Food and Beverage Concessions

The Trust for Governors Island invites creative purveyors of food and beverage to submit proposals on a rolling basis to operate on Governors Island. The Trust offers flexible, high-traffic stationary sites for buildout of semi-permanent structures, opportunities for mobile food carts and locations for mobile food trucks. Operators should consider which type of site best suits your business and offerings —proposals are also welcome for alternative locations not considered below. For the 2020 Season we would like to especially encourage pizza vendors and operators with kosher options to apply.

Sample Programs that would require a Food and Beverage Concessions permit:
  • provide high-quality, affordable, delicious food for our diverse visitors;
  • have demonstrated success running outdoor concessions;
  • are enthusiastic about partnering with the Trust for the best possible menu, design and service
  • share The Trust’s goals of promoting a sustainable and zero-waste environment (we encourage the use of compostable service ware and ban single use plastics, including straws, and Styrofoam).

This is a unique opportunity to be part of one of New York City’s most beloved public spaces with a fast- growing audience!

Key Dates

The Island is accessible to food and beverage concession operators May 1 - October 31, Governors Island's 2020 Public Access Season. 

Deadlines

Proposals are reviewed and selected on a rolling basis. Please note that accepted proposals are not final until a permit or license agreement is executed.


Available Spaces


In addition to the stationary spaces noted in the map above, locations for mobile operations such as food trucks, tuk-tuks, carts or trikes can be assigned via contract or be managed on a first-come first-serve basis as preferred by the Operator. The Trust is also open to considering proposals for mobile units that relocate throughout the day to various locations around the Island. This mobile unit would maintain a prescribed route around the Island to service the more remote locations as well as the highly-trafficked areas. We envision a small, electric or pedaled vehicle that is constantly on the move (e.g. a beverage bike).


Proposals should be submitted to food@govisland.org. All proposal questions and/or inquiries about our food program should be sent to food@govisland.org. No questions will be answered via phone. 

The Trust will host tours for prospective food and beverage operators upon request. To schedule a tour email food@govisland.org.


Your proposal should include the following:

  • Personal and business biography: Tell us a little about yourself and why Governors Island is a great fit for your business
  • Food concept: What will you serve? What is the story behind your food? Include a sample menu for what you would serve on the Island, with detailed descriptions of dishes, and sourcing, as well as prices, storage and prep needs.
  • Location option and details: Which Governors Island site or sites are ideal for your concept? Operators may elect to serve food in a variety of ways. Each operator will be responsible for the design as well as the construction, furnishing and operations of its site. Temporary structures can be built or brought onto the Island before the season begins and removed after the season ends. An example of a temporary structure might include shipping containers and other pre-fabricated structures.
  • Physical structure and design sketch: What will your site, structure, truck or mobile unit look like? Provide a sketch or sample of aesthetic.
  • Operational Plan: Staffing plan, hours and days of operations, opening and closing procedures, cleaning schedule, storage requirements, and anything else that seems relevant to daily operations.
  • Food and beverage receiving plan: All staff and materials arrive at Governors Island via ferry. Vehicles that are carrying equipment and supplies for food and beverage operators will be allowed to drive onto the Island via our vehicle ferry before 10 am each day. In your proposal include times of day, days per week, receiving staff, and projected space requirements per delivery (e.g. number of cases, hand-trucks, etc.). A detailed vehicle policy will be provided in the permit agreement.
  • Utility and electric needs: Please provide an equipment schedule showing intended uses and list of each piece of major equipment’s electrical draw.
  • Single Season Proforma: Include income and expense projections for each month of operation.
  • Fee: Operators will be required to use a point of sales system and pay Governors Island a percentage of gross sales as rent. Please propose a percentage that is appropriate for your business model in accordance with the information in the Fee Section.
  • References: Provide up to 3 relevant business references.

Governors Island is one of New York City’s most beloved seasonal attractions. Today, between the months of May and October visitors from across the city and around the world discover a world unto itself, filled with history and a new, spectacular park at the center of New York Harbor.  Just minutes by ferry from Lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn waterfront, nearly 1M visitors from across the city and around the world visit the Island each season to enjoy a robust calendar of cultural programs, public art, car-free biking, festivals, and an expansive park with unrivaled views of the city skyline and the Statue of Liberty.

Open from 10 AM – 6 PM Monday through Friday and 10 AM – 7 PM on weekends with earlier access for concessionaires, staff, etc., the island hosts 3,500+ visitors per weekday and up to 12,000+ on weekend days. In prior years, Governors Island’s public hours have expanded until 10 PM on select summer Friday and Saturday evenings. During the weekdays, concessions also benefit from the Island population that includes employees, tenants, a vibrant arts and cultural community and day camps.; Operators also have opportunities to cater the many corporate and non-profit retreats and volunteer days held on the Island.


Proposals will be evaluated for:

  • Operational expertise: Experience operating concessions, high traffic or outdoor locations
  • Food Concept and Quality: Menu and culinary execution, range of offerings and price points
  • Design Execution: Professionalism and aesthetic
  • Proposed Fee Offer
  • References

To download a PDF of this request for proposals, please visit the RFP page.