This is how I run my festival food stall: I want us to be the last people awake, putting the tunes on, putting the party in front of people when the main stages have stopped running, and serving great cheese toasties.
BY ARCHIE HERBERT
The big, bright lights of the stall draw people in and we try to create as much atmosphere as possible with whoever’s working the stall. We just have fun and people seem to like that.
There are always going to be people who are completely wasted. They’ve drunk too much or taken too many drugs. Sometimes they just linger by the stall, like the guy who was wearing a lot of hemp and spent over an hour telling us his life story.
The classic thing which happens a lot is that drunk people buy a toastie and then don’t even eat it. People just stand there and stare at it. It’s normally a lad on his own with his top off, even though it’s 5 AM.
If you start slurring at us, you’re going to be waiting for your toastie a lot longer
There was one guy who had a toastie for lunch and then came back in the evening for another, but just stood there looking lost. Someone went out and asked if he was alright. He just about managed to order.
There’s a more spiky side, though.
We make our toasties to order and sometimes people don’t appreciate that to make a good product, it takes about five minutes or a bit more if it’s busy. If someone hands me a toastie ten seconds after I’ve ordered it, I know it’s been sitting around for 15 minutes.
I personally wouldn’t be happy serving something shit.
But sometimes people can get rowdy when they’ve been waiting for five minutes and when you’re drunk, you think it’s been 20 minutes.
We try and chill them out but at the same time, we don’t take any shit. If you start slurring at us, you’re going to be waiting for your toastie a lot longer.
You’re at a festival enjoying it, we’re there working—don’t be rude.
The majority of the time, though, customers get into it. We were trading in the campsite of one festival and decided to stay open for 22 hours a day, opening shop at 8 AM and closing down at 6 AM.
Two of my employees ended up being completely naked with just a pinny on.
On the last night, the music had stopped and we decided to just continue the party. People just hung out by the stall or started dancing. Two of my employees (who weren’t working the stall at the time) ended up being completely naked with just a pinny on. Even though it wasn’t the most profitable evening, it was a lot of fun.
We try to entertain people while they’re waiting for their food, so one thing we started doing this summer is putting on suggestive music when someone has the ticket number 69. Although at some festivals, we started going to more extremes. We started running outside, taking our tops off, and dancing around the person who had the ticket.
One place where that didn’t work so well was at this Christian festival. We didn’t go out and take our tops off, but I did make a few jokes. You’d get a sly smile off an old lady but other than that, it was a look of disbelief. It didn’t go down so well.
But it was worth a try. – Munchies