Food Vendor Frequently Asked Questions

Photo by  BluPencil Graphics .

How much does it cost to vend as a Food Vendor at Oakland First Fridays?

Food vending pricing depends on the following criteria:

  1. You are registering as a truck, booth or cart.

  2. Your food is savory or sweet.

  3. How much space your setup requires.

Below are the prices ranges. You can contact us directly at to get the exact cost for your food vending space.

  • *Food Booths: 5-foot spaces to 40-foot spaces available - prices range from $210 to $510.

  • Food Cart: Mobile space (one size) - $185

  • *Food Truck: 15- x 10-feet spaces to 35- x 10-feet spaces available - prices range from $285 to $610.

  • Dessert Cart: Mobile space (one size) - $103

  • *Dessert Booth: 5-foot spaces to 20-foot spaces available - prices range from $185 to $510.

  • *Dessert Truck: 15- x 10-feet spaces to 25- x 10-feet spaces available - prices range from $285 to $610.

*Prices vary depending on the size of the space.


How does the registration process work?

  • Step 1: You must register to create an account in our system before you are approved and before we can process your payment. Please take a look at our pricing information before continuing the registration process. Your space is not officially reserved until you process your payment. Following processed payment, we work on a first paid, first reserved basis. Please note, we prioritize Oakland-based and local vendors and those willing to donate food to our volunteers since our mission is to uplift our community and its small businesses.

  • Step 2: To process your payment, click the link sent to your registered email address after approval.

  • Step 3: Next, log in to modify your registration.

  • Step 4: After you log in be sure the vending category no longer reads “pending approval.”

  • Step 5: Continue to follow the steps and process your payment at the end of the process.

  • Step 6: After you create an account your stored information is saved. However, you must register each month to receive a new reference number. Reference numbers are specific to each month.

What documents and information do I need to provide at registration?

  • Primary email address

  • Mobile phone number for emergency purposes and important updates

  • A copy of your city business tax certificate number: Food and Retail makers are required to obtain a Business Tax Certificate - Business License to do business in The City of Oakland. We are required to ask the question on our form. Entering in your Business Tax Certificate from Oakland or another city is appreciated. While the registration will let you proceed without a Business Tax Certificate - Business License, we are required to send the current list of vendors to the City of Oakland every week.
    IMPORTANT: All City of Oakland Businesses Tax Licenses must be renewed for 2019! Please contact if you need assistance with this.

  • A health permit from Alameda County

  • A certificate of insurance

  • Seller’s permit from the state of California: Food and Retail makers are required to obtain a seller's permit from the State of California to sell goods and products in the State of California. We are required to ask the question on our form. While the registration will let you proceed without a Seller's permit - we are required to send the current list of vendors to the City of Oakland every week.

  • Images/socials/websites where we can view your products and set up



I just completed an application. How long until I hear back?

  • There is an estimated wait time of approximately 3 - 6 months for new food vendors. This wait time is subject to change depending on the status of the event planning.

  • Feel free to contact us at for a status update. When spaces open up for new food vendors, we contact you directly both via the email and phone number provided in your account.

*Oakland food vendors willing to donate food for our volunteers have priority invite into our event. Oakland First Fridays’ is almost entirely volunteer-run and your contributions are greatly appreciated!


How long does my approval last?

  • Once approved, Oakland First Fridays invites new food vendors in for a minimum of 3 months. This allows for a discounted price when obtaining a health permit from the Alameda County compared to applying for a single month.

  • Approvals extending beyond the 3 months are possible and depend on Oakland First Fridays space availability.

  • If you have a food truck and are interested in coming in for a one-month time frame when available, please let us know. If a space unexpectedly opens up, we may contact you regarding this opportunity.


Rotation Process

The Oakland First Fridays vendor curator rotates vendors and tracks the status of all 3-month permits. A vendor will be notified by staff when their permit has been fulfilled. All selected vendors are housed in a Food & Beverage vendor list that is routinely exported and sent to the City of Oakland, OPD, ACEH & OFP.


What is the best location to reserve a booth space in the event?

Location preferences vary between vendors, business type and the expectations a vendor has regarding a successful experience. Oakland First Fridays brings between 30,000 and 50,000 people to every event, providing great opportunity for exposure.


How do I measure my space when I begin setting up?

Our food and beverage coordinator is there to assist incoming food vendors find their scheduled placement. Please Oakland First Friday workers (wearing orange and yellow vests) for help on your set up.


How long do I have to make my payment in order to secure a space?

  • You have until noon the Monday before the event. However, keep in mind spaces are reserved on a first paid, first reserved basis. The faster you make your payment, the better chances of reserving a space before they are all filled.

  • All food vendors must register into the new month despite whether it is their first month or not. All payments are completed in this manner.

  • If you contact us directly explaining a situation, we may be able accomodate you. We appreciate any communication from our participants and we encourage you to reach out.

**All deadlines are subject to change, according to the status of the event becoming full.**


Why was I not placed in my location request?

Vending spaces are limited and granted on a first paid, first reserved basis. Please pay for your invoice as soon as possible for the best chance of ensuring your location request. Not all location requests are guaranteed.


What do I do if I have not heard back from the Oakland First Fridays team or received any information about the event setup, etc?

Please check your registered account to see if your email address is typed in correctly. If an email address is incorrectly submitted, you will not receive the notifications from Oakland First Fridays. Prior to event day, be sure to give us a call at (510) 361-0615 or reach out to us at


When does registration open and close?

Registration opens as early as the Tuesday following every First Fridays event and closes as soon as spaces are sold out or the Tuesday before the event.

**All deadlines are subject to change depending on the status of event becoming sold out.**


If I have already registered for a past event do I have to re-register to participate in a new event?

You will need to complete a new registration every month. When you have registered in the past using our most current system, your information will automatically populate when you log in. Please be sure to log in with the same email address each time.


Why do I have to register again when I’ve already created an account?

Your registration is different from creating an account. Your account is where all of your information is stored. Registration allows you to make a new payment, secure a spot and receive a new reference number. Reference numbers are specific to each month. Furthermore, Oakland First Fridays may sell vendor spaces for several months or a year at a time. Creating a new registration and reference number each month helps us understand and build this feature.


Can I sign up for an event more than one month ahead of time?

Please contact us directly at (510) 361-0615 or reach out to us at if you are interested in participating in a specific month.


Why was I not reserved a space when I applied early?

Vending spaces are limited and are granted on a first paid, first reserved basis. Please pay for your invoice as soon as possible to reserve your space before the event spaces fill.


What is the policy in regards to rained-out events?

If Oakland First Fridays decides to cancel due to rain, we will send out a notice to all paid vendors on the official decision. Your payment will be automatically reserved for the following month. If you cannot participate the following month, contact us immediately for a refund.


Is there a waiting list?

Yes! Our registration system will inform you if spaces are sold out and ask if you would like to be placed on our waiting list.


Where can I find my space number and location?

For our full vendor and booth listing, stage and performance areas, and porta potty locations, view our new map here. The Alpha List and finalized map will be sent out to all paid participants the week of the event. Please pay close attention to local businesses and street names in order to efficiently find your space number the day of the event. We will also have volunteers walking around to help.


What happens if I cannot make an event but I already paid for my space?

  • You will be issued a refund or credit if notice is given seven or more days before event.

  • Credit-only is issued if notice is given between six days and 24 hours before event

  • No credit and no refund is issued if notice is less than 24 hours before the event or if you do not show up to event.


Important Parking Notice

Parking near and around the festival footprint can be very challenging.  We are looking at parking options for vendors, but there are no designated parking areas for vendors at this time.  Please use our partnership codes from SPOTHERO to find a place to park at a discounted price. All areas in the event footprint and side streets that have a No Parking Sign are kept clear for Emergency-911 access to the event. Parking is strictly enforced at each event with on-site parking enforcement officers from the City of Oakland. Vehicles parked in non-parking areas may be cited and towed at the owner’s expense.


Does Oakland First Fridays provide any equipment?

  • The vending fee only covers for the reserved booth space. You are responsible for bringing your own equipment (i.e. lights, tables, tents, chairs, batteries, etc.) We do not offer access to power, tables, chairs or tents for your space. Since our event will go into the night for at least 2 hours, we recommend that you bring battery-powered lights for your booth set-up.

  • PLEASE CLEAN UP ALL OF YOUR GARBAGE. This includes compost, grease, potable water,  and any trash or remains that are a result of your participation.


Advice From The Oakland First Fridays team

  • Please check out our event before you vend with us. Our events can get very crowded. We want you prepared and comfortable with the experience.

  • We recommend talking to other Oakland First Friday vendors to network and learn tips on how to have a successful experience.

  • Keep in mind traffic and parking when participating in our event. Your set-up and participation may be set back due to these circumstances.


Please contact us if you have any further questions.

General Inquiries:




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