Food trucks have been trendy for the last few years and there’s currently no sign of slowing down these roving restaurants. Not only are food trucks staples of outdoor festivals and downtown lunch hours, but they have also become a popular catering choice for weddings, and it’s easy to see why: they’re convenient, fun, and perfect for a crowd!
If you’re considering asking your favorite food truck to cater your wedding reception, there are a few more hoops to jump through than with your typical wedding caterer. Here are six tips for having a food truck at your wedding.
1. Understand They Are an Outside Caterer
Before you book your favorite food truck to park outside your wedding reception, you’ll definitely want to clear it with your wedding venue first. Some wedding venues can be picky on which catering companies they work with in town and they may require that you use a “preferred” vendor from their list.
If your food truck isn’t on their list, check to see if there is a fee you can pay to book an outside caterer. Depending on how much that fee is (or if they even make exceptions), it could get pretty pricey to include the food truck in your celebration.
If it’s important to you to have a food truck for the reception meal and you haven’t yet chosen a venue, be sure to only book those that will allow outside caterers. These venues will typically be those that routinely host local food festivals or are friendly to others in the local food industry.
2. Make Plans for Where They Will Park
They may seem small when a bunch are gathered together, but food trucks are pretty sizable. Because they take up a lot of space, you’ll want to make sure that your venue can accommodate the food truck, which means the venue will need to have enough room for it to park and have guests line up to get served.
You’ll also need to think about access. If the outside of your venue is hilly or the roads leading up to it are narrow, your food truck might not be able to safely drive to it or turn around to leave.
Lastly, you’ll need to determine how close the food truck can park to the venue. You don’t want your guests to have to hike over to the food, only to have to trek back to the venue to eat it. This is especially important to keep in mind for your elderly guests, who may not appreciate a long walk in evening wear.
3. You Might Need More than One Truck
Planning on feeding a large crowd? Unless your guest list is smaller than 50, you might want to consider hiring at least two food trucks. This will cut down on the size of the line (because nobody wants to wait in line an hour for dinner) and will also give your guests even more yummy options to choose.
4. Have a Plan for Second Helpings
The whole point of going with your favorite food truck is because you love their food so much—and it’s likely that everyone else will, too. If your guests love the food as much as you do, you’re going to need to plan for them going back for seconds. This shouldn’t be a problem, but you will want to overestimate how much food you’ll need to avoid running out well before dinnertime is over.
If you’re planning on hiring two food trucks, instead of having them split the food 50/50 between the two of them, tell them to plan for at least 75% of the guests to eat at the truck. For example, if you have 100 guests, tell each food truck to plan on a head count of 75 instead of 50. This extra amount will ensure that each guest can visit both trucks or get an appetizer from one and an entree from another.
5. Determine Where Guests Will Eat
Part of the fun of eating from a food truck is being able to enjoy your dinner al fresco style, but this may not be appropriate or possible depending on your venue setup. If you would like your guests to eat outside, you’ll need to plan on providing your own picnic tables or instruct the venue to set the tables up outside. If an outdoor dining situation isn’t possible with your venue, have your guests carry their food back inside to their tables. This shouldn’t be too difficult for them to figure out if there’s nowhere for them to sit, but a little extra signage never hurt anyone.
6. The Details Will Be on You
Unlike a traditional caterer, a food truck may not offer the same full level of service. For example, a traditional caterer will likely ask you if you need them to provide linens, plates, dishes, and cups. Unless your food truck company specifically states that they have this service available, you can assume you’re on your own with this.
If you want any specific serving dishes, plates, or cups, work with your food truck coordinator to see what’s possible to use and be prepared to provide them with what they’ll need.