December 21, 2019

Catering: Food Trucks vs. Traditional

Food trucks are a way to bring pizzaz to a traditional catering experience!

It's a sunny Saturday in July. You are attending a close friends 40th birthday party at a venue by the lake. It's warm, the energy is great, and you better believe it - your starving! Luckily, you know there will be catered lunch at the party (not without cake of course!). But what kind of cuisine will you be served? Are you really going to be brought a dry, overcooked hamburger on a stale bun? Or will you have to sit through a sit down meal where it's only acceptable to tuck your napkin in your shirt? Whichever it may be, there is definitely something you want - a good, exciting, and well made meal.

Traditional Catering

Traditional catering companies have been serving the great people of America, and all around the world, for as long as people have been eating food! Catering companies can be great because they tend to be large, often available with many employees, and a wide range of products available to serve at any given event. You'll have flexibility, good service, and hopefully a good, solid meal for the price you pay. Catering companies are everywhere - you're never going to have a hard time finding someone to work your event.

Regardless, there are a few down sides to the traditional catering companies. The first comes with the wide variety of options that most companies offer - there is no specialization. Without hiring a company that focuses in on one type of cuisine, you’re much less likely to be getting the best type of product you select. For example, many catering companies offer Indian cuisine as an option, along side burgers and hot dogs. You’ll never find the quality of food you truly want when you hire a company that is able to “do it all”.

The price of traditional catering can get a little costly as well. Our sources ( say that catering a dinner can run between $15-$24 a head, and that’s not including the very highly recommended (and pushed upon most clients) hors d’oeuvres, that can take on between $2.50 and $8 per head. Because most catering companies operate with a large staff, their prices can be high just helping them pay their team.

Food Truck Catering

Food truck catering presents a totally different style alternative to the average catering experience. Like traditional catering, there are pros and cons, but what a food truck can bring to event goes beyond just the food.

Let’s begin with a huge upside to catering a food truck at your party - you get that specialized, restaurant quality food paired with and experience. We’ve all been at parties where caterers bring you your food, but having that food prepared inside a trendy, sleek designed truck makes the whole party just a bit more exciting. You’re able to select a truck that has an expertise in the cuisine of your choosing, and provide a sense of entertainment to your guests.

While food trucks are not cheap either, they tend to cost less - about $11-$18 per head on average. The negative is that you may not be able to get the truck you want. Food trucks can get booked far in advance, and unless the company has more than one truck, you’re out of luck. So keep in mind that if you have a specific business in mind to cater your event, that you reach out early!

It also may seem like a negative that you may have to reach out to multiple food trucks to find what you’re looking for, but with the advancement of the food truck booking industry, there are plenty of sites helping to make this process as easy as pie!


Whether you go with a food truck or traditional catering, you’re going to get good food for a fair price. Traditional catering gives you the option of higher flexibility in terms of scheduling and cuisine selection, while booking a food truck gives you that specialty cuisine experience and the enhanced ambiance that can make your event. We highly recommend checking out City Flavor’s event page, to see just how easy it is to get catering for your event!

Weitteb by Ian Lituchy