It's a Wrap food truck owner Guli Essa talked to Eater about her experience as a vendor with the Houston Food Crawl's event, Food Truck Friday, and it wasn't exactly glowing.
First venting on Twitter (along with H-Town Streats), Essa tweeted that the Houston Food Crawl was "unprofessional" and "not for the benefit of food trucks."
So why did Essa feel the need to speak out?
"After I started getting responses from other people [from the tweet] like other truck owners and other people involved, they were thanking me saying 'I'm so glad you said something because I've been wanting to do something, but scared I'd be the only one.'"
Essa feels the event was poorly run, disorganized, unprofessional and had issues with Food Truck Friday organizer, Hillary Hayden's lack of communication.
She also had concerns about the contract participants were required to sign, where breaches like running out of food or backing out of the event could result in a $500 fee.
One of Essa's biggest issues was not knowing if Hayden was following City of Houston food truck regulations properly or if she had obtained the proper permitting, and told Eater, "if the city would have come on Friday night to do a random check, and if they found a violation, she wouldn't get in trouble, the truck would."
Her last big beef? Being sold on the event with the promising number of attendees (300) and having less than half of that show up. It matters because the trucks are paid a flat fee per ticket sold and many prepared enough food for 300, losing money on the event. Apparently there's no penalty in the contract for the Food Truck Friday organizers if they fail on that end.
In the end, Essa was obviously disappointed, "because this could have been a great concept," and she wasn't alone. H-Town Streats, a fellow participant in last Friday's event, vented their frustrations by naming a dish (made from some of the leftover food from the event) "Shady Hillary sliders."
Hillary Hayden has not responded to Eater's request for an interview at this time. If she does, we'll be sure to post an update with her response.
· Food Trucks Tweet About Food Truck Friday [EHTX]
· @HtownFoodCrawl [Twitter]
· All Food Truck Coverage on Eater Houston [EHTX]