Host a Food Truck-Catered Party (and 11 of Our Favorites)

What to know when hiring one of these beloved kitchens-on-wheels

Skillet Street Food

Who doesn't love good food served fresh from a mobile kitchen that comes to you? Since the beginning of this culinary craze, hungry followers have scoured their neighborhood streets and Twitter feeds for their next inexpensive yet delicious snack, meal, or sweet treat. From dumplings to tacos, ice cream sandwiches to waffles, there is no limit to what these kitchens-on-wheels can produce. But have you ever considered hiring one to do the cooking for you at your next get-together? 

Calling up a local mobile food vendor is a trend that’s on the rise. In lieu of traditional office parties, corporations in the New York Tri-State area have called in trucks to park outside the office and serve workers there (one firm entertaining in a sports stadium even had the truck drive right in). A group of 20-something California young professionals harnessed the power of food trucks to bring newcomers to the Palo Alto area together for a food truck party where guests could enjoy good food and make new friends. Sure, you're going to get good, fresh food served to your guests without dirtying your kitchen (plus, it's a lot of fun). But there are some things you should know and consider before calling up a truck in your area — and we're here to help.

Tips for Hosting a Food Truck-Catered Party (and 11 Favorites) Slideshow.


Why Hire a Food Truck as a Caterer?

1. It's Good Food: Hiring a food truck is like having a mobile restaurant come to your house and feed your guests, without even setting foot inside. Unlike many traditional caterers who do most of the food preparation in advance and merely assemble dishes on site before serving, these vendors prepare almost everything from scratch on site and cooked it fresh to order. At the end of the day, that means your guests are happy, and there is less stress and headache for you — plus your kitchen stays clean.

2. It's Fun: So what do the guests think? The team at Mexicue in New York City has noticed that whenever their truck rolls up to an event, the guests’ curiosity increases and the energy of the party goes up a notch. Jeff Borofsky, the chef and owner behind Skinny Pines Pizza Truck in Connecticut agrees. “The guests love it when we’re a part of the party — watching the pizza being made and interacting with my team is entertainment for them — and it’s fun for us.”

3. It's Cost-Effective: When entertaining large groups, choosing a food truck over a traditional caterer can also save you money. Both Hummingbird Kitchen in Evanston, Ill. and Skillet Street Food in Seattle would agree — you can have a greater number of food options at a lesser cost because there is minimal labor and personnel involved. As well, unlike other food vendors that need hours to set up equipment and sanitation, most of these trucks are ready to serve within the frist hour on site, saving you time (and money). Having your wedding outdoors? Instead of hiring a caterer that will need an outdoor kitchen and electricity, not to mention a cook and service staff, hire a couple of food trucks that each serve different cuisines to create an international menu that will delight your guests and keep the set-up and clean up minimal.