What is a Hot Dog Cart license? continued…
With a HTDG license operators are fully able to drive place to place throughout the state as long as they visit a commissary each day of operation. Operators may have multiple commissaries and since they are a licensed food service they can also operate at a 1-3 day temporary events without having to pay temporary event fees. Hot dog carts can offer more menu offerings, such as sandwiches, as long as they were prepared in the commissary, wrapped/packaged and offered to the customer wrapped/packaged.
Hot Dog Carts need a Commissary
Hot Dog Carts are limited in what food service activities can be done on the cart so a commissary is needed for dishwashing, food storage and to fill up the water tank and empty the wastewater tank. The requirements are that Hot Dog Carts will utilize the services of a commissary every day of operation or more if needed. The word ‘commissary’ has a lot of different meanings in common use. For Hotel & Restaurants (H&R) ‘Commissary’ has a specific meaning.
Commissary Definition: A Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) permitted or H&R licensed food service.
Any FDACS permitted or H&R licensed fixed food service can provide commissary services for your Hot Dog Cart. Commissary details are required fields on the licenses application.
Exception – If the Commissary is on a septic system the county Department of Health (DOH) would have to approve the system for increased use. This also applies to any other water/sewer locations used by a MFDV. For this reason we recommend using a location that is on municipal water/sewer.
Steps to acquiring a HTDG License
There are generally three steps to acquiring a food service license with the division:
- Complete plan review (if required)
- Apply for a license and pay the license fee
- Schedule and pass the licensing Inspection
Note: Steps 1 & 2 can be completed using a single application for License and Plan Review HR 7031-Application
If buying an existing licensed vehicle and no changes are made:
No plan review is required if the vehicle is already licensed by the division and no changes were made. Get the license number of the vehicle and verify it’s currently licensed by searching here. Save the license number, you will need it for the license application. When you are ready to apply complete the HR 7007-Application and mail it along with the commissary form HR 7022 in with the appropriate fees or you can apply online.
If the vehicle is not licensed or is licensed and changes were made:
Plan review is required if the vehicle has never been licensed by the division, has been closed for more than one year, or has been remodeled. The following documents must be submitted with a plan review application: plan and proof of connection to approved water and sewer for the commissary. For more details about plan review visit the plan review web page. When you are ready to apply complete the HR 7031-Application, or use the online system, or email the completed application to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Exception –If the commissary location is permitted by the Department of Health, such as a school or fraternal organization or bar, then the Department of Health would be the permitting agency for the mobile unit.
- Applicants are welcome to send in a cover letter with their completed application explaining their specific situation.
- All DBPR food service licenses have a 7 digit numerical license number. Before purchasing a food service business, making an agreement with a commissary, or sharing a kitchen verify the license by searching here.
- If a plan review is required check the plan review page before submitting your application. Remember that plan review applications can be submitted via email.
Food service license fees are listed on the food service fee web page.
All new licensees are required to pass a sanitation and safety inspection prior to opening. After meeting all requirements of the plan review and submitting your license application and fees, check your approved plan review packet for Inspector contact information or contact the department at 850.487.1395 to schedule an opening inspection. For more information about inspections view the inspections page.
Once licensed, operators must meet and maintain all applicable standards of a public food service establishment as provided in rule, code and statute. Conduct all food storage and food preparation operations in an approved, licensed food service establishment. You may not conduct food operations in a private residence.
Division personnel inspect as often as necessary for enforcement of the provisions of law and rule, and the protection of the public’s health, safety, and welfare. HTDG operators must permit division personnel right of entry at any reasonable time to observe food preparation and service. If necessary, division personnel may examine records of the unit to obtain pertinent information regarding food and supplies purchased, received or used.
All requests for public records, complaints, forms, and applications for licenses can be obtained by contacting the Customer Contact Center.
Rick Akin, Director
Division of Hotels and Restaurants
2601 Blair Stone Road
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1011