Pro Tips For Booking Affordable Food Truck Catering


A booming industry for decades, food trucks are an over $2 billion business and growing. Yet despite their popularity, they’re an excellent choice for private and large-event catering because they don’t break the bank. Affordable food truck catering is within your reach and significantly less expensive than traditional catering. These mobile kitchens allow you to host an exciting party or event that’s fresh, fun, delicious, and unique. So, how do you get started? These tips will help guide your planning process. Once you know the tools of the trade and variables to consider, you’ll be well on your way to booking affordable food truck catering!

Learn the Cost of Renting a Food Truck

The most crucial factor in booking affordable food truck catering is how much it’ll cost, so let’s tackle that question first. But before you start making calls, you need to have an idea of these critical elements. Let’s take a closer look:

  • Per-person pricing structure: Whether food truck or traditional catering, prices are determined based on your guest list. On average, you can expect the base cost to be somewhere in the range of $20 – $25 per guest. While prices vary, there are online tools available that will help you determine what you might pay based on your event’s location. Nevertheless, when you compare it to traditional wedding catering— which costs $68 on average per guest, the choice is clear.
  • The location: Like restaurants in major cities (along with most everything else), food truck catering will be more expensive if your party is taking place in a major metropolitan area. But that doesn’t mean you should necessarily change your plans and move your event to a small city. In less populated locations, travel fees impact final costs. So, what’s the most advantageous option, then? Look at mid-sized cities and towns with food trucks in operation to find the lowest location cost sweet spot. 
  • The type of food: Serving hors d’oeuvres versus a three-course meal will allow for affordable food truck catering. Also, what kind of event are you planning? As mentioned previously, evening wedding receptions are costly when you consider their complex logistics and full-service dinners. Consider a food truck as a compliment to your party instead. Hire a food truck toward the end of your event for dessert (like Belgian waffles) or end-of-evening drinks (like a champagne toast)!

2. How Many Food Trucks Will You Need?

Perhaps you’re the type of party planner who is always prepared. While that’s a fantastic trait to have, you’re “Type A” personality might be unnecessarily costly. So, how does that factor into affordable food truck catering? First, it’s advantageous to know how many people one food truck can feed. The general rule of thumb is that one food truck can feed between 200 and 300 guests (or 60 to 100 guests per hour). It’s recommended to book more than one food truck if eating a meal is your event’s main attraction or if guests will be eating at once (like during a wedding reception). 

However, if you want affordable food truck catering, plan for other activities or don’t have a set time when everybody eats (reducing lines and wait times). Regardless of how many food trucks you book, discuss estimates with your vendor to determine how many guests they can serve. Likewise, continually update them with your guest list so they can factor attendees into their ordering, staffing, and preparation.

3. Choose Economical Cuisines 

Food trucks offer an astounding array of mouthwatering choices— from all-American classics like hamburgers to eclectic menus like Asian fusion. The list goes on and on. Naturally, food truck menus are streamlined and can be customized to suit your budget. But, if you want to save even more, it’s wise to consider foods that are easier and more economical to prep, cook, and serve. Items like tacos, pizza, and BBQ are inexpensive food truck fare. Conversely, foods like lobster or menus featuring organic options are likelier to be more expensive. Nevertheless, when it comes to affordable food truck catering, you should always look at your menu through the lens of dietary restrictions. When you’re planning your party, ask yourself these questions:

  • “Does my guest list include people who are vegetarian or vegan?”
  • “Do any of my guests have any allergies?”
  • “Will guests who keep kosher or have other religious dietary restrictions be attending my event?”

If you’re still unsure of how you can host a budget-friendly party, professional food truck catering companies can work with you to streamline your event’s menu and budget.

4. Work With Event Planning Professionals 

Many moving parts come with booking affordable food truck catering. Sure, you could go it alone and do it yourself. But how much do you know about food truck permits and licenses? What about municipal regulations? What’s most essential is your party’s success with guests, so why get bogged down in nitty-gritty details. Instead, research professional food truck catering companies with years of experience planning events and relationships with the best food trucks. But come prepared and have as much of your party’s logistics nailed down. This means the date and time, guest list, and location or venue.

With hundreds of cuisines available and over 24,000 vendors operating in the U.S., affordable food truck catering is easy to find and will allow you to sit back and relax. So, treat your guests to a unique experience and an incredible meal by planning a delicious event. Whether it’s a birthday party, employee lunch, cocktail hour, or you want to eat great food with loved ones; affordable food truck catering will make you the host with the most!

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