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Food truck wedding catering: Everything you need to know

Most weddings have a set menu for the reception. Whether it’s the venue they host at or a catering company the couple hires, it’s more common to have fewer options. However, many wedding guests want more options, and the married couple might want a bigger menu, too — but they don’t have the budget to pay for every possible option.

Catering is a solid option, but if the reception is somewhere without a kitchen or a space to set up, this can also limit your dining options. If you haven’t considered a wedding food truck, you’re missing out. There are tons of options out there, and you might be able to provide more options while staying on budget. Let’s explore the costs of having a food truck at your wedding (or another event) and determine if it’s the best option for you.

Is it cheaper to have food trucks at your wedding?

It can be cheaper to have food trucks at your wedding, depending on the type of cuisine you select. Here’s a quick reference list for price ranges from Roaming Hunger, a food truck rental service.

  • Taco truck: $10-$18 per person with a rental minimum of about $900-$1,200
  • Burger food truck: $12-$20 per person, with a rental minimum of about $1,000-$1,300
  • Pizza food truck: $12-$20 per person, with a rental minimum of about $1,000-$1,300
  • Barbeque food truck: $10-$20 per person, with a rental minimum of about $1,000-$1,300
  • Ice cream truck: $5-$10 per person, with a rental minimum of about $400-$800
  • Lobster food truck: $18-$25 per person, with a rental minimum of about $1,200-$1,500
Food truck before setting up
Image used with permission by copyright holder

How much is it to hire a food truck for an event?

You might wonder if there’s a minimum cost for renting a food truck for your wedding. This likely depends on:

  • Cost of the actual food
  • Number of wedding guests
  • Labor and preparation time
  • Travel expenses

Prices vary significantly depending on all the above and special ingredients or special dates, such as major holidays and busy seasons like summertime weddings.

Cost of the actual food

Compare food costs and other fees of different food trucks you’d like at your wedding. You’ll probably have to negotiate a price based on the number of guests, plus the actual cost of food. Most food trucks have a minimum price and require a deposit, which guarantees income for that day, so they can operate at a profit.

Price per person

A food truck’s space is limited and every inch counts. Preparing the menu for over 300 guests needs some consideration and preparation. A single food truck can serve approximately 60 to 100 guests per hour. With this many guests, it may be worthwhile to invest in more than one food truck for your wedding day. Even if you reserve the trucks for one to two hours, you should be able to feed all your guests.

It’s not worth a food truck owner’s time to show up for a small number of guests, without at least charging a minimal fee. To make sure you’re on the same page, ask the food truck owner for a non-binding quote to see what’s possible within the determined budget.

Where can I rent a wedding food truck?

Your best bet for finding a food truck to rent for your wedding is through a website with its own directory. Unless you have your heart set on a certain food truck and plan on negotiating with the owner yourself, consider using or Roaming Hunger.

Of course, you can always check with food trucks local to your area. If you’re a DIYer and want to plan out every detail of your wedding, this may be the best course of action for you.

Food truck with twinkle lights
Image used with permission by copyright holder

How to rent food trucks for your wedding

Now that you know general costs and where to rent a wedding food truck, let’s look at the basic steps you should take when choosing one. Here are some guidelines you can follow:

  1. Determine the cost to rent a truck(s) for your wedding and set your budget.
  2. Figure out how many trucks you’ll need to rent (and for how long) based on the number of wedding guests.
  3. Select the food truck menu for the event ahead of time. Remember to include drinks and desserts, too.
  4. Pick the best trucks for your event using a food truck rental site or Yelp to check reviews.
  5. Make sure the food trucks are in a safe space according to city codes.

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Amanda Hoyer
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Degreed in Psychology and English, Amanda fell into copywriting and blogging when she discovered an innate gift for narrative…
How to create a memorable food cart menu
Food truck with menu and person standing out front

Food trucks are a popular business for many entrepreneurs, aspiring chefs, and restaurant owners. They're a great way to test out smaller menus and specialized cuisine without the startup costs of opening a restaurant. Many food truck owners go on to establish permanent locations in areas where their goods sell very well.
If you want to set up a restaurant one day or try your hand at operating a food truck, you need a solid menu. Creating a menu isn't always easy. You might feel overwhelmed with limiting the menu. Business savvy types may focus too much on profit margins, neglecting the value of a menu with one costly (but revenue-building) specialty item.
Read on to learn what you need to know for carving out a solid food truck menu. You'll discover the most popular food truck items, how many items you should include, and what makes a good menu.
What are the most popular food truck items?
It should come as no surprise why some of these items hold such popularity as menu items. The following aren't just popular food truck cuisines, either. Many of these are adaptable for special diets. Some are perfect for prep, easy cleanup, and sale.
Think high-quality or specialty meats: bison, kangaroo, and gator. Consider ease and adjustability for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Or, think of regional twists like Mexican, Cajun, and so on. Plus, you can adapt to keto, vegan, and vegetarian options, too. For quick and easy cooking, you can always rely on a burger.
Known for its rich spices and rice or flatbread base, Indian street food is perfect on a food truck menu. It's popular for taste, dietary options, and ease of consumption. Plus, cooking rice and prepping most sauce or curry bases are very straightforward.
Understandably a favorite, pizza isn't hard to prep ahead of time. And if you layout your food truck just right, you can customize pizza in many ways. Although making vegan options is harder, you can still cater to specific dietary needs and a wide variety of specialties with unique topping combos.
Loading up fried potatoes is easy. And if you want a standout factor, you can sell a simple burger or other entrees with one-of-a-kind specialty loaded fries on the side. You can quickly adapt fries to vegan needs, and you can even make a heart-healthy loaded fry entree. If you're wondering what these would look like, imagine how curious your customers might be.
Grilled cheese
Grilled cheese is doable for even the most novice cook, which is a solid, reliable staple food in kitchens everywhere. Finding a good location and sourcing quality ingredients can put this at the top of any food truck's potential menu.
For different dietary concerns, healthier options, convenience, and more, falafel is another multicultural street food. Customers love this dish, which is full of flavor and easy to eat on the go (often served in kebabs). Plus, you can cater to a wider variety of customers with this on your menu.
Mac 'n' cheese
Mac 'n' cheese is another staple, like grilled cheese or pizza. Not traditionally the healthiest, but often the tastiest option, you'll find this is easily adaptable, too. You can make it healthy with veggie-based pasta and you can jazz it up with seafood. You can even "veganize" it with vegan cheese. Your options are limitless.

How many items should be on a food truck menu?
Even knowing what the most popular food truck menu items are may not simplify your decision-making. Maybe you feel more overwhelmed than ever about how you should craft your menu. Here are a few tips for how you pare down your menu ideas.
Offer only essentials
The more specific your menu, the more essential every item on it is. Keeping your menu limited to only the most basic dishes, especially if you're adapting a restaurant's menu, can help reduce your choices.
Selling fewer items allows you to rotate out less popular items or sell new things as a weekly special. Reliable food helps people understand your brand and spread the word about your cuisine.
Rule of thumb
Most food trucks sell 5 to 12 items. These can vary based on how you wish to plan your menu, which could be based on how you source your food or choose to market. Sticking to a set menu streamlines purchasing, prep, marketing, and cleanup. And it keeps tight budgets in check.
Quality over quantity
Focus on the quality of the food you sell. If you make a grilled cheese, you want solid toasting bread. If you put bacon on loaded fries, make sure it's thick and flavorful. Quality ingredients stand out far more than selling tons of food. If you invest in quality, your customers will invest in your food.
What's a good food truck menu?
A good food truck menu follows a few rules. These help your truck stand out, cut costs, build customer interest, and grow your business.
Explore menu psychology
Avoid dollar signs on truck menus or your menu board. Customers should focus on your menu items and their descriptions, not the price. Customers often spend more this way.
Use bracketing to offer the same dish in two sizes. This makes customers feel like they're getting a good deal for more food at a slightly higher price.
Highlight special dishes
Put the most important menu items in the upper right-hand corner. It's the first place the eye goes. Plant your signature dish here for recognition and memorability.
Keep it clear and readable
Don't use columns of menu items. These force customers to compare prices, encouraging them to choose less expensive items. Suppose you can price items the same. 
Make your board easy to update, so customers recognize new foods, specials, and their options. If you want to try new dishes and experiment often, this can help.
Readability is important, too. Make sure you proofread your menu. Avoid fancy fonts and calligraphy anywhere outside of a logo or branding.

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Which food truck apps should you use for your business?
Customer making contactless payment at food truck

Running a food truck isn't just about making food. You're not only a chef; you're a business owner. And as a business owner, you have certain extra responsibilities. You likely lack time to complete all these responsibilities, as most small business owners do. Your typical workload might include:

Budgeting, payroll, expenses
Inventory upkeep and maintenance
Marketing campaigns
Customer feedback
Food prep and sale

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Where do street food carts go each night? And how clean are they?
Business owner writing menu for food cart

Overnight parking and cleaning are often overlooked, but they're very important aspects of operating a food truck business. Without an area to store your food truck, you're looking at expensive insurance and lots of inconveniences. Most cities have commissaries with secure parking specific to this need.
You can deep clean, sanitize, and refuel at commissaries, too. If you're not worried about having enough space for upkeep to follow the health codes for your food truck, you also risk the future of your business. Not complying with regulations and ordinances is usually expensive with fees and fines and can result in license and permitting revocation.
Read on to learn all you need to know about these critical operational aspects of owning a food truck. Next time, you'll be prepared when it comes to parking and cleaning your food cart.

Where business owners put their food carts at night
Food trucks don't operate 24/7. That means they need a place to sit overnight. Experienced food truck owners know the best place to park is a commissary, which is somewhere you can fuel up and sanitize your truck. Here's a breakdown of the best places to park overnight.
Indoor parking
Your best parking area is space dedicated to larger vehicle indoor storage. This likely comes with a rental fee, but you're paying for more than parking. You're likely investing in decent security and protection from weather incidents.

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