Food trucks at a wedding offer a unique experience that most couples are trying to create for their guests. I’ve been to a couple of shindigs with food trucks and the people working them are always wonderful, so it adds to a good vibe at your wedding. But most importantly, the food is always great.
Here is everything you need to know about having food trucks at your wedding.
How much does it cost to have food trucks at your wedding?
The price of having a food truck at your wedding will vary based on your guest count, what foods you want to offer, and, because they have to drive the truck to your venue, location.
In general, having food trucks at your wedding will cost $10 to $35 per person depending on the type of food truck and location. And food trucks usually have minimum orders of $1000-2000 that you have to meet for food. Sometimes additional fees are added for their travel and gas or extra employees.
Depending on how far they have to drive to get to your wedding, you’re not only looking at the cost of the food but also the cost of them just getting there.
Most food trucks will also offer the option of paying for your guest count ahead of time, or having people pay for their food, which isn’t a popular option – most guests don’t expect to pay for their own their food as guests at a wedding.
Here’s a real world example of what it would cost to hire a food truck for your wedding:
For this article, I contacted NYFTA to get a sense of options and pricing in the New York City area. For any of their food truck members. Here’s a quote they gave me and how much it would cost for different options and guest count. The minimum for a private event was $2000 for desserts and $2500 for savory items.
|Number of Wedding Guests||Flat Fee for Food Truck Rental||Cost of Food Per Person||Total Cost|
You can check out my free budget guide if you sign up for my newsletter. It automatically calculates what you should spend where based on your budget and guest count and helps you stay on track. It’s like the fairy godmother of numbers.
Is it cheaper to have food trucks at your wedding?
Having food trucks at your wedding can be cheaper than traditional catering options. A typical food truck costs $10-20 per person while traditional catering according to the Knot costs $60-70 per person. If you decide to hire multiple trucks, your food costs will be close to or more than the cost of catering.
If you’re going with a food truck that is offering you only about $10 per person for your guest count of 200 people and they are close by, then they can seem like a very budget-friendly option. But depending on the type of food and additional catering costs, the cost of having a food truck instead of traditional catering can add up to come close to traditional catering costs.
For example, you may need several food trucks to include appetizers, entrees, and dessert, accommodate dietary restrictions and make sure your guests don’t have to stand in a long line waiting for food. That means for a guest count of 100 you might want 4-5 food trucks ready. Which turns your $10-20 per person budget into a $40-100 cost per person.
If your venue is somewhere far away or just in an inconvenient location for your food truck of choice, you could be looking at some hefty travel and service costs.
It’s also important to note that despite the casual feel of a food truck, the type of cuisine you want to offer your guests will still be priced based on how much that food costs. If you’re just looking to do simple burgers, fries, tacos, or other traditionally easy-to-do food truck-style foods, you are going to be able to stay in a budget-friendly world.
That being said, if you’re interested in more expensive or complex foods like seafood or expensive meats, the costs can get extreme.
How to book a food truck for your wedding
A quick google search for “Food trucks near me” can give you a good sense of options of what’s available. Next you’ll want to reach out to the ones you like for a quote or reach out to a food truck membership like The New York Food Truck Association, NYFTA.
Make sure your venue can accommodate a food truck and that your food truck vendor has any necessary permits required. For example, you might think a public park is a perfectly acceptable place for a food truck but your park may require a special permit or not allow food vendors at all.
If you’re looking for more tips on how to cater your own wedding, check out this article from a real bride who catered her own wedding.
Pros and Cons of food trucks at your wedding
Just like most things that go into wedding planning, there are some pros and cons to consider when thinking about booking a food truck for your wedding.
Pros of food truck catering
You can find budget-friendly options for any guest size.
As we’ve talked about, you can find ways around the extreme expenses of catering by opting for a food truck.
Food trucks are great for non-traditional venues.
Especially if your venue doesn’t offer a kitchen or prep space, food trucks are a great solution. They have their prep station and kitchen right there in the truck!
The food will be fresh for every guest.
Because the food truck staff is cooking every order as they are ordered, your guests will get to enjoy a fresh cooked, delicious meal.
It will be a unique experience for your guests.
For couples who are really into food and want to share that love with their friends and family, food trucks are a great way to do that. Most local dives that offer catering food trucks are fun to work with, and you will be able to eat your favorite food on the most important day of your life.
Ever wondered how much it would cost to have a food like lobster at your wedding? Check out my article on having lobster at your wedding from the main meal to a lobster roll appetizer.
Cons of food truck catering
They can have longer wait times.
While the food will be fresh when it comes out, food trucks can take time to prepare the food. On average, it feels like when I’m ordering from a food truck it can take anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes for my food to come out. 5-minutes is great, but you do not want your guests waiting 20 minutes for their food at your wedding. Especially if you have a large guest count, it can take a lot of time to get your guests through the line.
Picky guests can slow down the line.
If you don’t disclose the food options the food truck will be offering to your guests ahead of time, it can be detrimental. Picky guests might ask the staff a lot of questions or can take up a lot of time deciding what they want. That will just add to the timing.
They usually are not all-inclusive.
Food trucks are designed to be a specialty in one cuisine, and usually only a handful of items. This means they most likely will not offer desserts, beverages, and foods for cocktail hour. This is another way the costs of having a food truck can add up.
You might have to have special permits.
Depending on your venue, you may have to acquire special permits to have them on the property. This usually isn’t the case for events on private property, but for venues that are owned by the city, you have to look into what your venue will allow in terms of food trucks.
Food trucks are a great addition to your wedding day – there is just a lot to consider when finding and booking the perfect one for you!