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Lining up food trucks for a 400 person event

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We are considering hiring food trucks for an outdoor event that attracts 400+ people each year. Traditionally we hire a caterer but we want to try something new and more interesting for the food next year...so a bunch of food trucks would be really cool. I'm so excited about the growth of great food trucks.

So how does it work for a party like this? Would we pay the trucks up front? Ask the guests to pay for their own food? Something in between? Do I line up the individual trucks? Or go through a service? How many trucks should I get?

I've looked at a couple of services that will book the trucks for a party, but it seems like their offering would be limited; not offering the universe of possibilities.

The event is in Chester County - September 2014. Crowd is pretty affluent, all ages, lots of families.

Thanks for any advice,

Spraggini

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  1. I know they do stuff like this now and then at some of the wineries in ChesCo. You could call up one of them or contact a food truck directly such as Pitruco (my favorite): http://www.pitruco.com They do private parties and have their schedule online.

    1. Theres a barbecue guy with a truck near Kennett that is often at VaLa vinyard in Avondale.

      1. The Sunflower Cafe Truck

        http://www.thesunflowertruckstop.com/...

        1. good job everyone reading the post so far.

          i think you generally will pay the truck up front and then they will serve until they are out. the trucks will know, given how many trucks you have, how much they need to bring and charge. That said, it will be tough to coordinate because you'll need to line up a bunch of trucks before you can commit to any of them. But i would definitely contact them directly.

          1. Did you try the "Philly Mobile Food Association"? http://www.phillymfa.com/book-an-event/
            They will help coordinate and if you click on the "download complete membership list" it is two pages of trucks!

            1. Some trucks require full payment prior while some just require a deposit. If you ask guests to pay for their own food, many trucks will have a minimum required spending to make sure that it's worth it for them to go out there. People typically book 1 truck for every 75-100ish people so that guests aren't waiting too long. This can vary with the type of truck (ie: if you are booking an ice cream truck that hands out pre-made popsicles, they can serve a lot more people quickly). Most trucks will limit their catering menus to speed up service time so pick a few things that you like from each truck. Here's an email template for you to use when reaching out to the trucks: http://flavorplease.com/blog/the-lazy... (disclaimer: I'm a Flavorplease partner). Though we're not in Philadelphia yet, you can also take a look at a few of the catering menus on the site for trucks in New York and California to get an idea of what the pricing is like & what they offer. Hope this helps!