Wedding Food Trucks: How To Make Your Wedding Reception A Fun, Gastronomic Experience
This year couples are looking for ways to amp up the experience level at their weddings. And the absolute best way to achieve this is to plan a fun, exciting, and unforgettable wedding. From creative and quirky wedding hashtags to an incredibly unique gastronomic experience with wedding food trucks, weddings are all about “experiences.”
What Are Food Trucks?
Selling food on the streets actually dates back to the 17th century, with some essential hand-held food items. But they are pure magic in today’s modern times. Regarded as an affordable and respectable way to start a restaurant, food trucks are gaining popularity worldwide. In case you aren’t familiar with the revolutionary food truck craze, here’s what you’re missing.
Food trucks are restaurants on wheels. Generally, they’re trucks, vans, or other oversized motorized vehicles outfitted with a kitchen, serving, and cashier area. But the best part – they have the most unique, creative, and ingenious menu items.
Today, food trucks offer tasty menu options from grilled cheese, to cupcakes, to hybrid taco-waffles, and pretty much anything else that you can dream up. Going far beyond “boring” street food cuisine like hot dogs, food trucks now cater to all tastes, offering unique, gourmet, artisan, and locally sourced menu items. And when you can start one for a fraction of a restaurant’s cost, it’s no wonder they’re gaining popularity.
Food Truck Restaurant Examples
The modern food truck craze began in 2008, and now, it‘s responsible for an estimated $900 million in revenue This is so cool! The unbelievable creativity of these mobile restaurant entrepreneurs is awe-inspiring, and we love it.
Here are some of Wedding Hasher’s favorite food truck restaurant ideas that could create an unforgettable wedding experience for you and your guests.
- Farmers & Foragers (Burlington, VT) – this genius food truck focuses on locally sourced, organic ingredients. Some of their menu choices are; Pork Belly Banh Mi, Lake Champlain Perch Po’Boy, Crispy Squash Blossoms, Vermont Cheesesteak, and Truffle Fries. Truffle fries!!!
- The Blaxican (Atlanta, GA) – if you’re a taco-head and love to find unique taco creations, you have to check out The Blaxican food truck. They serve up yummy Mexican soul food, like spicy mac and cheese, shrimp & grits tostadas, and a unique option called the Blasian, a taco filled with grilled salmon, house-made Asian Glaze, tomatoes, and feta cheese.
- One Guy Steak and Chicken (Jackson, MS) – Don’t let the simple name fool you! This “Guy” is doing big things in his food truck. And with such delectable items such as crab cake sliders, filet mignon, and salads with chicken, you could combine the traditional wedding dinner with a food truck experience. Pretty cool!
- Wafels & Dinges (New York) – If you want a yummy dessert experience at your wedding, this is it! Wafels & Dinges serves up Belgium waffles like small delicious pastries with toppings like decadent white chocolate, strawberries, and ice cream. Definitely a memorable and unique experience for your wedding guests.
- Roti Rolls (Charleston, SC) – Roti Rolls is famous for its mouthwatering Indian-inspired tacos and wraps. The best part is that this food truck sources all of its ingredients from local farmers, so all of your grub has fresh, seasonal ingredients.
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Wedding Food Trucks Pros and Cons
There’s no doubt that food trucks at weddings are fun and quirky and probably totally unexpected. It’s definitely a pretty cool way to provide a unique experience for your wedding guests. If you’re considering this for your event, here are some wedding food trucks’ pros and cons.
Wedding Food Truck Pros
Wedding food trucks are one of our favorite wedding trends. There’s just something so unique and special about having four-wheeled grub at your wedding. But if you’re on the fence about whether or not it’s appropriate for your affair, here are some pros to having wedding food trucks.
Unique Culinary Experience
This is the most obvious pro to having wedding food trucks. Offering your guests a unique culinary experience rather than the old and boring traditional wedding meals will help to make your event unforgettable. The food that you serve at your wedding is an important aspect that most guests look forward to. But everyone has been to a wedding (or two) where the food is terrible.
With your wedding food truck, not only will your guests love the unique character that it adds, but they’ll enjoy the culinary experience as well.
Supporting Local Biz
We’re all for supporting the local communities and businesses which makes adding wedding food trucks to your special day a great idea. Small businesses always need a little help getting the word out, and while many people aren’t adventurous enough on their own to sample some food truck grub, by having them at your wedding, they will. A win-win for the local food truck businesses.
Character & Experience
Modern-day weddings are all about creating “experiences.” Gone are the days when weddings were just a ceremony, cocktails, dinner, then dancing. Couples are looking for ways to add excitement and experienced-based items to their event. Food trucks allow your guests to get up and get moving. Mingling together while they feast on the yummy delectables that your food trucks offer.
And many food trucks have funky paint jobs or creative graphics that add a unique character to your wedding. They provide a great backdrop for festive, interactive photos. Your guests will absolutely love it!
Wedding Food Truck Cons
Of course, wedding food trucks can have some minor pitfalls as well. And you definitely want to review some of the cons of having wedding food trucks.
One of the major cons to having food trucks at your wedding is the long lines. When deciding if a wedding food truck is right for your event you have to take into consideration how many guests you will have. Nothing could be worse than 150 guests trying to line up to get dinner from one food truck. You may want to consider having 2 food trucks and maybe even having some passed hor d’oeuvres as well. Having more than one food truck also allows you to offer a variety of culinary delights.
Food trucks generally will specialize in one main menu item, so if you have guests with specific dietary restrictions, your food truck could pose a problem. Make sure to speak with the chefs to inquire if they have vegetarian options and maybe even gluten-free choices.
If your venue is small or in an isolated area, you may have difficulty getting your food truck set up. You’ll want to talk with your wedding planner and the venue to make sure the food truck will fit and be able to set up properly. You also need to inquire if permits are necessary.
What To Know Before You Book
Before you jump in with both feet and book your wedding food trucks, you need to consider a few things. And we’re glad you’re here because without reading this, you may make some mistakes that could cause wedding day catastrophes, and no one wants that! Before you book your wedding food trucks, here are some things to consider.
Find A Food Truck That Fits Your Wedding Theme
There are tons of food trucks out there to choose from, but our first piece of advice is to find one that fits your theme. Check out the variety of food trucks in your local area to find one that fits the aesthetic of your wedding. If you can’t find one local, expand your search to find one that will travel.
Do I Need A Permit To Have A Food Truck At My Wedding?
The special event, fire code, and parking permit requirements vary in each city and even in each county. If you’re working with wedding food trucks that do not have event experience, you will need to speak with your local municipalities to make sure you aren’t breaking any rules. If you are hosting your wedding at a private home or property, generally, you won’t need a permit.
Space For Your Wedding Food Truck
An essential aspect of having a food truck at your wedding is simply having space for the truck to park. You have to make sure that there is ample space for the wedding food truck to drive into, park, and set up at your wedding. Failure to test this out may result in your wedding food truck, not setting it up properly.
A small fact that might not ever enter your mind is to check if your food truck can “get to” your venue. What exactly does that mean? Well, food trucks might not have the most powerful horsepower engines, so tackling rugged terrain may be impossible. If your venue is on a hill, for example, your wedding day food truck may struggle to get there.
How Many Guests Can A Food Truck Accommodate?
The worst thing you can do at your wedding is to have a terrible culinary experience for your guests. When you’re a foodie couple that loves food trucks, you have to make sure that your wedding food truck can handle your guest count without too much “wait time.”
On average, one food truck should be able to service 150 guests. For any larger gatherings, you should consider having at least one more.
Have A Contingency Plan
As with any wedding, if it is outdoors, you need a contingency plan. Speak with your wedding food truck vendor (in advance) to discuss their flexibility if there is rain or bad weather.
You should have a backup plan that they could still cook in their truck but then serve in a more traditional buffet or served fashion. Not ideal, we know, but Mother Nature is Mother Nature, so you need a backup plan.
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Cost Of A Wedding Food Truck
Many of us are familiar with food trucks and have enjoyed the creative and unique culinary delights they offer. And because of this, it may be easy to assume that having a food truck at your wedding would be much less expensive than food truck wedding catering. But there are a few things that you should take into consideration when deciding if a food truck is right for your wedding day and best for your budget.
Ok, here’s the deal. Wedding catering quotes can easily reach $100 per person (and maybe, even more, depending on your location), while wedding food trucks may only cost $15 per guest. Wow! That’s a huge difference that can have an incredible impact on your budget.
Decision made? Well, not so fast. You need to remember that wedding catering costs typically cover everything necessary, including staffing, rentals, dinnerware, and many times even beverage & dessert service. In essence, you pay the flat rate per person, and they take care of everything else.
On the other hand, wedding food trucks generally are NOT all-inclusive. Most of the time, it will just be the food, the truck, and of course, a pretty cool culinary experience. But they’re there for just that – the food experience! They aren’t going to help you set up the tables, won’t provide China or other dinnerware items, and aren’t going to refresh your guest’s water glasses, etc.
You should consider what “type” of wedding culinary experience that you want for your guests. Because if your dream is to combine your favorite, unique wedding food truck experience with sit down formal dining experience, there will be more expenses over and above the $15 per guest.
You’ll possibly have to rent tables and dinnerware, linens, and staff to provide more of the “served” experience. Other things to consider are the number of guests that you have. You won’t want them standing in line too long, so you may want to consider more than one food truck – an extra expense. And your wedding food trucks may not have a dessert option, so there is another expense.
Another thing that many couples never even think about is wedding insurance. Please make sure to speak to the wedding venue to see if they will require insurance for the wedding food trucks to be there – if they do, it’s another cost.
We absolutely LOVE the idea of having food trucks at 2022 weddings and believe that it may be more cost-effective than the all-inclusive wedding catering. And even if the costs are similar, the unique wedding experience that your guests will enjoy with the culinary delights from food truck wedding catering is priceless.
Wedding Food Trucks vs. Traditional Catering
Traditional wedding catering provides a level of service that most guests are familiar with. The staff will arrive hours before the event to set up your tables, prepare to serve, and offer food options that are traditional and familiar. On the other hand, wedding food trucks provide gastronomic experiences that are unique, fun, creative, and totally unexpected. But they may only be at your event for a limited number of hours.
Unlike wedding caterers that stay until the end of the event for cleanup, the food trucks will serve for the contracted number of hours and leave. Which means some of your guests could miss out on your fantastic food.
Longer wait times can also affect your guest experience, so you may want to inquire about having the wedding food truck set up some of their food items on a banquet-style table for easy access and maybe limit the menu items.
Of course, the goal is to create a unique and unforgettable wedding experience. To accomplish this, you just have to think everything out. Wedding food trucks are incredibly trendy and will make any wedding theme unique to you, especially if you’re foodies at heart!
Popular Wedding Food Trucks In The US
Check out this infographic showing some of the popular wedding food trucks across America.
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Where To Find A Food Truck For Your Wedding
We’d have to say that the easiest place to find a food truck is online, but the best place to find your wedding food trucks is your local downtown area at lunchtime. Yes! If you want to find the best food truck wedding catering AND be able to sample their grub – take a trip downtown.
Many cities and towns have designated areas that allow wedding food trucks to park and set up. This creates a mini-mobile food court of sorts that will enable you to walk from one to the other, checking out their menus. And when one catches your eye or intrigues your tastebuds, it’s time to jump into line and try some of their food.
But when sampling the local grub, remember you’re searching for a food truck business that will create an unforgettable experience. The one you select should have both a unique and savory menu and a staff that can engage, captivate, and help your guests have fun! Weddings are all about creating “experiences” and these experiences should be something your guests will never forget.
If your local town or city doesn’t allow food truck wedding catering businesses to assemble, then go to your favorite search engine and check out their websites. They should have a section that explains where you can find them. And again, we recommend you sample their grub.
If neither of those options has you saying yes to your wedding food truck, check out Roaming Hunger. They provide a specialty service that allows you to compare hundreds of food trucks in one easy place.
They’ll even negotiate the best rate for you, coordinate all logistics, and make sure the wedding food truck shows up on time with everything you need. If you hate dealing with small details, using Roaming Hunger is for you! Let them do the leg work so you can drool over the menu options.
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Wedding Food Trucks: Frequently Asked Questions
Food and drink are one of the best ways to elevate your guests’ wedding experience. And food trucks are an incredible way to make your wedding cuisine memorable. Here are some frequently asked questions about wedding food trucks that can help you make your decision.
How Does Food Truck Catering Work?
Food trucks work similarly to other wedding catering. But you’ll need to meet with your food truck chefs to discuss the logistics ahead of time. Some food trucks can prepare some food in advance and serve it at separate buffet-style tables while others need to prepare the food on-site. The best way for your food truck catering to work will be determined by the number of guests they are serving and how many food trucks you have.
What Is The Most Profitable Food Truck?
Food trucks can be a lucrative business if you have the right ingredients. The profitability of food trucks boils down to two things cost of supplies and payroll. In 2018, the most profitable food truck was Fukuburger Truck bringing in a whopping $1 million in annual sales (source: QuickTopTens.com). That’s a pretty good chunk of loot for some burgers & secret “crack sauce.”
Do You Tip A Food Truck At A Wedding?
Food truck etiquette 101 says tipping is not required, but we’re firm believers in that if someone is providing you a service, showing your gratitude with a little dough is always greatly appreciated. And since the food truck chefs have created an unforgettable culinary experience, we think tipping should be the norm.
Make Your Wedding Unforgettable
When you begin planning your wedding, you should create a personal wedding hashtag. Doing this allows all of your friends and guests to follow along with the excitement and planning details. And, when it comes down to creating a fun experience at your event, wedding food trucks is it! They offer a completely unique and unexpected way to make your reception one that no one will ever forget. Your guests will absolutely love it! For more wedding inspiration, follow our blog!