Any music festival-goer knows that in the midst of planning out the weekend, you have to set aside at least an hour to actually eat something. The typical weekend music festival runs from noon to midnight, so a meal break is a must.
Postmates is trying to make that dining experience a little easier with its in-festival pick-up service.
The food lines at music festivals can get pretty insane, with tens of thousands of people attending, and each has to eat at some point. Even with the typical 20-plus food booths, long lines are inevitable.
At this year's Camp Flog Gnaw Festival at Dodger Stadium, Postmates teamed with a handful of the participating food booths and added the option to order online.
That potentially means significantly reducing the inconvenience of having to wait in line only to miss a musical act.
Postmates ran this same service at the Panorama Music Festival in New York and said they plan to keep incorporating it at future festivals.
I took them up on the new app feature and actually spent the whole Flog Gnaw festival weekend skipping the lines — not missing a single musical performance.
There is a downside however, which I will highlight later on, but here is the breakdown of how it worked:
If you did have the Postmates app during Camp Flog Gnaw, the first thing you saw upon opening it was an alert for the new "Pick-up" option.
The app did a good job of displaying the booths that were within the festival and showed the available menu items for those restaurants.
For Camp Flog Gnaw, there were quite a few L.A.-based restaurants that teamed up with the ordering app, such as Kogi BBQ, Trejo's Tacos, Hawkins House of Burgers, and Fat Dragon.
I went with Kogi first to test it out.
Perusing the menu, I ordered a short rib burrito, and it even let me customize it without green onions. Because f*ck onions in burritos.
I got a notification that my order would be ready in 15 minutes, and at that point, I was in the system.
In less than 15 minutes, I received another notification that my order was ready, so I walked toward the food area and looked for the Kogi booth.
THE LINE WAS INSANE. I'm talking about 50 yards in length, at least.
I asked a fellow near the front how long he'd been in line, and he said about 35 minutes. Of course, anyone who's ever been to Kogi BBQ is no stranger to the long lines, but it's not exactly optimal for festivals.
I walked past everyone in line, towards a sign that read "Postmates pick-up" and told them my order number. I was handed my burrito, and was on my merry way.
That was it. I skipped the infamous Kogi hype line and was able to get ready to watch Raphael Saadiq's set.
While the Postmates feature is cool, anyone who has been to a music festival knows how tough it can be to get internet reception around thousands of people who are all trying to use their phones.
Full disclosure, the only reason I had a seamless experience with the feature was because there was WiFi in the media tent. I didn't have the same fortune away from the tent. There were others who were lucky enough to find cell service and use the feature.
The Middle Ground
Postmates pick-up probably can't work if everyone has the same access to WiFi, and can all order. If everyone in attendance were ordering through Postmates, you'd end up with the same wait time issues.
It'll be interesting how this will be incorporated in the future, but if I can put in an order while watching Post Malone, then run over to pick it up after the set, one of the biggest inconveniences at music festivals would be solved.