Mall/Concourse food vending). Late Night vending is subject to Sec. 9.13(4), all other applicable portions of this Ordinance, and applicable traffic and parking laws.
 
2. Licenses Required: One (1) Late Night Vending License shall be required for each vending cart or food stand. Additionally, every person working or performing vending activities as defined in Sec. 9.13(1) must hold a valid basic street vendor license under 9.13(3).
No person shall vend (as defined in Sec. 9.13(1)) in an LNV area during LNV hours without the licenses required hereunder and without an LNV zone or site assignment.
 
3. Late Night Vending Areas:
a. Zone A: 300 Block of North Frances. Zone A is located on the west side of the 300 block of North Frances Street as shown on the official LNV map approved by the VOC and on file at the Office of Business Resources ("official LNV map"). A maximum of two (2) licensed Late Night Vendors may vend from legal parking spaces within Zone A at any one time. Only licensed Late Night Vendors who have been assigned to Zone A may vend in Zone A, and vendors will be assigned to a zone by seniority under Sec. 9.13(6)(n)4.b.
b. Zone B: 400 Block of West Gilman. Zone B is located on the south side of the street in the 400 block of West Gilman Street, near University Avenue, as shown on the official LNV map. A maximum of two (2) licensed Late Night Vendors may vend from legal parking spaces within Zone B at any one time. Only licensed Late Night Vendors who have been assigned to Zone B may vend in Zone B, and vendors will be assigned to a zone by seniority under Sec. 9.13(6)(n)4.b.
c. Zone C: 400 Block of North Broom Street. Late Night Vending may occur on the west side of the 400 block of North Broom Street beginning with the first legal parking space to the south of the northern-most driveway on the west side of the street, and anywhere that street vending may lawfully occur on the east side of the 400 block of North Broom Street, as shown on the official LNV map. A maximum of two (2) licensed Late Night Vendors may vend from legal parking spaces within Zone C at any one time. Only licensed Late Night Vendors who have been assigned to Zone C may vend in Zone C, and vendors will be assigned to a zone by seniority under Sec. 9.13(6)(n)4.b.
d. Concrete Park/Frances Plaza: 500 Block of North Frances (L3). Late Night Vending in this area may occur at three assigned sites: two (2) full-sized food cart sites and one (1) site for a full-sized or small push cart, with each site location shown on the official LNV map and is prohibited in any other location. Sites will be assigned by seniority under Sec. 9.13(6)(n)4. See Sec. 9.13(6)(n)6.a. for the definition of small push carts.
e. University and Lake Site (L4). One (1) small push cart site shall be located on the sidewalk on the north side of University Avenue near the northeast corner of the intersection with Lake Street, with the exact location determined by the Vending Coordinator and shown on the official LNV map. This site will be assigned to a licensed Late Night Vendor by seniority under Sec. 9.13(6)(n)4. See Sec. 9.13(6)(n)6.a. for the definition of small push carts.
 
4. Application, Site Assignment. Vendors holding a basic street vendor license may apply for a Late Night Vending License at the Office of Business Resources, using an application form created by the Vending Coordinator, as follows:
a. Applications for an LNV zone an assigned site (Library Mall or Frances Street only) must be filed no later than April 1 to be eligible for zone or site assignment for the upcoming vending season (April 15-April 14). The vendor must accept the zone or site in writing and purchase a Late Night Vending License within ten (10) calendar days of receiving notification of the assignment, or will forfeit the assignment. Failure to use an assigned LNV zone or site by June 1st will result in forfeiture of the assignment. Only one (1) Late Night zone or site will be assigned per vendor, per season, and such assignments are not transferrable.
b. Late Night Site Assignment Procedure. All other applicants shall be ranked according to a seniority system. Seniority shall be calculated by counting the number of vending seasons that the vendor has purchased an LNV license (of any duration) issued under Secs. 9.13(3)(a) 1. or 2., counting backwards from the present, and subtracting any demerit points (see Sec. 9.13(6)(n)5.). However, a vendor may take one (1) vending season as a sabbatical (not purchase a license that season) without losing seniority, but that year will not be counted toward the vendor's total number of years of seniority. If a vendor goes two (2) consecutive vending seasons without purchasing a LNV license, the vendor will lose all years of seniority and be placed at the bottom of the seniority list upon their next application for a site. For individual applicants, the name on the current LNV application and the LNV license used for seniority must be the same. If more than one applicant was issued an LNV license on the same date, the time of day that the license is created will determine seniority. If the time is not available, seniority will be determined by a coin toss conducted by the Vending Coordinator or designee.
Applicants shall list three (3) zone and/or site preferences on the application. The vendor with the most seniority (minus any demerit points) will be assigned his/her first preferred zone or site, the next vendor assigned to his/her first available preferred zone or site, and so on; until all applicants have been assigned a zone or site or until all are full. If applicants remain after all LNV areas are filled, a waiting list will be created, using the same seniority system. Late applicants and vendors who forfeit their Late Night assignment will be placed at the bottom of the waiting list. Any zone or site that becomes available during the vending season after initial assignments have have been made shall be offered to the highest-ranking vendor on the waiting list.

5. Demerit Points for Late Night License Applications. One (1) year of seniority will be subtracted for each demerit point described below:
a. One (1) demerit point will be assessed for any violation of Sec. 9.13, the Regulations adopted thereto, or any other violation listed in Sec. 9.13(8)(a) (except for serious health code violations described below). A violation counts as a demerit point if charged in a citation or civil or criminal complaint with a date of violation in the previous vending season.
b. Serious Health Code Violations: Five (5) demerit points will be assessed if the applicant's food and drink permit has been suspended or revoked for seven (7) or more consecutive days during the previous vending season, or if the applicant's vending cart or mobile base kitchen has been ordered by the public health department to suspend or cease all operations for seven (7) or more consecutive days during the previous vending season.
c. For purposes of Sec. 9.13(6)(n)5.a. and b., violations issued to the person named on the basic street vending license, the holder of the mobile cart license(s), if applicable, and the person or business listed as the applicant for the Late Night Vending license will all be counted.
d. If an applicant's vending license has ever been suspended or revoked under Sec. 9.13(8), the number of days the license was been suspended or revoked shall be subtracted from the total number of days counted for seniority. Suspensions or revocations against the person named on the basic street vending license and the person or business applying for the late night vending license shall be counted.

6. Late Night Vending License Fees. Late Night Vending licenses are issued per food vending cart or stand, valid from April 15 to April 14, with the following fees:
a. Small push-carts that can be moved by hand, of a size and construction that does not meet the definition of "vehicle" under Wis. Stat. § 340.01(74) and that fit entirely within a footprint of 4 feet by 8 feet: $200/annual.
b. All other food vending carts or stands: $500/annual.

7. Violations. No person shall conduct the activities for which an LNV license is required herein without having been issued a valid LNV license, and no person shall vend in any LNV zone or site without being assigned to that zone or site. For those areas listed in Sec. 9.13(6)(n)3., no person shall vend in a location other than one of the assigned sites. No person shall violate any other provision of Sec. 9.13(6)(n).

Licensing Fees for Late Night Vending
  • Large Carts: $500.00 per year
  • Pushcarts: $200.00 per year

How to Apply for a Late Night Food Vending License

You can apply online or by mail.

You must obtain the following before you can apply for a Late Night Food Vending,License:
Applying for a Late Night Food Vending License Online
 
The application for this license can be completed on the City of Madison Licenses & Permits portal.
  • If you do not have one already, you must create an account on the Licenses & Permits portal to fill out the application.
    Please note that you must obtain a City of Madison Street Vendor License before you can apply for the Late Night License.
  • Once you login to your account go to the Licenses/Registrations section, select Apply for a License/Registration and then choose Vending - Late Night.
 
Applying for a Late Night Food Vending License By Mail
  1. Complete the Application for Electrical Use (PDF).
  2. Submit an insurance certificate (General liability insurance at a minimum of one million dollars, naming City of Madison as Additional Insured). Go to Insurance Requirements.,

Public Health Requirements

Last Updated: 03/27/2014

Contact Warren Hansen, Street Vending Coordinator

  • PH: 608-261-9171
  • FAX: 608-261-6126
  • EMAIL: streetvending@cityofmadison.com
  • MAIL ADDRESS:
    Department of Planning & Community & Economic Development
    Economic Development Division
    Office of Business Resources
    Madison Municipal Building
    215 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.
    P.O. Box 2985
    Madison WI 53701-2985

Full Service Food Trucks at Special Events

Full service food trucks may operate in Madison only at special events and/or if licensed to vend in City of Madison parks. The maximum size for a Mall / Concourse food cart is 56 square feet. Elsewhere in Madison, the maximum size for a food cart is 10 feet by 12 feet.

Guidelines Resources

Bike Path Vending Prohibited

It is illegal to vend on any Madison bike path, bike way or recreational trail.

Recycling Awareness

Food vendors are encouraged to use recyclable and biodegradable utensils, containers and napkins.