Food truck fans are expected to flock once again toward the HUB Plaza, Bell Tower and Rivera walkway on April 15, as the UCR Housing, Dining and Residential Services in collaboration with ASUCR will host the Fourth Annual Food Truck Festival. Students and the Riverside community will be able to taste various culinary creations from 23 popular and unique food trucks. Options will range from Japanese-style hot dogs from Tokyo Doggy Style to butter-drenched lobster rolls from Cousins Maine Lobster. Trucks will be available from 11-2:30 p.m.
Although it will have a slightly smaller truck crowd compared to last year, dropping from about 30 to 23 food trucks, Director of Retail Dining, Conferences, Events and Catering Services Duane Gornicki emphasized that Dining Services will “per ASUCR direction do our best not to duplicate trucks with similar cuisines” to give students variety and a unique, enjoyable food truck experience.
Student input was taken into account during the planning of the festival. “We take student input into what types of trucks they want to see through … surveys, our Facebook page, etc,” stated Ravin Rathod, ASUCR marketing and promotions director.
Rathod also expressed that students brought the idea of a food truck festival to ASUCR and worked with them and Dining Services Executive Director Cheryl Garner to start the annual festival three years ago.
Usually, Dining Services reaches out to trucks they have worked with before and that have passed UCR regulations. “Many of the same trucks will be returning as they enjoyed the festival (from previous years) and are happy to attend again,” stated Gornicki.
Rathod pointed out that “some trucks actually reach out to us because they’ve heard about this festival and want to participate in upcoming festivals.”
The event is held during Wednesday Nooners to give more students a chance to participate in campus activities. Its placement may change in future festivals, though, as Rathod expressed that ASUCR “does not want to limit the abilities of clubs to table and sell food as well as their use of campus resources on Wednesdays,” which has become an issue with some students.
Rathod voiced no concern if this change occurs in that “marketing has gotten easy because the festival has become a self-sustaining event. People know about it and come out regardless.”
“I can easily see this becoming a quarterly event because we’ve had such good reception from the student body,” added Rathod.
Maps will be supplied at the ASUCR tent. Volunteers will also be available at every truck to answer questions.
Confirmed trucks include:
Baby’s Badass Burgers
California Grill Truck
Cousins Maine Lobster
Chef TLC’s Sidewalk Cafe
Grilled Cheese Truck
Let’s Roll It
Mangia Ristorante on Wheels
Moo Moo Truck
Rice Balls of Fire
Rolling Sushi Van
Slanging Corea Food Truck
SoCal New Orleans Style SnoBalls
Street Kitchen LA
Tokyo Doggie Style