When it comes down to it, it’s all a matter of supply and demand. In many ways SXSW is the land of plenty. Plenty of diversions. Plenty of parties. And plenty of drink. But when it comes to food, the opportunities were few and far between.
That is why Squarespace‘s marketing approach for SXSW was so brilliant. Opting not to throw a huge bash, Squarespace enlisted the expertise of VendrTV street food critic and “king of carts” Daniel Delaney to curate a four-day food extravaganza in which he selected the best of Austin’s street vendors to feed the SXSW masses out of a custom branded Squarespace Food Truck, capitalizing on the urban food truck mania and the corresponding food criticism craze.
SXSW attendees lined up on the corner of 5th and Neches right across from the Hilton and the Convention Center, placing the truck at the epicenter of SXSW activity. The menu changed daily with Delaney working around the clock to prep, open, dismantle, and clean out the food truck every day of SXSWi. Here’s the lineup, with Delaney’s mouth-watering descriptions:
- Fri: Man Bites Dog “Artisanal hot dogs served on a signature sweet and decadent Kolache roll”
- Sat: Gourdough’s Donuts “Big, fat doughnuts hand fried to order, then covered with either brisket, bacon and maple syrup, or crumbled brownies”
- Sun: Franklin BBQ “Voted by Savor the 3rd Best BBQ in America, serving brisket sandwiches and pulled pork sandwiches”
- Mon: East Side King “James Beard Award Winning chefs that put out an interesting take on modern Japanese cuisine, offering fried chicken and pork belly sliders”
Much of the Squarespace Food Truck’s success is owed to the Delaney’s passion and enthusiasm. “The Food truck is fantastic. Food is one of these great things, it’s a tell all, it’s very honest—and when food is awesome, people know it and they come for it,” Delaney told Tubefilter. “We worked long and hard on the truck to put together a kick-ass list of the best vendors in Austin. They are all my personal picks, which we’ve covered on VendrTV.”
Each vendor included an item from a “secret menu” each day. Delaney estimated 12,000 meals were served over the course of SXSWi, with a daily average of about ten times as much business as each vendor would sell on a good day.
I cannot conclude this post without giving a well-deserved shout-out to The Fast Company Grill presented by Lincoln and Zazzle. For the entire duration of SXSWi, Fast Company transformed the outdoor patio of The Moonshine Grill into a relaxing retreat from the SXSW bustle replete with bloody marys and a three course menu with table side service, free of charge. Bravo!