2022 Bismarck Food Truck Festival

701 Food Trucks returns for its seventh year.


Kaden Boyer, Writer

The Bismarck Food Truck Festival was hosted once again this past September. Food trucks from across the midwest collaborated outside of Municipal Ballpark to share their plates to residents. 

701 Food Trucks hosts the event in Bismarck and more locations throughout the state. They are the producers of the first food truck festivals in the states of North Dakota and Montana. The biggest customer-based advantage of these events is allowing food trucks to interact with the local community. Josh Schock and his wife Robyn Schock own ‘58 Street Grill, a mobile food truck that sells a variety of cultural dishes located out of Ashley, North Dakota. 

“Our involvement with 701 Food Trucks has always been great,” Josh Schock said. “We are treated very well, given a ton of exposure, and able to attend different events throughout the state.”

Ralphael Braziel is the owner of Ralph’s Rib Crib, a Minneapolis-based BBQ food trailer that specializes in smoked meats and southern cuisine. He and his company participated in this year’s festival. He believes that local involvement is needed toward fueling a business. 

“It’s very important to me to be involved in community engagements. Without the community we wouldn’t be able to stay open. It helps get the name and brand out there also, as well as it provides more opportunities,” Braziel said. “You never know who you’ll bump into.”

Food trucks are fundamentally different from the standard restaurant model as it keeps the business on the move, and is only operational for a certain amount of time. An aspect which many caterers of the festival can relate to. 

“That advantage is that a food truck is not stationary. We can travel easily and go to the money versus waiting for the money to come to you,” Braziel said. “Also, having a trailer has an advantage over an actual truck because if that truck breaks down they’re out of commission. However, if my truck breaks down that I pull the trailer with, I can easily go rent a U-Haul to pull the trailer and still be able to work and be operational.”

Moving from location to location means interacting with many different communities. The mobile-flexibility is fundamentally a huge part of most food truck’s business strategies. 

“I think we have a big advantage over a brick and mortar mainly because we are able to go where the people are,” said Josh Schock. “We are able to prep, cook, serve, and clean up all in the same vehicle. We are able to attend almost any kind of event no matter what the size is.  Our overhead is also less due to our size. Less insurance, electricity, and hired help.”

Local involvement goes both ways, as in feeding the community and helping giving back to the people. 

“Public relationships are important to the establishment,” Braziel said. “I do two community food giveaways each year at home, one in north Minneapolis and one in south Minneapolis.”

These relationships help build the brand for many restaurants. It’s another aspect that is unique to food trucks in contrast to larger scale restaurants. 

“Personal involvement is very important mainly because of the exposure to the public that we receive. You have to be ambitious and motivated for the people,” Josh Schock said. “We are here to do our best, serve our best food and communicate with everyone that passes whether they buy something or not.”

The festival this year is a great way for many businesses to connect themselves to new people since the premise of the festival is built around them. Public exposure is important to food trucks. 

“Word of mouth is still our best advertising and being involved in different events throughout the year boosts our business greatly,” Josh Schock said. “Many people will come up and say they saw us at another event or a friend ate here last week and said it was awesome. We have to be seen in order to be profitable.”