Jasper Russo is an ambitious man. Not three days after his inaugural DFW Food Truck Festival he's announced a sequel. Saturday, November 12th Sigel's will host the DFW Winter Food Truck Festival, at the same location as this past weekend's event.
Will he be ready? His setup is far from perfect. Parking, traffic and last minute cancellations -- due to permitting issues and double bookings -- created challenges this past weekend. His recent release doesn't address any of these issues.
While some blogs pointed out the event's flaws, others poured praise like rainbows from buckets and declared the event a resounding success. I asked followers on Twitter and Facebook what they thought of the event. They complained of excessive waiting, botched or missing orders, and too few trucks, not to mention that it was 192 degrees. Maybe cooler weather will relax people's complaints, but I think there's more to this.
This type of event was widely popular in DC when I lived there, and besides the lamentations of a Serengeti swelter, the complaints were exactly the same. Food trucks aren't fast-food restaurants, and any time people descend in the thousands you're going to have a long wait.
But that was half the fun of the event for me -- schmoozing people in line, asking people who had just been served if the wait was worth it. It was a social thing. To pull this off, the next food truck gathering has to have a few things Russo's did not.
Ample Parking: I've noticed that I'm one of a few nut jobs that actually takes a bus to get around Dallas. So if you're expecting 2000 people, you might need 500 parking spots...minimum.
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Ample Food Trucks: Selection is imperative. The more the merrier. Planning far ahead can help make sure the most trucks possible participate.
Seating: You have to have lots of tables. This is a food truck festival. It should be social. Fun. A gathering place for people to hang out and talk taco.
Weather: August? No. November? Absolutely, but readjust your parking and space capacity accordingly.
Municipal support: City Hall is kinda sucking it on food truck love; maybe they don't want to support anything that's fun. Having the city back an event with promotional support, free parking and fucking permits would really help.