October 6, 2023

Austin Chronicle - ACL Fest Food

Vendors are now limited to a single, 10-foot wide booth – a tight squeeze – but fourth-generation pitmaster Barrett Black (of the equally alliterative Black’s Barbecue) says that space constraints have in fact improved the efficiency of his restaurant. “We actually served more food last year, because it just really focused us to be more streamlined, more efficient, and to think of every single inch, every movement possible.”

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Austin Chronicle - ACL Fest Food

Entering his third year with ACL, Black says that the Black’s Barbecue team works up to its efficiency through rehearsal, setting up a mock booth in one of its stores. The goal? To serve customers in under 30 seconds.

“People are there at the ACL Music Festival, not food festival. They want great food, and we're there to serve great food,” says Black. “But they want to ... get back to the show as quickly as they can. So that's our biggest goal – to get people their food as fast as we can so they don't have to stand in line.”

With over 400,000 attendees expected across two weekends, other vendors agree that operating at such a pace becomes a necessity