TAMPA — It's not unusual for Tampa City Hall to go out for bids on everything from trucks to chemicals for the water treatment plant to road work barricades.
Not so much.
So when the city announced this month that it had budgeted $1 million to feed cops working security at the Republican National Convention, a lot of local restaurateurs took notice and got on the phone. As a result, the city has extended the deadline to respond to its request for prospective vendors until April 5.
"We have received so many inquiries, and we want to be sure everyone has time to submit their bids," police spokeswoman Andrea Davis said in an email to the Times Friday.
The city is seeking caterers based in Hillsborough or Pinellas counties who can serve 800 or more meals a day. Officials say they might hire more than one company and plan to have buffet-style chow lines or boxed take-out meals at 10 or more locations around town. The diners will be the 3,000 to 4,000 local and out-of-town officers working each day of the convention, scheduled for Aug. 27-30.
Interested in bidding? Go to tampagov.net/dept_Purchasing and click on "Bid Schedule." As of Friday, the request was on the second page of the bid list.