There are a couple things I know for sure. Food trucks are:
#2 A trend that’s going to stick around for awhile
Beyond all the sweet and savory treats these food trucks bring to our doorstep/park/street corner, there are some pros and cons to weight before decided to hire a Food Truck at your next event.
- They are by definition, a mobile kitchen. So if you are working with a venue with limited preparation space, there is no need to step into expensive satellite kitchen tent/stove rental set-up that you would need for a multi-course plated meal
It’s a one-stop shop, so theoretically you could arrange to have your entire party fed with one phone call. They bring their food in whatever you need to eat it with, feed the people, pack up and drive away
They are relatively low cost. Their business model has low overhead and is designed to get fresh, quality (hot) food in a lot of bellies quickly efficiently within any given time period
They are fun and quirky, adding a light-hearted casual vibe to any event
A food truck can be a highly functional element of surprise, especially for dessert (Creme Brule truck?) or as a late night snack. You lucky Southern Californians could even hire an In-N-Out truck to roll up to your party and watch your guests just lose their ever-lovin' minds
- Trashy, is not a word you want to be associated with your event. But trash is watchu gonna get after a meal served on disposable (hopefully compostable!) plates. If you don’t have somebody hired to manage this, that means it's on you to clean up. Once the food leaves that sliding window it is no longer the trucks responsibility for what happens to it. For all those brides out there thinking about using food trucks that may mean a stressed out mom or some peeved Groomsmen stuffing bags of trash in a dumpster (or worse yet, CARS!) at the end of the evening
- Unanticipated costs. Unless your venue provides seating, you are going to have to source or rent tables, chairs, linens. . . and pay for delivery. Slowly but surely that inexpensive food truck is not going to feel like such a bargain, and you are going to spend a lot of extra time on the added details
- MESSY. Think burrito juice on your wedding gown and greasy hands. And LOUD. The generators that run on food trucks often make quite a bit of noise, so any toasts or speeches should be coordinated with the generator being turned off, most likely after food service has concluded
- Make sure you are OK with having someone else’s brand all over your event. A taco truck with their 1-800# plastered all over it might not set the desired tone and distract from your overall message and desired aesthetic
- Trash again, because litter isn’t cute
- Beware a disjointed event. While the food truck option may be cheap and easy, it's not going to work with a formal or very structured event. Gathering people's undivided attention for multiple speeches and/or toasts during dinner service may be hard to achieve
One way to get around some of the Bads + Uglies is by working with Off The Grid Catering who can provide service staff, bar staff, and also manage multiple food truck vendors on your behalf. Well worth the extra costs to really make your event look, and better yet, FEEL seamless.
Nonetheless, costs can add up quickly for a Food Truck with the added staff and rentals. Unless you desire the casual, hipster vibe a food truck event evokes, consider reaching out to some of the smaller catering companies or private chefs in your area to help you pull together a customized event. Don't forget to check local restaurants who offer casual off-site catering!