Revealed: we share our insider knowledge and reveal the real answers behind the top questions everyone wants to ask when booking a food truck for their event, wedding or party.
How Much Does It Cost To Hire a Food Truck For a Party or Wedding?
The hire fee for most food trucks starts at around £400-£600. This tends to be the minimum fee food trucks require to serve at an event. However, this is obviously going to go up with increased numbers and more extensive or premium menus.
Per head prices can start from around £7-11 per head for their basic menu package.
There are many factors that may affect the price you are quoted from a catering van. These include the date; a Saturday in the summer for example tends to cost more than a Monday lunchtime in February.
Other factors affecting the price include the type of food chosen (e.g. full-on meaty BBQ vs. mac’n’cheese), the type of food truck (simple burger van vs. bespoke pimped up van) as well as distance to event.
Here are our top tips for keeping the price down when booking a food truck:
Keep the required serving period to a minimum – you may like the idea of allowing your guests to graze from noon to dusk but this is likely to come with extra fees.
Choose a local caterer – this keeps the travel costs for their team nice and low and supporting local is great for so many other reasons!
Pick a simple menu – 2 or 3 menu options should be sufficient to cover all bases whilst keeping things simple with lower potential food wastage and therefore lower prices.
Give your caterer your desired budget and ask for a suggested menu to fit – they will use their experience and knowledge to offer you a menu that doesn’t blow your budget.
Consider increasing the number of portions – as many caterers have certain ‘fixed’ costs for each event such as travel, set-up, staff, power etc, often the per head price goes down quite considerably when the numbers go up, something to bear in mind!
For large groups, here at ChilliDogs, we can offer menu packages from just £7+vat pp, get in touch for a free menu and quote today (no pressure at all to proceed).
How Long Do Street Food Vans Serve Food For At Events & Weddings?
The length of service period for food trucks largely varies based on the type of food being served. For example, pizzas which have to be cooked individually to order can take longer to serve a group than something like noodles which are ready to go.
Most food trucks would allow around 2 hours to serve 100 people. This would give plenty of time for guests to come up to the van at their leisure to order and collect their food.
If you wanted the food to be available for an extended period of time, this is often an option. However, you are likely to be charged a little more for this to cover the increased staff time etc.
As a general rule of thumb, here at ChilliDogs we allow for 1 hour per 50 people, however we can serve up to 150 people per hour if speediness is required.
When getting a quote from a food truck caterer, always try to include the length of serving period required (if you know it) so they can factor this into the quote. You may find they will happily extend their ‘standard’ serving period a little more for no extra charge if this is laid out at the beginning.
How Many People Can a Food Truck Serve?
This varies per truck depending on what food they are serving, how experienced they are as well as their processes.
For example, an experienced caterer serving paella where the order is the same for each guest & their processes slick, could serve over 200 portions per hour, so for a lunchtime event from 11am-3pm, for example, they could serve over 800 people. Conversely, another food truck serving a large variety of individual wraps, for example, made to each guest’s exact liking could perhaps only serve 15 people per hour.
If you are looking to serve a large group
of people with a food truck offering, our advice would be to opt for a simple menu (on obvious display) and a food option that can be served ’grab’n’go’ style. It is also best to find a street food caterer who has experience in serving large groups who have the processes and procedures in place to make for little queuing.
Having served our hot dogs at huge events such as the NFL, we are particularly experienced at serving large groups in minimal time when required– its all about great staff, slick processes and simple menus!
How Many Street Food Trucks Do I Need At My Event?
You may like the idea of creating a real festival vibe at your event with a variety of food trucks. This has the benefit of giving your guests a great choice and covering a whole array of cuisines, tastes and dietary requirements.
However, generally the more food trucks you have the more expensive it will be as most trucks have their own minimum set-up fee. Nevertheless, if you have a large number of guests to serve in a short period, having a number of different food trucks could be the best option.
We would suggest that the minimum number of portions per van would be around 50, so if you have over 150+ guests or would like to offer multiple portions per guest, having a few food vans could be a nice solution.
Equally, some food trucks (including ourselves!) can easily serve a few hundred guests across an event whilst offering a varied menu to give guests different options, without the hassle and expense of managing multiple food traders .
If you wanted to create a food festival feel at your event, we would recommend perhaps 3 x savoury food vans and 1 x dessert van, depending on numbers. When choosing your food van, make sure there is no overlap in foods and there are enough options for vegans and those intolerant to gluten. It is also worth having one ‘lighter’ option for more health-conscious guests along with a meat-overload dish for those with ‘healthier’ appetites!
Often food truck businesses work with one another so if there is one you like the look of, it’s always worth asking if they can recommend any complimentary food trucks to go alongside them.
If the serving period for your event is quite small, around 2 hours, we would recommend 1 food truck for every 150 servings.
Do You Need To Pre-order Food When You Hire a Food Truck?
One of the great things about hiring a catering van for your event is that usually they do not require you to pre-order on each guest’s behalf. Unlike perhaps more formal catering where you have to ask each guest’s preferred meal option prior to the event, food trucks don’t generally require this.
Usually, with hiring a food truck, guests will be able to choose their preferred menu option on the day.
This is great for many reasons as not only does it save you lots of admin time, it gives guests the flexibility to eat what they fancy on the day.
However it is always worth checking what the exact requirements of the food truck you are looking to book are. Some food trucks require you to provide numbers for vegans/veggies/gluten-free and letting them know before hand of any specific dietary requirements your guests may have.
Here at ChilliDogs, we like to give guests at least 2-3 options at the event so they can enjoy exactly what they fancy. We do however ask for rough numbers for vegans & veggies and like to get the heads up for any special dietary requirements so we can fully prepare and ensure no-one misses out!
How Long Does It Take a Food Truck to Set-Up For an Event or Wedding?
Most food trucks take around 30 minutes to set-up, but many (like us), like to give themselves around 1 hour to get ready.
However, some food trucks, such as those with wood fired ovens or large fryers may have to arrive even earlier to give themselves enough time to get everything fired up!
If time is of the essence for your event, it is worth enquiring what the minimum set-up time is for your preferred food truck.
We have set-up in as little as 20 minutes in the past to quickly ‘pop-up’ for a surprise birthday party so it can be done!
If you require the food truck to be in place before guests arrive, this is often an option too, but it is worth letting them know this is the case at the start as they will need to factor in increased staff costs.
If you are looking for an experienced food truck caterer to impress all your guests, get in touch with ChilliDogs and we will send across a suggested menu & quote for free, no obligation to book.
We’re also happy to answer any more burning questions you may have about hiring a food truck for your event!
In the meantime, keep on truckin’