Today there was a Food Truck Eats event in the courtyard of the Bay Adelaide Centre. Across from the new Trump Hotel and Tower and in the financial district, four trucks had line ups of people between 11 and 2pm waiting for some good eats.
As this was my first experience, I eagerly rushed over to decide between the food of The Toasted Tangerine, El Gastronomo Vagabundo, Cupcake Diner and The Blue Donkey Streatery.
I waited for an hour and never made it to the front of the line.
Like people in any industry, you have 45 minutes to 1 hour for lunch and you should wait at most 15 minutes to be served food so you can sit down and enjoy eating it. Every restaurant knows how valuable time is. Unless I’m confused about food trucks, I thought the food was partially prepped already and just needed to be finished off and served. After waiting an hour in line to find out the item I wanted was sold out, I decided to poll the crowd rather than continue swearing under my breath. I discoverd that the average wait was about a half an hour to 45 minutes in line to order and pay for the food and then another half an hour to be served the food. I ran into a friend who waited a total of an hour and 45 minutes and felt the food was not good enough to warrent that kind of a wait and she won’t be trying it again. There were many people who had to go back to work or were just plain tired of waiting and they asked (and received) their money back. This is the financial district where people spend money on lunch everyday. What were they thinking?
I am not a person who enjoys waiting for anything and the fact that I waited an hour and still didn’t taste any of the food makes me want to kick myself.
Note to hotdog vendors: show up wherever there is a food truck. You will make a killing!
Here are some tips for the organizers of this event if you ever feel you would like to make it up to the financial district and want loyal customers:
- Choose vendors who are a bit more organized with their timing and proportioning of food reserves (you shouldn’t be running out of items if you’ve planned properly)
- Include a vendor that just sells drinks (drink cart) so at least people can occupy themselves with something to staff off the hunger
- If you have people in excess of waiting of 20 minutes for food, you should offer them something for free (coupon for future use, an extra item for free), a discount or an apology
- Organize events with enough food trucks to meet the demands of the customer base that will help shorten line ups – or back to my first point – only choose experienced food truck vendors that can pump out the food. Get tips from The Great Food Truck Race.
I understand and appreciate what the Ontario Food Truck Association is trying to do in order to introduce the city to street food but if you’re not organized and ready to meet the demand, you’ll lose customers.