Hello Kitty Cafe Food Truck West
Hello 7’s, how many of you had Hello Kitty and friends items when you were really 7? I remember in the 70’s and 80’s all of my friends and my sisters friends did. I can tell you in the late 90’s early 2000’s my daughter was in love with Spottie Dottie. I know in the 2010’s my granddaughter is a fan.
What that tells you is people have loved Sanrio’s Hello Kitty and Friends since they were introduced in 1974. Since then, Sanrio has produced over 400 characters. While some characters might not be currently available, Sanrio states with high enough demand, any character could return to the line up.
Sanrio has one of the biggest, longest running, best, marketing campaigns aimed at children.
7’s, I have always promised to be honest with you, and this is where my Hello Kitty Cafe Food Truck West post is about to get real. I am going to let you know my true experience, thoughts, and how I feel it could have been improved. I am going to talk about both parties Sanrio and Fresno Fashion Fair Mall which is owned by the Macerich Group.
There was a very limited number of items available. 6 to be exact. As you can see the items and prices above.
I want to mention that 3 cookies for $12.00 means you are paying $4.00 a cookie. The Petite Fours that people were leaving with were in an extremely small box. The box contained 4 bite sized pieces of cake for$15.00. If you break down the cost, the single bite size pieces of cake were selling for $3.75 each.
For a lot of families, these prices were out of their reach.
I do understand that they are baked daily for the truck. I also understand the concept of supply and demand.
Keeping Supply and Demand in mind, I want to discuss the non-food items. There were t-shirts, coffee mugs, and water bottles. The only way to obtain a small tote bag was to spend $25.00 on FOOD items. Non-food items did not count towards the tote bags.
One of the biggest errors was not having enough help nor enough supplies. The truck only has 2 or 3 windows to take orders. People buying non-food items could not just go to the tent where the shirts and mugs were. You HAD to go to the truck first.
As big as Sanrio and Hello Kitty are, they lacked the ability to meet the demand. The tent had a pallet of boxes marked Hello Kitty Event. This tells me that they advance shipped non-food items. You might want to argue that they couldn’t anticipate the turnout, but the Hello Kitty Food Trucks have been making stops since 2014. They know what type of crowds it draws after 3 years. Further, if they were shipping non-food items in advance, they had some where in the mall that they were being stored. That being said, they know that they ALWAYS sell out before the end time of the event. On this day, it was 90 minutes before the end of the event. People were stating on facebook for several hours that the truck was down to 1 or 2 selections. Simply put they need to advance ship more product to meet the demand.
The Fresno Fashion Fair Mall no longer has a Sanrio store. Wouldn’t it make more sense to make appearances where your products are sold?
On Fashion Fair Mall’s end, I think it would have been logical to advise your stores to do a few things:
- prepare for a ton of children
- have children’s events planned (Disney was doing story time and making Beauty and the Beast Oragami Tea Cups and Build a Bear was doing story time)
- have children’s toys on sale (Disney, Build a Bear, and BoxLunch did) A lot of families ended up inside the mall after giving up on the truck
- Have a sidewalk sale promoting pink items and anything Hello Kitty. A lot of the stores had outdoors openings that the line had to go past
- Fully stock the Dipping Dots (it was a generic similar brand) machine (the flavor my grand daughter wanted was out by 11 AM) The same goes for the soda machines
- For that matter, have outside food and drink vendors. Those who started in line with us and waited it out, were in line for over 5 hours!
- Entertain the kids! The rock play area only lasts for so long. Thank goodness this mall had an outdoor play area! But, if you did not have two adults in your party your kids couldn’t go burn off their energy. In our case my grand daughter’s adoptive mom and I took turns standing in line holding our place while the other one supervised my granddaughter.
You can see on the face of the little boy in the above picture, this wasn’t a fun day.
Why was there no Hello Kitty Character in Costume?
How much money could have been made by offering face painting to entertain the kids?
How may parents would have paid for balloon animal type Hello Kitty things to entertain their kids a little longer?
We didn’t last in line for 5 hours. Yesterday’s High was 74 which doesn’t sound that bad until you factor in the humidity. As the day progressed, the humidity climbed to 81% by the time the food truck was scheduled to leave.
An hour and a half in, we negotiated our exit. By that time we had all needed potty breaks, drinks, and my grand daughter had eaten Cotton Candy ice cream from Baskin Robbins inside the mall. (She taste tested the wild and reckless sherbert and gave it a thumbs down.)
We decided to go into the mall and get a prize. The first store we stopped at was Disney. The Disney store staff made sure that you were aware of the location of clearance items, when story time was, and what craft they were going to be making. Well Done Disney!
Next we went into Build A Bear. I am not sure if the sale was planned our simply an opportunity they took advantage of. Regardless, many of the dolls were 2 for $35 while the newer ones and Easter ones were $29.00 each. There will be a Build A Bear post in a few days.
We went into Box Lunch and her mom bought her 2 boxes of Laser Pegs. They were on sale buy one get one for $1. While the store had some Hello Kitty items in it, they didn’t take advantage of the event. The items would have pulled a lot more people into the store if they were temporarily displayed in the front windows where people passing by would see them.
My grand daughter rode the train at the mall.
When we were leaving we decided to see where the people around us were located in line. We later found out that was approximately the 3 hour point in the line.
We visited with my granddaughter’s family in Fresno and Chowchilla on the way home.
So the day wasn’t a total bust. We went on an adventure. We visited with family. we ate good food at Sweet Tomatoes in Fresno. My granddaughter got some toys. Simply put, we made the best of our day.
Would I do it again? NOPE.
If you are brave enough to give it a try:
On the West coast over the next few weeks they will be in Roseville, San Jose, Pleasanton, and San Francisco.
On the East coast the next few weeks include: Charlotte NC, Richmond VA, Berthseda MD, and Arlingtion VA.
I am thinking the next time I am in Southern California I might try to hit up the actual Hello Kitty Cafe rather then the food truck.