Blue skies, long lines and loud music greeted the mass of attendees that made the first, and hopefully annual, Frisco StrEATs a resounding success. Whether attending as a curious first – timer for the food truck experience, excited by the local debut of Cool Haus DFW or simply to support the talent on display from the School of Rock, there was something for everyone at this family friendly event.
Normally, my plan for food truck events is to arrive early and with a plan. This time, my plan was to follow the advice of Ernestine Ulmer who is credited with saying,
“Life is uncertain. Eat Dessert First.”
With that in mind, I headed directly for Cool Haus DFW, a mobile gourmet ice cream truck that offers ice cream Sammies constructed to order using fresh baked cookies and some of the most unusual ice cream flavors you’ll ever find. They weren’t hard to find since they were granted the featured location right next to the band and just off Main Street.
From Vietnamese to gourmet hot dogs and most points in between, Frisco StrEATs provided a variety of food sure to satisfy your hunger, no matter what you wanted. Joining Cool Haus DFW for their local debut were area faves Nammi, The Butcher’s Son, Cajun Tailgators, Easy Slider, EatJoDawgs, SoCal Tacos, Zombie’s (all Vegan), Ssahm and Rockstar Bakeshop. In addition to the beverage offerings from the trucks, there was beer and wine available.
Based on the lines, there were no favorites. By shortly after 3PM, there were more than 100 people in line for every truck and folks still arriving. Finding the end of the food lines was harder than finding a parking space! One of the volunteers for the event told me that people started arriving shortly after 2PM and the trucks opened as soon as they finished their prep.
By all accounts, the inaugural StrEATs Frisco was a great success for the City of Frisco, the School of Rock and the participating trucks. The trucks were well prepared and most had enough supplies on hand to serve until the scheduled end. The attempt to plan and organize the event was overshadowed by one glaring error – you can’t cram hundreds of people and 10 food trucks into a single block! In their defense, you can’t charge admission to a City sponsored event and you can’t limit attendance. You can, however, ask those involved about what to expect and incorporate past experience into planning the event. Projecting an attendance of 500 – 1000, a number exceeded in the first hour, was unrealistic for a 4-hour event given the rapid growth of the food truck community, both vendors and customers, in DFW over the past two years. Hopefully, the City of Frisco (and the Collin County venues likely to jump on the bandwagon now) will learn from the experience and next year the planning will include:
- More room for each truck and room permitting better separation of the lines
- Separation of the entertainment and the trucks (the crying little ones with hands over their ears should be all the notice needed and the volume turned down!)
- More Trucks to support the attendees and reduce the waiting time.
Frisco, congrats on being the first to bring the food trucks to an (obviously) hungry Collin County market. Next time, don’t underestimate the success of the event. There’s no reason, with just a few changes, you can’t make it bigger and better next year.