Why Events Need a Food Truck

By Caroline Cox | 3 min read

Experts have reported that food trucks are an industry worth more than $1 billion. More than 4,000 food trucks are operating around the country, averaging six-figures worth of yearly sales — and cities like Atlanta even have their own food truck parks. In short: business is a-boomin’. 

So for events, especially those that are fully or partially outdoors, a food truck can be a great option for feeding guests in a fun, unique and easy way. Intrigued? Read on to find out more.

 

They offer options

Unlike traditional catering companies, many food trucks offer options in terms of whether you’d like to hire them to cater (in which case, you’d pay for the food up front and guests would be served free of charge) or simply have them as an on-site vendor (wherein they’d sell their items to guests for the normal price). The former is generally the option for more intimate events like a wedding reception, while the latter is a great option for bigger, more casual affairs. If they’re merely selling at the event, it may help to discuss a minimum cost that must be paid, to assure the food truck that having them at the event will be mutually beneficial.

 

They draw crowds

Due to the niche food offerings (like a truck that just makes different types of grilled cheese or a sushi burrito truck) and unpredictable location, these mobile eateries tend to amass a cult following. Therefore, promoting a popular food truck in your area that’s being tied to your event is a great way to increase ticket sales or RSVPs. Plus, it’s recommended that you should have at least 1 food truck per every 200-300 attendees, if the event is food-centric, like a food or drink festival. For less food-focused events, it can be closer to one truck for every 500 attendees. Got multiple food trucks? Make sure there’s lively music playing to keep people having fun when lines form to order food.

 

They make pleasing different palates easy

For smaller events, it’s wise to request any food restrictions or allergies be submitted well in advance of the event so you can choose food trucks accordingly. For large events, it’s advisable to plan ahead with multiple options for attendees who are gluten-free, vegetarian or have nut allergies, for example. Picking food trucks that offer a wide variety of options is your best bet to ensure there’s something for everyone without spending a ton of extra dollars on specific catering options that may or may not get eaten.

 

They’re (usually) low maintenance

The convenience of having a food truck is easy to see — most can simply drive up to a designated space, park, and serve up food for the duration of the event. There’s no extensive load-in process or need to carry heavy food trays and dishes. Food trucks have more ownership and knowledge of their food, and most bring their own trash receptacles for easy cleanup (though it couldn’t hurt to supply a few extra trash cans and recycling bins). To keep things seamless, though, it’s advised to have a conversation about specifics beforehand, so trucks know details about things like when to arrive, where to park, how many guests they should anticipate, and how payment will be handled.

 

They’re fun!

Rarely will you see a food truck at an event that a guest would deem “boring” or “stuffy.” Food trucks add an element of color, excitement, and interest that can instantly liven up a crowd. Clients of ours who use Gather as an effective catering software include Ruthie’s Food Trucks in Texas, Border Grill in California and Las Vegas, and Bruxie and Habit Truck in California. They all offer tasty, inventive dishes (fried chicken and waffle sandwich? Yes, please!) that keep people eating, Instagramming and, most importantly, coming back for more.

 

Now that you’ve got the 411 on food trucks, find out how you can best use Twitter to promote private dining and events!

This is an updated post that originally appeared on the Gather blog in July 2016. 

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Caroline Cox
Content Marketing Manager

Caroline Cox is Gather's Content Marketing Manager. She spends her time crafting blogs, thought leadership pieces, case studies, social media content and more, helping empower restaurants and other event venues to streamline their planning process and grow their events programs with success.

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