Question Two: What would make food truck festivals more successful?
Brad Moore: Owner, Short Leash Hot Dogs
Food truck festivals need to be more intimate. Food trucks are small operations with a limited capacity, so ticket sales need to be capped at a manageable number of guests.
I think we did a great job with the Roosevelt Row Food Truck Festival. Our goal was to limit wait times by eliminating transactions and offering unlimited samples. Almost every customer I have spoken with had a great time. They were able to sample food from at least 12 trucks, the music was amazing, and we had a great beer and wine selection. However, looking back, we probably should have capped the ticket sales at 3,000 instead of 4,000 and we should have had about five or six more trucks and alcohol on both sides of the grounds. The goal should be to provide a unique experience and value for the customer so that they become repeat customers for the trucks they like. Right now, there are too many event planners looking to make a quick buck by maximizing ticket sales, and this does the food truck operators a real disservice.
Laryn Callaway-Blok: Owner, Shine Coffee
Sell all tickets in advance except for a small number, that way the trucks have guaranteed sales and can make enough food in advance so no one runs out. Also, have them in a much larger space with room for lines to form next to the bar!
Korina Adkins: Owner, Frufrupops
A lower cap on ticket sales would probably help, and a metering system. For example, having a system whereby customers buy coupons -- or receive them with their tickets -- which they trade for samples.
Brian Webb: Owner, Hey Joe!
No entrance fees. This way if a line forms, the customer has nothing invested. It is truly for the people, and they can choose to wait or not. We have such a festival planned for the first Wednesday of March at the Phoenix Public Market.