How To Book a Food Truck for Your Office in 3 Steps
Do you want to boost company morale? How about recognizing a team achievement? Are there employee birthdays coming up? The most crucial party planning element is to decide what to eat. Food trucks provide catering options that are no-stress, no-mess, and perfect for a break room breakfast or office lunch. But how do you book a food truck for your office? Turns out, it’s super simple, and you can tap into all the benefits food truck catering has to offer in three easy steps.
Step #1: Decide Your Budget
The first step to book a food truck for your office is understanding the costs. It’s an obvious question— and the most important one to answer. Thumbtack provides an estimate tool to get you started, but the truth is several factors must be considered to give you an exact price. Let’s take a closer look at what they are:
- Per-person pricing: The number of guests you have is the main contributing factor for how much you’ll spend. Simply put, it’s more expensive to feed 100 people versus 25 because more product, more help, and more fuel/electricity are needed to accommodate.
- Type of food: Cuisine also dictates a food truck’s pricing structure. If you’re on a budget, consider foods like tacos, BBQ, and hot dogs as opposed to cuisines with costly ingredients— generally, ones that are organic, seasonal, or not readily available.
- Food truck minimums: For food trucks to remain operational, they may set minimums. Let’s say you have guests who don’t show up to your office party. Minimums help offset the costs your food truck’s already spent to serve no-shows.
- Location: Is your party in a major city? Expect labor, ingredients, and permits to be more expensive. Likewise, in smaller populated areas, your food truck may need to travel beyond their range. Either way, location determines costs.
Additional Factors to Consider:
- Time of year: Food trucks generate big business during holidays and the summer, which plays a big role in pricing. Consider alternate times of the year to throw your office party because that could translate to bigger savings.
- Event length: How long do you want to book a food truck for your office? Time equals money, so book your food truck for at least three hours. That’ll allow enough time for your guests to eat and for the food truck to clean up.
- Parking and permit costs: Every state, city, and municipality has different rules and regulations regarding food truck parking and permitting. Some may even have multiple fees. Depending on your vendor, you may incorporate some of those costs.
- Mileage fees: Not every food truck will charge mileage fees unless your location is a great distance away. But make sure you read the fine print to ensure you’re either not being charged or understand that you are and how much it’ll set you back.
Step #2: Choose Your Menu and Shop Around
Food trucks offer nearly every type of cuisine under the sun, and it can be overwhelming when trying to decide what’s best for your party. Luckily, food truck menus are streamlined with set choices that allow them to prep, cook, and serve food quickly without sacrificing quality. Something else to remember when you book a food truck for your office: make sure you’ve considered everyone’s dietary restrictions. Are some of your employees vegan? Do they have a peanut allergy? Perhaps they keep kosher? If you’re looking for a few cuisine recommendations, here are the top three most requested:
- Italian: You can’t go wrong with pizza and pasta, especially from an authentic Italian food truck. Italian food is naturally family-style, so these vendors can easily feed a hungry crowd.
- Mexican: Who doesn’t love Taco Tuesday? Plus, Mexican food is customizable, and that means you can be creative with your office party. Try setting up a self-serve taco or burrito bar for a fun and festive event.
- Mediterranean: Mediterranean food is an excellent choice for an office lunch because it’s light, refreshing, and still filling. But it won’t lead to that pesky mid-day crash. This veggie-focused cuisine is big on using fresh ingredients that’ll satisfy health-conscious employees and everyone else in between.
Now that you know the type of food you want to serve, where do you find your perfect food truck? You can shop around on your own, scouring the depths of Google, Yelp, and Facebook, but that can be highly time-consuming. Don’t be afraid to contact professional companies that work directly with food truck vendors and can help you decide which one’s best. They can also help you craft your menu and take care of all of the planning and preparation.
Step #3: Plan Your Office Party’s Logistics
The last thing you want is for your guests to spend more time navigating the lay of the land so they can eat instead of just having a good time. This begs the ultimate question: is your office party outdoors or indoors? Let’s face it: Mother Nature has a mind of her own, and that can doom your party before it even begins.
If your party’s outside, stay up to date on the weather forecast and have a backup plan just in case it takes a turn for the worse. Check with your food truck vendor if they can accommodate inclement weather or if they can operate indoors instead.
We’ve compiled a few more tips that’ll help you set up a food truck party’s that’s comfortable and inviting:
- Whether you’ve booked one food truck or multiple food trucks, they should be centrally located to where your employees will be enjoying their meals or treats. So, ensure access is easy and efficient.
- Many food trucks offer breakout options, like carts. Inquire with your vendor if they provide this service, especially if your party space is limited.
- As the host, you’ll need to decide whether you’ll set up tables and chairs or if employees will be free to eat at their desks. Generally, most people would rather sit and eat a meal than stand and balance plates and cups.
- Especially for an office party, you don’t want your staff getting dirty if they have to go back to work after. Next to or close to your food truck, have a station available for cutlery and napkins.
- Clean-up is a chore, and even though food trucks provide staff to assist with that, minimize the mess with several strategically placed garbage cans.
Book a Food Truck for Your Office and Throw a Party Your Team Will Love
Food trucks are fresh, fast, convenient, and know how to cater a party, big or small. Regardless of the reason, they’re a great way to add something new, exciting, and different to the workweek. All it takes is a clear idea of what you want and considering the variables. There are helpful guides at your disposal that go in-depth with everything you need to know. But start with these three basics, and you’ll be able to book a food truck for your office with ease!
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.