The Varsity Food Truck’s workers’ nights start at 8 p.m., said Klinton Cranston, the food truck’s manager. The food is made in the main building then brought out so everything is fresh before the customers start to show up.
Once the truck opens, the activity is relatively slow and steady for the early half of the night, Cranston said.
“We typically get a lot more families and parents coming through a lot earlier in the night,” Cranston said.
Once the bars in Aggieville start to close, business gets busy, and the line usually stretches out to Starbucks, said Ramiro Lopez, a Varsity Food Truck employee. Even with the long line and cold weather, people will wait to get their hands on some food.
Cranston said that on a typical Saturday night, they will sell around 1,000 sandwiches and 300 corn dogs.
Since such a large number of customers arrive once the bars start closing, the truck does not always close at the time listed on their sign.
“Typically we shut down whenever the crowd leaves,” Cranston said. “That could be anywhere from 2:30-3 a.m., but it can go as far as 3:30 a.m. depending on the night.”
Even when the truck closes at 2:30 a.m. the employees are still there shutting everything down and cleaning up until 4 a.m.
“I usually go to bed around 5 a.m., and then I have class at 10 a.m.,” Lopez said. “My Fridays are pretty rough.”
Although, for some employees like Cranston, the hours are their favorite part.
“I’m a hardcore night owl, so the hours are my favorite part of the job,” Cranston said.
Cranston has been working at the truck on and off for the past three years. He said all of his friends worked there for a long time before he decided to apply.
“It’s a lot easier to work with friends than it is to make friends with the people you work with,” Cranston said.
It’s not easy to get hired at the truck, though. Cranston said people usually end up working at the truck through friends who are already employees.
“We’ll get around 40 to 50 applications a month, and only one or two of those people end up getting hired,” Cranston said.
Lopez said his co-workers are his favorite part of the job, too.
“Everybody that comes here likes to work here,” Lopez said. “They’re all pretty much team players. That’s something I’ve never experienced in other jobs before.”
The interactions with the Manhattan community, especially the students in the lively, night environment of the truck, are not only a perk for the employees, but also the customers, Zak Boxler, junior in finance, said while waiting in line for the food truck.
“The atmosphere is great because of the friendly staff and the people you meet standing in line,” Boxler said.
Between the community interactions, friendly co-workers and odd hours, there are unique experiences both employees said they enjoyed about the job.
“It’s long hours, but it’s fast-paced and really fun (working at the truck),” Lopez said.