Costs can vary to hire a food truck for a wedding and these are the 6 main reasons why…..
Food trucks are not just for food and music festivals or your weekend food market. They are now very popular for private events, especially weddings, and people are booking them in their droves.
So if you landed on this article you may be thinking about booking a food truck for your own wedding and wondering how much it costs.
The cost of renting a food truck for a wedding varies depending on factors such as the location, the number of guests, the menu options, and the length of time the food truck will be in service. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 or more to rent a food truck for a wedding.
Some food trucks may charge a flat fee for the whole day, while others may charge per head based on the number of guests there are.
In this article, I will go into more detail on some of the main factors that influence how much a food truck costs to cater at a wedding, along with some cost-saving tips to maximize your budget.
- Popularity and availability
- Size of the guest list
- Cuisine type
- Length of service
- Location and logistics
- Different pricing models
Factors that influence pricing
1. Popularity and availability
How long a food truck has been trading and how popular it is will affect its availability affect the price of renting a food truck for your wedding. For example, if you live in a large city, where food trucks are popular and in high demand you may have to pay more to get a food truck operating in that area to your wedding.
- Look for newer food truck businesses that might not be as popular or in high demand yet. They may charge less for their services to attract new customers in comparison to more established companies meaning lower costs for you.
2. Size of the guest list
How many people are attending a wedding will determine in large part how much a food truck costs. The larger the guest list the more food and staff will be needed to prepare and serve the food, thus increasing the overall cost.
For example, if you’re having a wedding with 200 guests or more, you may need to rent two food trucks or have a larger food truck to accommodate the number of guests. This can significantly increase the cost compared to a wedding with only 50 guests.
- Set a limit on the number of guests you will be catering to.
- Work closely with the vendor to determine the appropriate portion sizes for each menu item, which can help minimize waste and save money.
3. Cuisine type
The type of cuisine that is being served can also greatly influence how much things will cost. Things like the cost of the base ingredients along with if certain produce is in or out of season will determine costs.
For example, if you choose a menu that is meat or seafood heavy then costs will be higher than if you go for vegetarian or vegan options as the cost of the meat ingredients should be taken out. It’s worth noting that dishes that don’t include lean meats such as burgers or hotdogs can be a less expensive option.
- Offer vegan/vegetarian options can provide meat-free options
- Choose a menu that has fewer ingredients
- Consider serving only one meal instead of multiple choices.
- Look for food trucks that offer packages or discounts for larger groups or longer events.
- Avoid making special requests that require additional equipment or ingredients, as these can add to the overall cost.
- Look for food trucks that offer customizable menus, as this can help ensure that you get the options you want without incurring additional costs.
4. Length of service
Food trucks sometimes calculate costs in part by how long they will be at an event proving a service. The longer the food truck needs to be in service, the more you will need to pay for rental fees and staffing costs.
For example, if you need the food truck to be in service for six hours, you will likely pay more than if you only need the food truck for two hours.
- Try to negotiate a lower hourly rate with the food truck operator if you are booking them for an extended period.
- Opt for a shorter wedding reception, as this can reduce the amount of time the food truck needs to be on-site, potentially reducing the rental fee.
Most wedding occurs over the summer which means food truck operators are often in high demand and get booked up well in advance. This means they may charge a premium for events over the summer as they will be getting plenty of work and can afford to turn events down. Additionally, some dates, such as holidays or weekends, may also be more expensive than weekdays.
- Consider booking the food truck during a less busy season or on a less popular day of the week.
- Try to book the food truck well in advance to take advantage of early booking discounts or to avoid peak season price hikes.
6. Location and logistics
The location of the wedding and the logistics involved in setting up the food truck can also impact the cost. If your wedding is in a remote or hard-to-reach location, you may need to pay more for transportation and setup costs. Additionally, if your wedding venue doesn’t have a designated spot for a food truck, you may need to pay for additional permits and setup costs.
For example, if your wedding is in a remote location without easy access to electricity, the food truck may need to bring a generator, which can increase the rental cost. Additionally, if your venue doesn’t have a designated spot for the food truck, you may need to pay for permits and additional setup costs.
- Choose a location that is easy to access for the food truck operator, so they do not need to travel far or encounter obstacles like road closures or difficult parking situations.
- If possible, consider hosting the wedding at a location that is already equipped with food truck infrastructure, such as a designated food truck park or festival grounds.
Different pricing models
When it comes to catering for weddings, food truck vendors typically use a variety of pricing models to calculate costs and provide a quote.
Here are some typical examples:
- Flat rate: Some food truck vendors may charge a flat rate for wedding catering, which would include a set number of hours of service and a specific menu. For example, a food truck might charge a flat rate of $2,000 for four hours of service and a menu consisting of a range of mains.
- Price per head: Another common pricing model for wedding catering is to charge a per-person fee. This fee would typically include a certain number of menu items across their menu range. For example, a burger food truck might charge $20 per person for a menu that includes burgers, fries, and a drink.
- Minimum sales: In most cases, food trucks will require a minimum order amount to make it viable for them to make it worth their while and earn a profit. For example, a food truck might require a minimum order of 50 people, or $1000 spent whilst other vendors may specify more, especially if they are more established.
It’s important to note that these are just a few examples of the pricing models that food truck vendors might use for wedding catering. As discussed above actual pricing will depend on factors such as the location, the menu, the number of guests, and the length of the event.
Gavin D is the founder of Street Food Central and Tru Foo Juice Bar Co. and has worked in the mobile catering industry for over 7 years.