Rental Cost of a Food Truck Catering For Parties

Whether you’re planning a large birthday gathering, a college party, or a wedding reception, you may want to rent a food truck. Renting a food truck can be more affordable than traditional catering for such events but can still get a bit pricey. We will answer all your questions about how much you can expect your food truck rental to cost.

Renting a food truck for a party will start at $500 to $1000 dollars at minimum, plus any taxed prices for other expenses. These expenses include the average price of the food, the number of partygoers, the labor, the preparation time, and travel expenses. The total price will vary by these factors.

To find a better estimation of what each type of food truck will cost and learn more about the additional taxed expenses, continue reading.

Minimum Pricing Before Additional Charges

Almost every food truck you choose to rent is going to charge you a minimum price, generally somewhere between $500 and $1000, especially for a small or medium-sized event. This is so that the cost of traveling to your location and hiring staff to work the food truck and the labor of preparing and stocking the food truck is at least paid for without costing the company anything.

Sometimes, a food truck company will send out a food truck to an event and overprepare for the number of guests who actually utilize it, so this initial cost is a buffer in case nobody eats food from the truck.

The minimum pricing is kind of like a security deposit to ensure you will get the full services of the truck, except you won’t get this money back. This minimum cost will cover around 1 to 100 eaters, and extra charges will be tacked on if you’re planning to have more than 100 eaters, plus additional expenses such as labor, preparation time, and travel expenses.

Types of Food Trucks and their Average Prices

The general type of food trucks you can have catered at your party or event will cause the minimum pricing, plus the cost for additional eaters, to vary. This is because the type of food that each type of food truck serves varies in price per meal/serving. This causes the most variation in pricing, but remember that these costs are general estimations and don’t include other factors such as travel and labor costs.

To see what the different types of food trucks will cost you, in general, see the table below.

Food truck typeAverage price per servingMinimum cost (1-100 eaters)101 to 200 eaters201 to 300 eaters
Mexican food truck$10-$15$1,000$2,000$3,000
Pizza food truck$15-$25$1,500$3,000$4,500
Barbecue food truck$15-$25$1,500$3,000$4,500
American food truck$15-$25$1,500$3,000$4,500
Seafood truck$35-$45$3,500$7,000$10,500
Beverage truck$8-$20$800$1,600$2,400
Ice cream truck$8-$20$800$1,600$2,400

Prices Vary by Type of Event

When renting a food truck, you should know that the prices can vary based on what type of event you are renting your food truck for. For a private party, such as for a birthday, retirement, graduation, anniversary, or some other private celebration, the prices will look like those given in the above table for each type of food truck.

If you’re wanting to have a food truck cater a wedding, you can expect it to cost more than the cost to rent for a private party but cheaper than the cost to pay for traditional catering. The reason a food truck costs more at a wedding than a party is there are generally more people, and most people want higher quality cuisine at their wedding.

Sometimes, food truck companies will charge extra per meal simply because it is to cater a wedding. Generally, the cost of each serving from a food truck catering a wedding is $25-$45, so for 150 eaters, the food truck can range from $3,750-$5,250.

If you’re looking to cater a large corporate party event, you can expect the price per eater to cost more simply because the event usually requires more than one food truck from the same company. These prices may also be doubled because you may want to have more variety for your eaters, so you need to book more than one food truck to come to the party.

Catering Food Trucks Vs. Attendee-Pay Food Trucks

Portrait of group of friends visiting eat market in the street.

The pricing we have discussed so far generally applies to catering food trucks. These are food trucks in which the food is already prepaid by you so that your partygoers can simply order what they want from the food truck without paying. You’ll have to pay the cost of however many eaters you expect to be at the event or party ahead of time for this type of service.

Instead of prepaying for each eater, you can also rent an attendee-pay food truck. This means that when guests at your party or event order food, they will need to individually pay the price of the meal or serve themselves. You will still need to pay to have the company send a food truck out to the location, and the cost of the regular taxed fees would add onto a regular catering food truck. Often, these food trucks will require a business guarantee payment, which is a minimum amount of money you can cover as a guarantee for how many people will eat at the food truck. If the amount guaranteed ends up ordering food from the food truck, often the company will pay back this payment.

Labor, preparation, and travel expenses

Generally, food truck companies will have a minimum range for customers renting out food trucks. If your party location is outside this range, they will likely charge an extra premium to the travel expenses, but regardless of whether they will be traveling in or out of range, you’ll need to cover the costs of fuel to travel however far away you are located. Other additional costs will also be taxed onto your total depending on how much labor and preparation it takes before and after the food truck arrives at your location.

This cost will often vary by the type of food truck (some foods are easier to prepare than others), how many people are at your event, and the individual company pricing. Be sure to research and look into the prices of renting a food truck directly from the company website or by making a phone call to the food truck services and get a direct non-binding quote of how much the rental will cost for your particular event.

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