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Art & Science of Booking Food Trucks

Transform your event into an unforgettable experience with the exciting and diverse dining options offered by food trucks. As their popularity soars, food trucks are expanding their services, with many now providing catering for indoor events and parties. However, this guide is specifically tailored to help you successfully book a food truck or multiple trucks for your outdoor gathering. By following our expert advice, you'll be able to navigate the process with ease, ensuring that your guests enjoy a memorable culinary adventure. Oh, if you want help with any or all of the items on this list just reach out to MOBLZ at Stay tuned for our upcoming guide on how to leverage food trucks to cater your next indoor party, taking your event to the next level of convenience and culinary delight.

Step 1: Determine Your Budget
Before you start searching for food truck vendors, determine your event budget. Consider factors such as the number of guests, the duration of the event, and the type of menu options you want to offer. Knowing how much a truck can handle can make or break your event. Keep in mind that food truck prices vary depending on the cuisine, location, and additional services provided. Expect to pay from $30 to $100 a person depending on the number of trucks hired, cuisine, and other variables. Most food trucks can serve up to 100 people in a 3 hour shift, and will be looking for a minimum of 60 people. Therefore, wanting 2 trucks when you expect 25 guests will be difficult. This is a guide only and each truck will set its own minimum. MOBLZ uses years of experience with the trucks to know which trucks woul dbe a good fit for your event. All truck sare not created equal, so yes, a truck can handle 100 people, but some are more efficient than others. Most events are pressed for time, so this is a key consideration.

Step 2: Identify Menu Preferences and Dietary Restrictions
Decide on the types of cuisine you want to offer. Consider your guests' preferences and any dietary restrictions they may have, such as vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, or nut-free options. Make a list of the menu items you'd like to include, and keep it handy when contacting food truck vendors.The more options you need or want, the more important it is to look for a truck with diverse menus and/or chefs that can make anything.

Step 3: Choose a Suitable Location
Select a location that is suitable for food trucks to park and operate. Look for even or level ground. Trucks generally serve from one side only. Some vednors serve from a trailer. Which side of the truck works best based on the best parking location? Be sure to ask the truck which side they serve from. Consider factors such as accessibility, space requirements, outlets, and proximity to your event. Ensure that the location has adequate space for the food trucks to park and for guests to line up and enjoy their meals. Maneuvering a food truck is not easy - give them room. If you're having a large event with several food trucks you may want to rent tables, chairs, and linens. Concerned about the weather? Consider renting tents, heaters, or fans.

Step 4: Check Permits and Regulations
Research local regulations regarding food truck permits, parking restrictions, and health department requirements. Some cities may require specific permits or have designated areas where food trucks can operate. Contact your local authorities to obtain the necessary information and ensure that you comply with all regulations. Start with your city or county permit office and they'll be able to direct you to other departments you may need to contact. This might be the building department, restaurant inspection department, and/or tax office.

Step 5: Contact Food Truck Vendors
Start reaching out to food truck vendors using the MOBLZ Book A Truck button on every Food Truck page in our Food Truck Directory and be sure to do so well in advance of your event date to learn about availability. You'll need to provide details about your event, including the date, location, estimated number of guests, and menu preferences. Ask about their booking process, including deposit requirements, cancellation policies, and payment schedules. Typically, food trucks receive a deposit ranging from 10% to 50% of your expected event costs.

Step 6: Discuss Menu Customization
Many food truck vendors offer menu customization options to suit your event theme and preferences. Discuss these options with the vendors and work together to create a menu that aligns with your vision. Consider factors such as portion sizes, dietary restrictions, and any specific dishes you want to include. Make sure your ideas are in line with the food truck's culinary mission. Don't ask Corner Boys BBQ for sushi.

Step 7: Inquire About Additional Services
Some food truck vendors offer additional services beyond food preparation and serving. These may include staffing, setup, cleanup, and providing dishes, utensils, and napkins. Inquire about these services and determine which ones you may need or want to use for your event.

Step 8: Research Reviews and Check References
Before booking a food truck vendor, read Facebook, Google, and Yelp reviews from previous clients and ask for references. This will give you an idea of the quality of their food, service, and reliability. Reach out to references and ask about their experience working with the vendor, including their satisfaction with the food, professionalism, and overall experience.

Step 9: Ensure Proper Insurance Coverage
Confirm that the food truck vendors you are considering have liability insurance coverage. We call this asking for their COI (Certificate of Insurance) and this is one of the many services MOBLZ provides for our clients. We collect updated COIs every year. Checking for a current COI protects you and your guests in case of any unforeseen incidents or accidents during the event. Ask for proof of insurance and ensure that the coverage is adequate for your event size and location.

Step 10: Maintain Open Communication
Maintain open communication with the food truck vendors throughout the booking process. Provide them with updates on any changes to your event details well in advance, guest count, or menu preferences. Be responsive to their questions and concerns, and work together to finalize your event's details.

Step 11: Confirm Final Details
As your event date approaches, confirm the final menu selections, logistics, and timeline with the food truck vendors. Ensure that all necessary permits and insurance documents are in order. Provide the vendors with a detailed schedule of your event, including setup times, serving hours, and cleanup expectations.

Step 12: Have a Backup Plan
Despite thorough planning, unforeseen circumstances such as inclement weather or last-minute cancellations can occur. Have a contingency plan in place to address these situations. Consider alternative serving locations, such as indoor spaces or covered areas, in case of bad weather. Have a list of backup food truck vendors or catering options in case of cancellations.
By following this step-by-step guide, you can ensure a smooth and successful food truck booking process for your event. With careful planning, communication, and attention to detail, you can provide your guests with a delightful and memorable dining experience.

We realize this list can be daunting. MOBLZ to the rescue.

If you're feeling overwhelmed, email and we'll help you create an unforgettable food truck experience.