Food Truck Wedding Catering: Everything You Need to Know

By Published On: March 22, 2024

Your wedding day is all about your experience. This is a celebration and memorable event for not only you and your partner, but also for all of your guests and attendees. It should come as no surprise that food is one of the most critical aspects of wedding planning. Hungry guests are less than ideal, and providing a proper dining experience is part of the planning process.

Deciding on a caterer and menu can be stressful. Dietary restrictions, food preferences, allergies and cost are all factors that must be considered when planning a large event for a wide variety of people. Some modern couples are choosing to forgo the traditional caterer and the formality that accompanies one and opt for the road less traveled: Food Trucks.

Food trucks offer a unique experience for you and your wedding guests. Though seemingly simple, they come with their own set of challenges and considerations for you to explore when choosing the culinary experience that is right for you. We’ve broken down everything you need to know when contemplating the comparison of your run-of-the-mill catering company versus outside-of-the-box food trucks.

Experience

Food trucks provide a unique experience for your guests. There’s a sense of nostalgia associated with food trucks that you just don’t get with traditional catering. Food trucks are a long, beautiful, blue-sky summer day packed with exciting activities and buzzing with anticipation. They are salty sea air, strong and luminous afternoon sunshine, and endless shades of vibrant green life. Food trucks also offer a distinct culinary experience from start to finish; they are typically fast-paced, heavily portioned, and low-maintenance. However, they may also be inhibited by factors like weather, attendance numbers, and dietary restrictions. The food truck experience comes with a particular set of benefits and challenges that deserves to be evaluated fairly before making a decision one way or another.

Photo by @bespoketaupo

Weather Dependent

Food truck success and availability may be contingent upon weather. Rain, wind, and snow all provide a challenging environment for both food truck operators and customers. Since food trucks must operate outside, inclement weather creates an unfortunate circumstance for cooks and consumers; considering climate, season and weather reports may be a critical aspect of deciding whether or not a food truck is the right choice for your wedding. Nobody wants their guests to feel stuck outside in less-than-ideal circumstances, so planning is crucial. It may even be a good idea to have a backup plan in the event of an unexpected weather event. This could be a tent that is already set up and ready to go, a garage or carport in the venue, or some other creative solution.

Wait Times

Waiting time for food truck catering could be both a blessing and a curse. Food trucks are notoriously quick and easy but require low overhead in order to operate in such a small kitchen. This means that if you have a large wedding guest list, one food-truck caterer might be overwhelmed by the number of people he or she has to feed. This could be solved by limiting your guest list or hiring multiple food trucks. Acquiring more than one food truck also has the added advantage of providing more culinary options for your guests to partake in.

Easy Cleanup

This is fairly self-explanatory, but food trucks require next-to-nothing when it comes to infrastructure. Some trash cans strategically placed in modest locations allow guests to toss their trash when they’re done eating and move on.

Limited Menus

Food trucks may provide a more limited menu than a hired traditional caterer. This may mean that dietary restrictions are harder to accommodate since there isn’t much room in the kitchen for spare ingredients. Communicating with your food truck caterer ahead of time about dietary restrictions and needs may alleviate this issue altogether, though it is something to consider when exploring the realm of food truck wedding catering.

Unmatched Ambiance & Character

We touched on this before, but food trucks are sentimental and fun. They provide a unique culinary experience for your guests and create a casual atmosphere without sacrificing quality and sophistication.

Cost

When it comes to cost, there are a few considerations to think about. On average, upon first glance, food trucks cost exponentially less per person than traditional catering. We’re talking the average difference of between and $10 to $20 per person and $70 per person, according to Zola. However, we would be remiss if we did not point out that depending on your selected food truck, they may only offer dinner. Catering often comes with dessert, drink and sometimes even cocktail hour options included in their price per person cost, so it’s worth breaking it down further before automatically assuming food trucks are the clear winner for budget-friendly wedding food vendors.

That being said, with food trucks gaining popularity and traction in modern event planning, there are so many cool food truck options available for hire. Tap trucks and mobile bars are becoming increasingly common and offer options for draft beers and specialty cocktails in a fun and unique atmosphere. Dessert trucks are also available, from ice cream, cookies, crepes and donuts to ethnic options like taiyaki, the options are endless for mobile desserts that are sure to leave your guests satisfied.

When hiring food truck caterers over traditional ones, be sure to break down the cost of each vendor and what you’re getting for that amount to be sure you’re getting the most for your money. If you do decide to forge ahead with food trucks, know that there are plenty of options to include alcohol and dessert into the cultivated ambiance.

Permitting

Be sure to check local laws pertaining to food truck permitting. Some areas don’t allow food truck parking, which could hinder your peace of mind on your special day if you don’t think ahead. Check with your venue to be sure they allow food trucks onsite, as some venues may have their own rules and all should be aware of the regulations surrounding their specific area’s permitting requirements.

Food trucks are fun, quirky, and exciting options for catering your wedding day. Planning for food truck catering requires a few more special considerations than traditional catering vendors, so be sure to plan ahead and do your research. We hope this guide helps you understand the options available as well as the potential benefits and drawbacks of choosing food truck catering for your big day. We also hope this guide helps you consider how to best prepare for any event should you decide food truck catering is the right path for your wedding!

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