Mobile Meals: Feeding your Team with Food Trucks
by Jenny Vergara
Elevated from their county fair food status, food trucks are now considered mini gourmet restaurants on wheels, and in Kansas City they specialize in everything from Spanish tapas to Aussie meat pies.
As an event planner or convention coordinator, you should consider food trucks as your own personal fleet of caterers ready to feed your team at your next corporate event. These mobile kitchens are your ticket to fast, hot and creative meals on wheels.
From savory to sweet, Kansas City food trucks know the value of catering corporate events and they stand ready to assemble and provide curated consumption at its very best. A cold box lunch is boring, and does not consider the personal preferences and preferred diets of those people you are trying to welcome to your event.
Here are some tips that will make working with Kansas City food trucks a breeze.
Organized Food Truck Groups in Kansas City for One-Stop Shopping:
We have groups of food trucks that have banded together to provide customers the ability to pick just one truck or several trucks within the group to book for your next event. It is one-stop shopping for you. These groups have done a nice job partnering with trucks that compliment their overall offerings, with a nice mix of sweet and savory trucks to choose from.
- Elite Street Eats - www.elitestreeteats.com. Members include: Blue Moose Truck, Torched Goodness, Indios Carbonsitos, Wilma’s, Boo-Yah, Little Italy, CoffeeCakeKC, Cajun Cabin, Polar Oasis, Drasko’s, Street Wings and Prairie Fire Oven
- Kansas City Food Truck Association - www.kcfoodtrucks.org. Members include: The Funnel Cake Truck, Jazzy B’s, Deco Street Eats and ChickHoovenSwine BBQ
- KC Food Truck Mafia - www.kcfoodtruckmafia.com.
Members include: KC BBQ Truck, Crave of Kansas City, Beauty of the Bistro, Savanna Sweets, Bochi, Monk’s Roast Beef and Cheesy Pop’s Pizza
Comprehensive Kansas City Food Trucks Listings with Contact Info:
Perhaps you need a few more food trucks to round out an event, or you are looking for food trucks that serve a specific type of cuisine then you’ll want to browse through these two websites to see a comprehensive listing of all of the food trucks in Kansas City with their contact information.
Things to Know Before Booking a Food Truck:
Fee Structure – Food trucks are also business people, and they want a guarantee that they will be able to make money at your event. This can be done two ways:
- Selling their food at your event that your guests pay for
- Catering a pre-paid menu that you select
The size of your group is not important, especially if you are simply paying the trucks to cater your event. However, if you are expecting them to prep food and show up to sell food to your guests, most of them will charge a minimum food order (between $500-$700) which may be waived if the truck earns that in sales, if not, then you will owe the difference, a truck rental fee (around $100) and an 18% service fee (to cover liability insurance, any permits or licensing needed) and sales tax for a 2-hour serving window.
To book a truck for your event, expect to sign a contract and put down a 50% deposit.
Estimating the number of trucks you need – The ideal ratio of guests per truck is between 50 and 100 per hour if everyone is expected to eat. At over 100 customers per hour, the lines often get long and the customers are unhappy.
You will want to confirm the total number of guests you are expecting with each truck two weeks before your event.
Parking Needs, Set-up and Other Logistics - Like any event, organization and communication is the key. The more trucks involved the more important this becomes.
- Know ahead of time where you want the food trucks to park
- Sizes of trucks vary, and you want to ensure you have plenty of room, a good estimate is to plan for each truck to have space that is approximately three parking spaces wide
- Most trucks have their own generators, but others require electrical power, always ask what their needs are ahead of time
- All trucks should be in position 30-60 minutes prior to the start of the event. If you expect the truck to stay until a certain time, make that clear
- Tables and chairs near the trucks to give your guests a place to sit down and enjoy their food truck fare is a good idea
- Pay attention to the quantity and locations of trashcans, and for a big group someone may be needed to manage the trash collection
So, don’t be afraid to think outside the boxed lunch, as the appetite for food truck cuisine is as healthy as our food truck scene in Kansas City.