How to Book a Food Truck

You want a food truck for your next event? Here are the simple steps to follow!

1. Set your budget and learn the price of booking a food truck

The pricing:

Food truck catering costs range from $10 to $30 per guest. So the cost of catering 100 people will range from approximately $1,000 to $3,000. Depending on the amount of people, food trucks might be willing to give you a discount!

The location:

When booking in big cities, you will most likely have an easier time finding the perfect truck for you event. In smaller towns, you might need to be flexible because distance is always a deciding factor for food trucks when booking an event.

The meal and food types:

$ = least expense $$$$ = most expensive

  • $$$ American cuisine  is capable of making it onto any list of popular food trucks thanks to Americans’ love of hamburgers. Other popular American favorites are grilled cheese sandwiches, hot dogs, French fries, mac and cheese, and various types of barbecued meat.
  • $ Mexican cuisine  is known for its varied flavors, colorful decoration, and variety of spices and ingredients, many of which are native to the country. Tacos, burritos, tamales, and tortas are menu favorites of many food truck owners because they’re easily massaged to fit into various concepts.
  • $$ African cuisine  (for example, Ethiopian, Moroccan, or South African) traditionally uses a combination of locally available fruits, cereal grains, and vegetables, as well as milk and meat products.
  • $$$ Italian cuisine  is hard to explain without mentioning pizza and pasta, but these two dishes tell you almost all you need to know about this style of cuisine. Some truck owners vending Italian cuisine regularly serve these dishes along with veal and eggplant parmesan sandwiches.
  • $$ Asian cuisine  (such as Chinese and Japanese) typically consists of rice or noodles, with a soup. Foods are made from fish, meat, vegetable, tofu, and the like. Food items are typically flavored with dashi, miso, and soy sauce and are generally low in fat and high in salt.
  • $$ Mediterranean cuisine  is full of fresh vegetables and high in flavor. Options for food trucks choosing Mediterranean cuisine include (but aren’t limited to) kabobs, gyros, pita sandwiches (vegetable, shawarma, falafel, and lamb), hummus, and baba ghanoush.
  • $$ Thai cuisine  is often confused with Chinese cuisine. The primary difference is in its flavoring. Thai food has a balanced mix of sweet, sour, and spice. Bánh mi is by far the most popular of the foods coming from Thai-themed trucks, such as the Nom Nom Trucks out of Los Angeles and San Francisco.
  • $$ Indian cuisine  may provide the widest variety of food for your menu even though it’s most known for vegetarian fare. The real treats of Indian cuisine are chicken and fish tikkas, naan, and samosas.

2. Decide how many trucks you’ll need for your event.

A starting estimate is one food truck per 250-300 attendees. 

You can consider one food truck per 400 attendees or so if there are several other attractions during the event, and no set time when everybody eats—guests will visit the food truck when the lines are lower. Talk with the food truck owners about your attendee estimates and how many customers they are capable of serving per hour. Provide the truck owners with attendee estimates a week before the event so they can factor that into their ordering and prep.

3. Pick a custom food truck menu for the event. 

Industry networking event –  For an event during a national professional conference, consider contracting with several food trucks with varied cuisines—street tacos, Indian, and burgers, for example.

Wedding –  Have a dessert-focused food truck outside towards the end of your wedding. Crepes, ice cream, donuts, churros. No matter the treat, guests will make one more sweet memory before the night ends. 

Youth organization (i.e. athletic league, club, school) –  Whether it’s an end-of-season celebration or a fundraising event, kids come ready to eat. Fast-prep fare is your best bet, such as burritos, empanadas, and wood-fired individual pizzas.   

4. Find the best food trucks for your event.

Once you’ve narrowed down the cuisine, use  Roaming Hunger Yelp , City Flavor or a city-specific site or app to explore all the options in your region.

Submit and lock down your dates early—food trucks are in demand.

5. Station the food truck in the right place.

After deciding on the type of food truck or trucks you want, a thoughtful layout of your outdoor event space impacts its success.