Caterers understand how to run an off-site operation—hardly ever are there events right in your kitchen! It makes sense that some caterers have utilized their on-the-move expertise and opened food trucks, showcasing their innovative eats and sharing their custom cuisine with the entire city.
For caterers who are thinking (and maybe dreaming) of starting a food truck, we spoke with two pioneers to get a closer look at a day in the life of a food truck caterer. Here's what they had to say.
Photo courtesy Jessica Le Fleur
Most popular events
Food trucks aren't just for cruising the streets—they are also an exciting option for your guests to have at events. Katie Hamuka, an event manager with Wandering Dago Catering Co. & Food Truck near Albany, NY, shares that their most popular food truck event appearances are weddings in alternative venue spaces.
Sarah Nett, the operations manager at Creative Hands Cuisine in Mesa, AZ, similarly says that weddings with late-night snacks often feature the company’s Kruzin Cuisine food truck. "The guests love the upscale pub grub as a light night treat," Nett adds.
The design of the Kruzin Cuisine food truck showcases its fun personality. Photo courtesy Cortez Visual
Most popular eats
Speaking of treats, the food truckers also shared some of their most popular dishes. For Hamuka, small, interesting bites such as mini chicken and waffles with maple Sriracha delight guests. Across the country in Mesa, guests also enjoy the small bites that Nett serves, like a trio of doughnuts accompanied with Mexican spiced coffee.
Photo courtesy Nicole Taylor Photography
How to advertise
The right way to advertise depends on how you plan to use the truck. If it will be more of an add-on at events, then taking nice photos and presenting it as an upgrade is best, Nett suggests. A truck that plans to hit the streets at lunchtime should rely on social media and potentially have its own website.
What to know before you start
Lastly, we asked the food truck operators for the best advice to caterers interested in the business. Hamuka said that it's best to "know your target audience" before you design your truck. "The size of your events and the types of food you offer will determine what equipment to include in your truck," she adds, "as well as the layout of the equipment."
The Wandering Dago food truck is particularly popular at weddings. Photo: Nicole Taylor Photography.
Nett adviss that caterers should "make sure [they] are ready for the commitment," but that it's "so rewarding once your truck makes a name for itself."
Wandering Dago Catering Co. & Food Truck and Creative Hands Cuisine are proud members of the ICA. To learn more, visit internationalcaterers.org.