With the exception of Mr Cool Ice Cream, which has a previous commitment, most of the participants from the first festival will return, plus at least four new vendors:
- Il Cane Rosso
- The Butcher’s Son (new concept from Jon Wagner / Powered by Johnsonville Sausage)
- City Street Grille
Other food trucks that are confirmed include 3 Men & a Taco, Entice Ice, Gandolfo’s NY Deli, Jack’s Chowhound, and Nammi.
The inaugural festival took place on Saturday at Sigel’s parking lot and drew 2,000 people — far more than organizer Jasper Russo anticipated. While most reports were enthusiastic, some complained about waits and confusing lines.
“Keeping in mind that most of the food truck operators have only been in business here for a few months, I think everyone did a pretty good job getting food out,” he said. “We got lucky. When we do our craft beer festivals on Saturdays, we usually draw 275 to 300 people. For this, I expected maybe 500 — we never expected to draw 2,000 people.”
Russo and his team are at work on strategies to solve whatever problems they had the first time around.
“The complaints I read seemed to relate to confusion about which line to stand in, and the wait times,” he said. “We’ll have a de-briefing meeting with the vendors to go over procedures on streamlining the order-taking and speeding up the process. The pre-printed order pad used by Ruthie’s was a good idea because it allowed people to formulate their order while standing in line. The other vendors had people making up their mind when they hit the ordering window, slowing things down for first time customers.”
They’ll also reconfigure the space.
“I am looking into a different alignment for the food trucks that will make it more apparent which line is for which truck,” he said. “I think the main reason for the delays at the festival boiled down to us having only nine kitchens to serve 2,000 people. Last time a festival like this went smoothly, it involved a menu of loaves and fishes. I’m not sure that we can duplicate that success.”