Food truck catering for weddings, company picnics, and special events is a rapidly growing trend and for good reason! First of all, you can save a lot of money by using a food truck instead of going with a traditional caterer. Catering food trucks also add a uniqueness that standard catering just can’t. Plus, food trucks and their chefs generally specialize in particular types of food that they are very passionate about, and as a result, produce dishes that are out of this world! Luckily, food trucks can reach locations that regular kitchens cannot. Not just a hip choice, clearly using a food truck to cater your next event has many advantages. Dating someone are memorable especially if you spend together on a night meals.
Food truck catering also adds a uniqueness that standard catering just can’t. Plus, food trucks and their chefs generally specialize in particular types of food that they are very passionate about, and as a result, produce dishes that are out of this world! Luckily, food trucks can reach locations that regular kitchens cannot. Not just a hip choice, clearly using a food truck to cater your next event has many advantages.
To throw a successful event that your guests will love and remember careful planning is key. Food truck catered events, as well as corporate event catering and weddings are no exception. Read on for tips that will help ensure your food truck catered event is a smashing success.
1. Set a budget
The first thing you need to figure out is how much you want to spend. One of the biggest advantages to having a food truck catered event is that the savings are huge! Food catering services for trucks typically charge $10 to $20 per person, compare that to the standard $60-$70 per person traditional caterers charge. How much a food truck charges generally depends on upon how popular that truck is. The higher the demand, the higher the price. You can pocket your savings or use that cash to create special add-ons for your event. Perhaps you want to set up a buffet table with special sides to accompany your food truck or have a bar cart come as well. Many wineries and breweries now have mobile carts available. You can also use the extra dough to buy some additional decorations or to create custom wedding favors to compliment your party’s theme.
2. Figure out how much food you need
Your guests will come in all shapes and sizes and how much they eat and drink will vary too. The cuisine food trucks serve is fresh, made on the spot and will be gobbled up eagerly by your guests. Make sure you have enough food on hand so they can go up for seconds or thirds! During a time of celebration, people tend to let loose, and drinking and eating more than usual is just part of having a good time. Be ready for it! The average food truck can feed about 75 guests so if you are expecting that number you might consider hiring two trucks, which can also add variety.
3. Carefully select your food truck
Food trucks add excitement to any event and will help set the mood. Your choice of a truck will have a huge impact on your event. They come in a variety of styles and colors, some crazy and wild and others more upscale and subdued. If you’re looking for a fun, loud, raucous event, pick a truck that is brightly colored and perhaps even plays music. If you’re hosting a sophisticated garden party a cute little dessert truck with a simple striped awning would work great. Choose a truck that compliments the theme or ambiance you are trying to create. Decorate around the truck and integrate it into your event. There are a huge variety of food trucks out there. Be careful to do your research so you know exactly what your truck looks like and what it has to offer ahead of time. Your food truck will definitely add to your desired ambiance and make it a party your guests will remember.
4. Create a custom menu
Once you’ve selected your truck or narrowed your list down to a couple, it’s time to think about your menu. By using a food truck to cater your event or wedding you have an awesome opportunity to share with your guests the foods that you love most or serve and celebrate local cuisine. Food trucks usually have awesome food. They typically specialize in certain foods and relish creating the best in class. Food truck chefs are often happy to prepare your specially requested items. If there’s something in particular you want, talk to the food truck’s chef or owner about it. One of the big bonuses to hiring a food truck to cater your event is that it gives you the ability to really get creative and put your own personal touch on the menu, so take advantage of it!
Select foods that compliment your event’s theme. If you’re going for corporate catering for a formal event there are plenty of trucks that serve high-end dishes, made even better with fresh or locally sourced ingredients. Yum! Loads of food trucks serve up casual fare too. Often chefs put their own personal spin on more standard selections, making even common foods outrageously good.
To keep things moving you should limit what’s offered to a few specialty items just for the occasion. Guests will be thrilled to have a few items to choose from since most sit down catered meals only offer one or two options. Plus, having to produce a long list of different things can greatly slow down the pace at which the food comes out, and the last thing you want is to have your guests starving and grouchy!
Another thing to consider is whether your guests will be standing or seated while eating. If standing, (assume they will be holding a glass in one hand), easy to handle items that don’t require cutlery will work best.
One fun idea is to create special names for your menu choices that your guests will recognize or relate to, like “the blushing bridesmaid”, for instance. Don’t forget with all the money you’re saving you might even be able to afford to have two food trucks. Then you can offer your guests an even greater variety of options and perhaps introduce them to some new palette pleasing fare.
Planning an event requires careful attention to the details, read on to find out what details you should be aware of when food truck catering an event or wedding.
5. Attend to the details
Most municipalities have restrictions in place that determine where a food truck can be parked, at what time and for how long. They vary by the city so you will need to check with city hall and with your selected venue before the event. You may be required to get a special permit or insurance. Talk to the food truck owner. They are often experienced and know which locations require special permitting, etc.
One awesome aspect of having a food truck catering at an event is that it gives you freedom to host your party in locations that many traditional kitchens can’t reach. Want to get married at the park where you first met? Well, with a food truck that’s possible! You just want to make sure your food truck can get to the event. They often carry a heavy load of equipment and supplies, so steep hills can prove challenging for some trucks.
If you’re having your event inside check with the venue to make sure there is ample parking for the food truck and space for your guests to line up. Also, if the truck needs electric hookups you’ll want to make sure those are available.
6. Decide the best spot for your food truck
There are several things to take into consideration when figuring out where to set up your food truck. First, you want it where it’s easily accessible to your guests. Nobody wants to trudge a quarter mile in high heels to grab a bite. So keep it close to the main action, without making it the focal point. Setting your food truck off to the side but close enough that everyone can easily get to it is smart. Also, you may want to put the bar right next to it. That way guests can get everything they need all at once, and those waiting in line can enjoy a cocktail. Make sure the location of the food truck and those in the queue do not interfere with the main event. Keep it out of the way of the dance floor, DJ or band, and preferably not right next to bathrooms!
Another thing to think about is where the food truck should be for photography purposes. You will want pictures of it and with your guests gathered around it, but most likely you won’t want it in every picture. Your food truck can be a great spot to stage some shots and get some cool pictures to remember the event by. You may want to mention to the food truck owner that you would like the truck to arrive freshly washed!
7. Design your eating area
Think of your food truck as a super cool twist on the traditional buffet. Here you have a couple of options for seating. First, you can set up tables and chairs and let guests seat themselves wherever they want. This works well and lets guests flow and mingle as they like, while also having a comfortable place to sit and eat. Especially important if you’re expecting guests on the older side. A second option is to supply some high top or cocktail tables and stools, stocked with forks and napkins so guests can sit or stand to mingle and eat. Or, just supply napkins and cutlery in a central location to encourage guests to stand and eat. How you design your eating area is up to you and depends on the style of party you’re having and the type of food you will be serving.
8. Find out exactly what your food truck provides
Food trucks, and what they provide for events differs as much as the food they serve. So talk to your food truck owner and find out exactly what they will bring. Part of the beauty of using a food truck is that there are no plates to wash at the end. Paper plates are the norm and some food trucks will even provide them and cutlery so you don’t have to worry about it. If you don’t want to use standard white paper plates, or if you are having multiple trucks and want everything to match find ones you like and use them instead.
Some trucks even come with music. If it’s music you like that could save you the additional expense a band or dj would entail. If, however, you have your own music set up, let the food truck know so you don’t end up with different music sources competing for attention.
9. Letting your guests know
Having a food truck at your event is truly a novelty item and you may want to mention it on your event’s invitation. Older guests may not quite get it, since it balks tradition, but mentioning it ahead of time will help get them in the spirit to enjoy a more casual set up. At the event, you might consider having someone announce the food truck when it’s time to eat, and what it’s serving, so you’re not stuck herding guests. Funky creative signage can also get the word out. Most of your guests will be thrilled by your choice and love having fresh food that was cooked on the spot.
10. It’s all about the timing
Having a food truck adds another social aspect to your event because guests need to line up to order and get their food. However, you don’t want a traffic jam, so you need to carefully plan the timing. Set a schedule for when the food should be served and consumed and review it with your food truck owner or chef so everything is ready to go and everyone knows what’s expected. For traditional catering you may click here.