From corporate meetings to employee appreciation events to music festivals, many events are opting to use food trucks for catering services. Some are run by dedicated food truck operators, while established restaurants and hotel catering departments have launched their own food trucks for events. Hiring a food truck brings its own set of logistical challenges. Here’s what you need to know to have a seamless food truck experience.
1. Obtain all necessary permits and insurance.
Organizers should make sure food trucks have the necessary permits and insurance to operate. Planners should also have insurance that covers any potential mishaps at an event, which may be trickier than it sounds. It differs so much with every municipal council.
2. Read your contracts carefully.
There is no one standard contract for food trucks, and juggling the details can be challenging when hiring multiple food trucks for one event.
3. Determine where the food truck will be located at the venue.
Not all venues lend themselves to food truck catering. It's important to inform the food truck if their trucks are required to climb slopes and hills taking into consideration the equipment they have inside.
Arrange food trucks along the perimeter of the event. They should not compete with the focal point of the event.
4. Choose the menu carefully.
Streamline the food truck’s usual menu at events, or even ask for new dishes. When you're thinking about menu and theme, some food truck companies will be flexible and work with you in any way, and others say, ‘This is what we do, take it or leave it.’ You won't know if you don't ask.
5. Calculate how much food you will need.
A key question for food truck operators is: “How many people can you feed in X amount of time?” The answer will let you know how many food trucks you will need.
6. Use food trucks strategically.
Another strategy is to use food trucks in combination with a traditional caterer. A possibility is to hire a traditional caterer for a meal but then add on an array of specialty food trucks for craft coffee service or desserts.
7. Figure out when food trucks should arrive.
The beauty of some of these trucks is, you’re curating the freshness right there. It’s made to order, not sitting in a chafing dish somewhere. They need to have come already prepped, or they will need to get there in enough time so when the bell rings they’re ready to take orders and start serving. The extra hour gives operators enough time to set up any signage, canopies or overhangs, or trash cans.
8. Spell out what you want—and don’t want—trucks to provide.
Should organizers create custom signage to identify the food truck and display the menu, or should the food truck operator provide that? If hiring more than one food truck, should the host provide plates, napkins, and other items for a consistent look?
9. Devise strategies to keep the line moving.
An event host should consider streamlining a food truck’s full menu for large events to prevent guests from waiting in line. If lines form, plann entertainment such as roving performers to distract guests. Another strategy is to have food truck staff offering samples of items to guests in line.
10. Decide who will handle trash and cleanup.
Some food trucks bring trash cans while others do not.
About the Author
Author & Editor
Based in Malaysia, Best Events specializes in Conferences, Seminars, Murder Mystery Dinners, Gala Dinners and Team Building events.
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