Friday, May 17, 2013

Localiscious Event Lunch

Whereyouatmatt?, Athenas, Fusion on the Run, Box Nature Sushi, Snout and Company, Skillet Shindig? Food trucks or conference caterers? Both!

With food trucks being the latest rage, it makes sense our cutting-edge client, Living Future Institute, would want to include them in their conference. This week in Seattle, Washington, our lunches were served by local area food trucks meeting sustainable serviceware (more about that in my next post). As is our practice, we share our lessons learned with the meeting planning community. Here’s what we have learned:

  • Work with the city and venue to get permits for the trucks to park near the facility. 
  • Timing is essential. Trucks must arrive, set up and be ready to serve at the scheduled time during your program. Have clear expectations about start and stop times, and if, at any point, trucks can open for cash or public sales.
  • Pre-negotiate pricing for 4-6 basic menu options. The lunch packages offered should be worth the same dollar amount and trucks may determine their own packages with approval. 
  • Include "food trucks for dummies" step-by-step instructions on the back of the vouchers to easily inform attendees what to do. This way there is very little confusion about how to redeem them. 
  • Have a weather plan if it's raining, so people can come inside to eat. 
  • Ask for truck measurements in advance. The larger ones do not fit into one parking space and it would be problematic fitting them all in if they were all different sizes. Prepare truck owners about the need to remove any vehicles used to tow their trailers if they are not using self-contained trucks. 

The food truck lunch was a huge hit with conference participants thankful to be outside away with an array of food choices.  As meeting managers it requires an additional level of logistics and dedicated staff to coordinate the food event.  It was well worth the effort!

Photo:  Carole Garner, MeetGreen Project Manager, working with the vendor.  
Photo and writing credit: Shawna McKinley.

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