Catering Food Trucks for Parties: Ideas and Tips
With a food truck available for any kind of cuisine the human mind can conceive, it’s no wonder that more and more people are using catering food trucks for parties. The convenience factor alone pays for itself–you don’t have to set aside space for a kitchen or cooks. Everything comes straight to you. Not to mention the popularity and wow factor of hiring a food truck.
In this article, we’ll share some of the ways that food trucks can be used for events, as well as the best way to organize an event around them. Make your next gala a success with the help of a food truck or two!
What Kinds of Occasions Can a Food Truck Serve?
The short answer here is…really anything. Now, realize that you’ll want to have a pretty big crowd for your event. It wouldn’t do to have an amazing BBQ truck for a party of ten people (although if you have a ton of disposable income that you want to spend, don’t let us tell you how to live your life). For a food truck to turn a good profit, they require about 40 to 60 customers per hour.
Here are some common events that hire a food truck:
- Graduation parties
- Block parties
- Town events
- Concerts or music festivals
- Wedding or baby showers
Honestly, anything that brings a large group of people together is an appropriate event for food truck catering.
A food truck may also be able to offer a pre-set menu to cater to your needs. If you’re doing an outdoor festival that has other food trucks, you may have them offer limited menus so that people are encouraged to pick and choose among them. (For example, one truck offering a variety of appetizers, another covering desserts).
Tips for Organizing a Food Truck Event
Okay, let’s say you’re sold on using food trucks for your next occasion, but are wondering “how do you organize a food truck event?” It’s not as difficult as you might think, as long as you follow a few simple tips.
Make Your Booking Early
Food trucks can be extremely popular, and many are booked months in advance. To be sure of securing your desired food truck, give them a call and ask how early you need to book, as well as how far in advance you are permitted to book them.
Communicate with the Owner(s)
Give the food truck owner a good idea of what your event is all about. Find out how they serve:
- Are they creating fresh food on site, or heating previously created meals?
- Will they be offering a full or partial menu for the event?
- How long does it take them to get food out to the customer?
- What forms of payment do they accept? (make sure that you communicate this to your event-goers, as well)
- Do they accept orders ahead and allow for pickup?
Spend a little time to make sure that you’re on the same page about crowds, service speed, and availability.
Know Your Audience
Whether you’re using food trucks to cater a neighborhood block party or a corporate event, have an idea of what people want. Is the timing such that a brunch or breakfast truck may be more appropriate?
If you have a big mixed crowd, it may also be a good idea to book two or more different food trucks to offer a variety. For example, a truck for Mexican food, a truck for dumplings, and a truck for desserts.
Using food trucks for birthday parties may allow for a better chance at consensus. A wood-fire pizza truck will likely be a hit here…especially for kids.
Do a Little Research
It’s always a best practice to find out what’s popular for specific events. For example, when planning a graduation party it doesn’t hurt to do a search on “the best food trucks for graduation parties.” Or for whatever the event may be. By doing a food truck search to find out what is popular for other big events, you stand a pretty good chance of making your own food truck occasion a success.
Make Accommodations in Advance
When planning a food truck for party time, make sure that you can accommodate the necessary space. You’ll need to get parking approval from the location manager, as well as any permits required for use of public or private space (that is not your own).
How will the flow of the crowd work? Map out your area, especially if you will have several food trucks on hand. You don’t want them spaced too close, if possible. Allow for plenty of room for lines, and for the folks that will be standing and waiting for their food. Don’t crowd the standing room with picnic tables or other seating.
Follow these simple rules, and hiring catering food trucks for parties or events will be a breeze.
Food trucks have a unique challenge when it comes to permits and licenses. Everything from food safety to where you can park is regulated at the federal, state, and county levels.