Food Cart Catering VS Food Truck Catering

Planning for an event can be stressful, and knowing what type of catering will work best isn’t always simple. Whether you choose food cart catering or food truck catering to supply the meal for your event hinges on a variety of factors. 

The first step is understanding what these two types of catering vehicles are, and what they can offer you and your guests. Then, you’ll want to look at the pro’s and con’s for both food carts and food trucks, and see what works best for you. 

Food Cart VS Food Truck Event Catering

Food Cart Catering


  • Smaller and more simplified
  • More cost-efficient
  • Allows for multiple catering stations


  • Less food output
  • Smaller menu
  • Needs a vehicle to bring it to event

For smaller events that require lower quantities of food, food cart catering is an excellent choice. While these carts have a lower output than their food truck counterpart, they can offer a simplified experience for your event. Instead of a large complex menu, food carts will have a small set number of items to avoid any extra hassle. 

Food cart catering also works if you want multiple smaller food stations set up throughout your event. Instead of all the flow going to a single large food truck, you can have your guests served much more quickly through multiple separate food carts. This also works if the menu consists of more snack-like items: snow cones, popsicles, candy, any sort of small bite not meant to be a filling meal. 

Food carts also tend to be more affordable than food trucks. That being said, that affordability does come at the cost of some functionality. Food trucks come equipped with a full service kitchen. This means they have the ability to serve an expanded menu. They are also entirely housed within a self-sufficient vehicle. Food carts, while still capable of serving food, need to be transported via some external means. 

Food Truck Catering


  • Full-service kitchen, meaning food is prepared on-site
  • Higher food output
  • More menu options


  • Higher-cost
  • Usually relegated to a single food truck (compared to the versatility of multiple food carts)

If you are looking for something capable of higher food output with more variability in the menu, then food truck catering is the way to go. Food trucks come with their own kitchen, meaning that most of the food they prepare will be on site. 

Your guests can enjoy their meals hot and fresh with less pre-prepared components, not to mention a far larger menu than a food cart can provide. Not only will the menu be larger, but so will the amount of guests you can service. Overall, food trucks are the better choice for bigger events. 

Food trucks are also capable of transporting themselves, so there’s no need for an external vehicle like with a food cart. You also save the hassle usually associated with setting up a food cart, as a food truck is meant to drive to any spot and be ready to go in minutes. 

One of the only drawbacks of food truck catering is that it tends to carry a higher cost. A mobile full-service kitchen, expanded menu, and all the other benefits food trucks have aren’t cheap. While you get a higher-quality experience, it may put a bit of a strain on a smaller budget. They are also limited to outdoor events only. You’ll be hard-pressed to find an event center willing to let you drive a food truck into their conference hall (and if you did, I would be very wary of that event center’s business acumen.)

So Which One is Better?

It’s difficult to say which is better because both benefit different events in different ways. But if you have to choose one, food truck catering seems to win out when it comes to overall utility.  Even if you do have a smaller event, a food truck can still adequately serve as many guests as needed. This doesn’t work the other way, as a food cart would certainly struggle if too many people are in attendance. 

Food trucks also make a bigger impression with a bigger and flashier menu. While a couple of small snacks can keep people satiated, a food truck can have people talking even after the event is over. A full-service kitchen will always win out against the pre-prepared foods that can come from food cart catering. 

That being said, food carts do still have plenty of applications and are a good choice if you have a smaller event where you need to save a bit of money. They can also be used in areas where a food truck simply can’t fit. If your event takes place entirely indoors, and that venue has a large enough entrance to bring in a food cart, then food cart catering is the far superior choice. 

Once you’ve chosen your catering type, you’ll want to research what companies can provide you with a rental. This step is just as important as choosing the cart itself, and you’ll want to take the time to select a company with solid reviews and a spotless track record. There are many different places you could rent from, but you don’t want to go for the cheapest possible option. Remember, your event can hinge on whether or not the food service is successful, so you’ll want to choose the absolute best food carts and trucks you can find. 

Where Can I Rent the Best Food Carts and Food Trucks?

Whether you choose food cart catering or food truck catering, the best way to rent either is the New York Food Truck Association. The NYFTA is the #1 provider of high-quality food trucks and carts in New York City. Whether you want to promote your brand, cater a delicious meal for your event, or anything other promotion that needs a flavorful and interesting meal, NYFTA is the best possible option you can choose. 

There’s a limited number of trucks available, so you have to act fast. If you want your event to be a success, book a rental with NYFTA today!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Holiday party.

Holiday Party Catering in 2023: Corporate Parties, Private Events, and More 

Whether you’re planning a corporate holiday party or a private one, we have the ultimate guide to help you with holiday party catering this season. Keep reading to learn more about creating a catering menu, our diverse catering options, and additional tips we can give you from our years of experience working with the best vendors in New York City during the holiday season.

Read More »