Bonn It will be a different kind of Streetfood Festival this weekend in the parking lot of the Telekom Dome. Streetfood fans are invited to come by car or bicycle to order a burger, sandwich, pizza or other tasty snack.
We’ve already seen drive-in movies and concerts during the pandemic, now the Streetfood Festival will also take on the form of a drive-in this weekend in Bonn. Visitors won’t be walking from vendor to vendor, instead they will stop by with their car or bike to order their food. In recent months, the Streetfood Festival organizers had an opportunity to test out their event in the town of Niederkassel. What’s different about this type of food fest is that the food cannot be eaten on the grounds of the festival.
A total of nine food trucks will be heading for the parking lot of the Telekom Dome this weekend. They will be there Saturday, December 12 from noon to 9 p.m. and Sunday, December 13 from noon to 8 p.m. "The parking lot area is really worth its weight in gold because of the (large) capacity," says co-organizer Ramon Wiener, who is actually an IT project manager, and like his festival co-workers "just enjoys eating." He says past events, which were born out of a beer buzz, have shown that you need large enough waiting areas, especially during peak times around lunchtime and in the early evening. "You can't avoid queues, but you can't make them too long either. And it's just as bad if someone runs out of food." But he said the vendors are well-prepared: Based on previous events, they have been able to figure out how many supplies are needed. "Even if a food truck sells out on Saturday, it can reopen on Sunday," Wiener says. He said they also have learned that food selections like burgers are in greatest demand.
Unlike many other food festivals, there is no entrance fee here. Signs on the “Basketsring” road at the Dome lead people to the event. Vehicles are directed to the waiting area, where customers can get a beverage menu, a food menu and an explanation. "That's where everyone picks out what they want," Wiener explains. Burgers, sandwiches with kettle-cooked ribs and pizzas with fancy organic ingredients are freshly prepared for those who place an order. But people don't actually make their order until they've pulled up to the food truck. "This is to prevent people from ordering too early and then having second thoughts." Based on experience with their first food festival, they determined this was the best way to avoid chaos and long waits. The Streetfood Festival route is set up in a circle - those who want, can do an extra loop after the first order. But consumption of the take-out food is prohibited on the festival grounds, on orders from the city of Bonn. "You can take the food home or outside of the Telekom Dome. In Niederkassel there was a large sports field, many ate on the hoods of their car there."
Bonn resident Max Oldenettel took special care in organizing the event in Bonn. He works in the event and entertainment industry, and sees the drive-in as a chance to go out during the lockdown. He has already visited many food festivals and advises people to give it a try. In order to try as many foods as possible, he usually goes with several friends. "Of course, that's difficult now, but it definitely works with two."
The city of Bonn is even allowing people to ride bicycles to the event. "That was important to us because many people from the city don't even have a car. And it's also better for the environment, of course." He said it was undecided as to whether this event would be repeated here in Bonn. "If restaurants are allowed to reopen, such an event will of course be more difficult," says Oldenettel. "And we're all happy when we can sit together with lots of friends again. But a food festival like this can take place without cars as well."
Orig. text: Nicolas Ottersbach