Drive, Park & Pray - foosye
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Drive, Park & Pray

Drive, Park & Pray

Drive, Park & Pray


If anyone has ever worked in a food truck before, you’ll understand what I mean by Drive, Park & Pray. As a food truck owner, i’ve had my fair share of successful events along with the “what was I thinking” events. The later usually is understood asDrive, Park & Pray. I drive to a food truck location. This can be a quiet street in a rural area or a festival event where it wasn’t marketed right or poor weather may dampen the attendance. Upon arrival I park my food truck. I get the truck set up with food ready to sell and properly staffed. Looking around I notice very little traffic of any sorts…vehicular or foot traffic. At that point, I pray for guests to arrive. I pray for the weather to shift and the sun starts to break in. This is how I describe a food truck event where the risk factors are usually out of the food truck owners hands.

We cannot control the weather nor can we blame the event coordinators…it’s just part of the risk factors of operating a food truck business. Since many of the food truck events are generally outside, we’re at the mercy of favorable weather for a successful event. As a food truck owner, i must make tough decisions whether to attend an event when weather can become an issue. By attending, i am able to keep my word of showing up for the event. However, i run the risk of spending additional labor working an event that has little to no attendance. Many times, I would be on the truck thinking of all the things I could be doing instead of feeling confined to the operation. This is tougher work than being extremely busy with a long line. At least afterwards I’ll have more in the cash drawer and makes my pains go away. By staying for the event duration in poor weather would be a situation where I would have a smaller loss by not attending. So the flip side is to not show up for the event. This can be done ethically by informing the event coordinator of your decision due to the weather forecast. Many of them will understand your decision to not attend. Chances are you’re not the only vendor not planning to show up…but at least you’ll be an ethical one by communicating your decision.

Sometimes events have poor attendance due to the lack of marketing. This is a misunderstanding from both the event coordinators and food truck owners. Food truck owners believe the event coordinators should be marketing their events properly. While some organizations do events as a business, others are doing it for the first time just like organizing a birthday party at home. They have no idea what to do. They feel if they invite many food trucks, they will bring their social media followers to the event. While there may be a few food truck followers attend such an event, many of them will only attend if its an event they were planning on going to already or in close proximity to where they will be. Food truck owners believe the event coordinators should have a marketing budget to properly advertise their event. It is the events put on by small organizations by part-time volunteers who have no idea what it takes to operate a food truck. I applaud their efforts but generally need to educate them on the food truck business. The better informed your event coordinators are about hiring a food truck, the less likely you’ll have to Drive, Park & Pray at your next event.

Drive, Park & Pray is not a financially favorable event to attend. Because of factors outside of the food truck owners control, the potential for financial loss is evident. Weather cannot be controlled, but decisions to attend should be based on weather predictions. Having a comfort level that the event is properly coordinated and marketed is a decision owners need to have before deciding to participate. In addition, many events have vendor fees to attend. Many of the events are marked “Rain or Shine” events. Meaning they will operate regardless of weather. Many times they will also mention that fees are non-refundable regardless of weather. Again, a risk factor part of the food truck business. While some events have higher vendor fees than others, it generally will represent a larger event drawing larger crowds. These are the risks associated with the food truck business. Drive, Park & Pray is part of the business. It is up the owners to do their due diligence to minimize and eliminateDrive, Park & Pray.


Ray Chow
CFTO (Chief Food Truck Officer)
Drive, Park & Pray