Everything You Need to Know About Catering Weddings with Your Food TruckLast updated on 7/19/2018
With their unique flavors, made-to-order selections, and ability to be mobile, food trucks are rapidly becoming one of America's newest guilty pleasures. Oddly enough, the popularity of this street food craze has also won over the hearts of many brides and grooms looking to add something unique to their big day. More and more couples are now using food trucks to cater their weddings instead of hiring a traditional catering company. Couples are looking for more inexpensive ways to serve food to their hungry guests, and food trucks are emerging as a new leader.
If you want to set your business apart, you can easily use your food truck to cater to brides and grooms looking for your contemporary fare. Creating wedding services and generating new ways to market your catering company can help you succeed in catering a wedding with your food truck, and it may help you find new opportunities for business and exposure.
Why Clients Should Choose a Food Truck on Their Wedding Day
Making your food truck stand out is of great importance when trying to gain new clients, especially in the competitive wedding industry. One way in which you are already ahead of your competition is by being more economical than traditional wedding catering options. Your food truck is able to serve large groups of people quickly, and your added mobility allows you to reach venues where traditional kitchens are not available. When meeting with potential clients, remind them of how your food truck is different than catering alternatives:
- Food trucks are perfect for outdoor weddings, especially in the spring and summer months when these are most popular.
- Food trucks add excitement and can also serve food between the ceremony and reception while guests are waiting for the celebration to begin.
- Your food is made-to-order, which gives your meal service a more personal touch than traditional catering.
- Because food trucks make food to order, guests’ meals will be fresher and there will be less food waste.
- Food trucks can give wedding guests a wider variety of food to choose from, especially if the couple’s budget could limit dinner to one choice of plated meal with a catering company.
- Food trucks can even provide a "late night snack" for guests to enjoy after many hours of celebrating and dancing.
- Catering a wedding with a food truck means simpler cleanup than a seated dinner demands.
- Food trucks are a modern alternative to a buffet meal service. To a couple looking for a contemporary twist on wedding traditions, your service is ideal.
Create Services to Make Your Wedding Food Truck Stand Out
In order to thrive in the cutthroat food industry, you need a product that will make you stand out from your competition. Remember that you are not just providing a meal to your clients, but also a service. A few simple ideas will allow clients to think of you as more than just a food truck, but a gourmet buffet on wheels for their wedding.
Let the Couple Personalize Your Serving Supplies
Offer to use containers that the bride and groom can pay to have personalized with their names or monogram. For example, if your food truck specializes in cupcakes, the couple may want to use your cupcakes as wedding favors. Putting the cupcakes in a custom box will dress up their presentation, and this small touch makes your service more unique to the wedding. Your flexibility in using personalized supplies shows the couple that you recognize how important this day is to them.
Consider Different Levels of Service
Because your food truck offers a fresh take on a catered meal, you can choose how elaborate to make your wedding services. You can simply offer a shorter list of menu items and allow the bride and groom to help you shape the choices, or you can take on some of the tasks that are usually completed by a caterer. For an increased rate, offer to set up decorative tables with tablecloths, candelabras, and pictures of the bride and groom beside your food truck. You could put some of your food there, so guests can grab snacks while they are waiting to order. You may also provide trash cans, utensils, and napkins to give guests everything they need to enjoy their meal.
Create a Custom Wedding Menu
Instead of using your typical menu board, create a personalized board that makes it clear to your clients' guests what options they have to choose from when ordering. Craft a large sign using the bride and groom's names, colors, and ask the couple if they have a wedding hashtag you should display. As guests take pictures using platforms like Twitter and Instagram, your food will be displayed on social media for added exposure.
Draw Up a Wedding Catering Contract
While your booking process is probably more casual than that of traditional caterers, couples will like the security of a contract. Especially if you are providing their main course, you want to make your couple confident that you’ll be there on their wedding day, rain or shine. This also allows you to clearly set the terms of your service, so everyone is on the same page.
Offer Wedding Packages
To simplify the menu planning process, create special wedding packages for brides and grooms to choose from. For example, you could design wedding packages to feature a cocktail hour, main course, dessert, and late night snack. Try developing some special selections such as vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free choices to accommodate guests with dietary restrictions.
Be Prepared for the Weather
In the event of rain showers or even extreme heat, have an adjustable roof or awning attached to your truck, so guests can feel more comfortable while getting their food.
Before the Big Day
Just like with a traditional catering company, meeting with your clients prior to their wedding is a must when organizing such a big event. Meeting beforehand will allow both you and your clients to communicate any questions, concerns, or requirements to make the day go more smoothly.
Have a Tasting
Offer tastings to clients, so they know what to expect on their big day. If you are crafting a custom menu with them, this will be necessary to test any new dishes.
Get the Appropriate Permits
Make sure clients understand that they are responsible for all permits regarding food trucks prior to their wedding day. Not all venues will allow outside catering services, and that includes food trucks. Additionally, some event sites may have restrictions for where you can set up your truck. Be advised and aware about any ordinances or parking laws near the venue in order to prevent fines.
Know the Guest Count
When planning your couple's menu, make sure your truck can handle the number of guests who will be attending the wedding. You need to be able to safely prepare the volume of food, and you want to make sure that lines of guests waiting don’t get out of control.
Seek Out New Business Opportunities
Catering a wedding isn't only about giving the bride and groom a unique feature at their special day, but it is also a way for you to gain new customers and fill in gaps between event bookings. Your food truck is a moving advertisement for your company. Weddings open your business up to groups of clients who may not have had access to your food before, and your presence throughout the celebration is great exposure for your brand. If you want to start bringing in brides and grooms as potential clients, consider the following ways to attract their attention:
Create a Website
Design a website that showcases your work and explains your services, so future customers and clients can see what you have to offer before they even taste your food. Include your menu and contact information, and add a page about catering weddings. Inquiry and request forms will help you gain new clients easily with just one click. Ask that potential clients provide information such as their wedding date, location, number of guests attending, as well as how they heard about you.
Use Social Media
Many contemporary brides and grooms use social media to find wedding vendors. These media platforms are easy for your potential clients to navigate because they are familiar, as they are most likely something that the couple uses on an everyday basis. If you invest the time in curated social media profiles, you could draw in modern brides and grooms. At weddings, you can also hand out business cards with information about your website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms to increase connections with customers.
With the growing popularity of food trucks, more and more couples are choosing to forego traditional caterers for their weddings. This can open up new opportunities for your food truck business, but it's important to know how to plan for weddings and work with brides and grooms. If you’re interested in making your food truck available for weddings, use this guide help you to prepare for the unique demands of these special events.