“We might get 300 to 400 people” said Karen Hester, organizer of Oakland’s new food and community event, Bites on Broadway.(Famous last words is the phrase that comes to mind) I’m pretty new to the whole mobile food biz and half the battle seems to be figuring out how to bring enough food to satisfy but not enough as to have waste. This weekend Sassy Pies got a taste of both and learned a lot of valuable lessons along the way. Since BOB was brand new, had issues with its location, and was nearly cancelled before even beginning, no-one knew really what to expect. Certainly not lines 30 deep, and over 600 people. Am I complaining? HELL NO! I just kept running back to our kitchen and bringing more. Everytime I arrived with the next load of pies, Bri sent me back for more. What a thrill. I know that there were frustrated attendees who missed out on some great grub but I have no doubt that my fellow mobile food fellows will be joining me by preparing a hell of a lot more food for this Friday.
Yes, I was the one stuck talking to “Mr. Grumpy Pants” who actually said to me “Of course you knew that this many people would come.” Well, Mr. Pants, can I please hire you and your psychic abilities so that I never make too much or too little food again? It must be nice to be that omniscient and to automatically know what hundreds of us agonize over everyday as we prepare our yummies to take to the street. I pointed out that this was the first event of its kind and to me, I saw a lot of happy folks enjoying a beautiful evening with their neighbors. “Bah Humbug” was pretty much his response. Oh well…
Case in point: The next day I was preparing for the Chocolate and Chalk festival. I mentally went back to third grade math to work out the equation. If BOB had 600 people, 4 food trucks and I sold x pies, and the Chocolate fair predicted 5,000 people, and 2 food trucks, than I should prepare x number of pies right? Wrong, Wrong, Wrong. I sold less the next day than at BOB. Why? Who knows, and that is the part of the equation that cannot be predicted and why food truckers struggle constantly with this balancing act. Too little food and we disappoint, too much food and our food waste costs put us out of business faster than you can eat a Sassy Pie.
So again, I’m sorry that people went away hungry, and I’m sorry Mr. Pants , well, that I thought I could turn your frown upsidedown. I am super excited for this Friday and here is what we will have on the menu:
- Chicken Pot Pie with Bacon and Sage Cream
- Aloo Matar (potato pea curry, tastes like a samosa)
- Caramel Candy Apple
Shave Ice (Fluffy Sno-Cones with homemade syrups)
- Balsamic Blueberry Vanilla
- Strawberry Rhurbab
- Apricot Ginger
- Pina Colada
- Cinnamon Chocolate Raspberry
See you there!