As word spread about the cancellation of the State Fair of Texas, vendors started to execute back-up plans, knowing the financial hit would be devastating.
Amber Fletcher with Fletcher Corny Dogs said her family is in “a little bit of grieving."
“We sell about 500 to 600,000 corny dogs in 24 days. And each corny dog is about six dollars. So you can say the gross sales is typically close to 3.8 to 4 million dollars,” Fletcher said. “We would have to do an event every single day for a year and a half to make what we made at the state fair.”
Brent Reaves from Smoky Johns BBQ said it will be a major hit for them too.
“The fair for us is over 30% of our revenue for the year. So, it’s a big blow for us,” Reaves said. “However, you do have to take into consideration just the safety and health and well-being of the fair goers.”
Both companies agree with the fair’s decision to cancel.
“I think it’s 100% the right move,” Smoky Johns Co-Owner Juan Reaves said. “As much as we would like to be out there. As much as it is important to take care of our families and employees and provide opportunities to work, it’s equally important to keep everyone safe.”
“To miss out on that is devastating, but again, our priority has always been our customers health and happiness. And if that is postponing it or canceling, then we stand behind the fair’s decision,” Fletcher said.
Both businesses are working to find ways to reach their customers.
“We always have some tricks up our sleeves, so we’re going to figure out that we can still take care of our customer,” Reaves said. “We might have a few surprises, some fair style surprises.”
He plans to keep customers updated through the BBQ’s social media pages.
As for Fletchers, they will rely heavily on their two new food trucks.
“Fletcher’s has two food trailers, and we would love to pop up in your neighborhood, corporate, wedding, public event,” Fletcher said.
And some potential good news.
“We have been talking with other state fair vendors about doing some type of fair food drive through, so hopefully something like that will be in the works,” Fletcher said.
They are still in the planning stages for the drive-thru and next year’s state fair, hoping for a return.
“We just want what’s best for the community, and so we’re just going to be preparing for 2021 I guess,” Fletcher added.
“It just feels like the responsible thing to do,” Reaves said.