Food Trucks (Finally) Coming to Jerusalem!

Launch set for summer 2017

Jerusalem, February 7, 2017 – The Business Development Department of the Jerusalem Municipality and the Jerusalem Innovation Team (JLM i-team) announce today the tender for AutoChef, the first food truck fleet in Israel, which aims to serve business and industrial areas during the day and create local pop-up events in neighborhoods in the evening hours. The initiative seeks to bring a commercial front to areas in the city where permanent infrastructure is currently deficient, serving as a lab for the future development of these areas, while giving participating restauranteurs a chance to reach new customers. The call for bids (#15.2017) from restaurateurs is open and interested parties are invited to submit tenders according to these guidelines. A conference for bidders hosted by the Business Development Department will take place on April 11.

Up until now, all attempts to launch food trucks in Israel have been vetoed by the Ministry of Health on regulatory grounds. AutoChef solves this challenge by creating a fleet of five to seven trucks, each with a single culinary specialty and run by a local restaurant. Neighborhoods and business areas currently underserved in the culinary sense will have the opportunity to enjoy gourmet food, experience the creative use of public space and build location-based social and professional connections. Participating restauranteurs will be able to explore possibilities for expansion in underserved areas without having to take the enormous risk of opening a new branch in an untested area that currently has no commercial front.

“The Jerusalem culinary scene is renowned worldwide, appealing to visitors and residents alike,” says Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat. “We want to bring restaurants to residents, workplaces and neighborhoods in order to connect Jerusalemites with their local businesses.”

The AutoChef food truck fleet will be active daily in business and industrial areas, such as Har Hotzvim and the government district, and as the focus of evening events in outlying neighborhoods that include cultural and/or social content organized in collaboration with local community councils. On weekends and holidays, the band will be active at tourist and leisure sites such as parks, museums and the Old City.

“In many neighborhoods and business districts in the city, there is a considerable lack of commercial and entertainment development,” says Inbal Moses, head of the Business Development Department at the Jerusalem Municipality. “This initiative brings businesses to neighborhoods and residents, answering an existing need and strengthening businesses at the same time.”

“The spirit of innovation in Jerusalem has reached the culinary scene, strengthening businesses and enriching public space,” says Sharone April, Director of the JLM i-team. “We are proud to be partners in the AutoChef initiative and eagerly await seeing neighborhood residents and people working in the city enjoying quality culinary, community and social events.”

From the moment of its inception, the JLM i-team was tasked by Mayor Nir Barkat with coming up with unique solutions to boost the capital’s economic development and positive business environment. In that vein, the i-team is developing a series of initiatives to strengthen entrepreneurs and small and medium businesses in the city. AutoChef is the first of these initiatives to be announced to the public, with others to be revealed in the coming months.

The Jerusalem Innovation Team

The JLM i-team, founded and funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, is a senior consulting team that reports directly to the Mayor of Jerusalem and works to tackle strategic targets and seemingly intractable problems in the chosen areas of economic development, youth-at-risk, creative public space, education and building active communities. The i-team’s unique status as in-house yet independent, Jerusalem-focused but part of a strong international network, allows it to surmount bureaucratic hurdles and create bridges between departments and organizations for the greater good. The i-team uses Bloomberg Philanthropies’ successful innovation framework for solving acute city challenges, which is based on a structured, data-driven approach, a focus on short processes with maximum impact, innovation within existing bodies, and inter-departmental and inter-organizational matchmaking. The i-team is committed to initiating programs, hand-in-hand with municipal partners, that, once successful, will have the greatest impact on the residents and businesses of Jerusalem.

For more general information, please contact:

Dena Scher

Media and Communications

[email protected]


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