Ok so you love food trucks and the idea of including street food into your big day. Now what?
Well, before you reach for your phone to google for the best trucks in your area, there are some things you need to think about first.
I know its tempting and you want to dive right in but just take some time now to ponder these few questions and I promise I’ll have saved you and the people around you so much time and energy.
How many people are coming? And what about children?
This is a great place to start and every food truck operator needs to know this first up. What is the size of the prize here? As much as caterers are committed to making your event incredible, they are running a small business and making incredible memories AND a decent profit is front and centre.
How would you like the food served?
If you don’t know then that is fine too. For the most part there are a couple of ways food can be served to your quests at a private party, either cocktail, main meal or a mixture of the two. Each particular service style has its own pros and cons so weigh it up.
When and where is the party?
If you are flexible and are watching the pennies, have a good think about a midweek wedding.
If you have hundreds of guests and want to go all out then the weekend is likely a better option.
And remember that if you are taking the food truck hundreds of kilometres outside of where they usually work then a travel fee will usually be applied.
Driving a commercial kitchen up and down a winding mountain track is risky business. The last thing a food trucker wants is his/her brakes being cooked after they’ve been so careful as to not burn your dinner.
The last thing you need is for the truck to not be able to access the area where your party is. Heights and widths of food trucks vary so be sure to ask about any restrictions with your proposed venue.
What type of food would you like to be served?
Will you be standing up or sitting down? Eating with your hands or with cutlery?
Talk to the prospective food trucks about the details you already know and let them come up with a couple of menus. Obviously, communicate your expectations and explain any limitations / restrictions and the caterers can suggest solutions with menu choices etc
No one wants to be waiting in line any longer than absolutely necessary so keep your meal options to a minimum if you are concerned about wait times.
The fewer the items on the menu, the quicker the kitchen can cook for your guests.
Experienced food truck operators will know how many meals they can serve per hour. They are often limited with space and know what they can and can not do.
Be aware some dodgy operators will nod and promise you the earth but ultimately may fail to deliver on your unrealistic expectations.
And how long would you like the truck to be there serving food? If it is longer than 2-3 hours most caterers will charge you an additional fee to stay.
Allergies, intolerances and preferences? If they know about them, it’s no big deal, they can cater for them.
How much are you willing to spend? What is your budget?
Food trucks are hot ticket items at the moment and they sure do deliver great value with on location catering. But what they serve and how they serve it ultimately comes down to what and how they do it.
And lastly, I know you’d love to recreate Side Show Alley or the biggest and best street food market for your event but its important to note that the more food trucks you invite, the more expensive it’s going to be per person because food trucks will expect a minimum charge per event. Its not going to be viable if you are planning an event with 100 people and 5 food truck. It always comes back to numbers!
So get yourself a short list, meet the operators and try their food. Have a look at the truck, the cleanliness of the operation and the friendliness of the people. Then you can have a chat with them and see if you can come to an arrangement to ensure your occasion is memorable for all the right reasons.
Good luck and happy planning.