Start-up Scuppered By “Bizarre” Restriction

Fed, a startup which had hoped to sell food in residential areas via a roaming truck at dinnertime, has had to shelve its plans for the service after it was revealed that roaming mobile vendors licences were exclusive to trucks selling ice cream.

“We’re trying to create something innovative for today’s customers but these restrictions are decades old,” co-founder Becky Erwood said. “Who knew that the ice cream business could dominate a delivery concept? Meanwhile, we haven’t got started selecting the tunes.”

The intention of Fed was to create a Mr Whippy-like experience for customers who haven’t had the chance to make dinner, selling chilled meals around residential streets.

“The roaming mobile vendors licence is specifically for the mobile ice cream trucks and is not available for any other food businesses to use,” explained Auckland City Council street trading inspector Karen Sayers. “The only way you would be able to sell food in a residential area is if you were delivering to a customer who has pre-purchased some products.”

“You will be unable to sell chilled meals by roaming the residential streets as the ice cream trucks do. The musical tune is the signature of the ice cream businesses so this would not be an option for you to use. It would cause confusion with the public especially the children.”

Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois said that some council restrictions were “antiquated.”

“There are lots of little weird bizarre laws that don’t make sense in their first instance, that’s why it’s good practice to look at that and challenge it. Business is constantly changing and evolving and regulations need to reflect that,” Bidois said.