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FOOD TRUCK 411
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Ready to roll with a food truck? With so many food trucks to choose from in Northeast Ohio, it’s important to do your homework. Here’s a helpful check- list to bring with you when meeting with prospective food truck companies.
✓ Checkwithyourvenuetomakesure
a food truck is permitted and how far it will be located from your reception. Depending on the com- munity, a permit may be required to park on city streets. Most venues will require that the food truck show a certificate of insurance.
✓ Find out if the food truck company provides servers to help with refill- ing drinks, cleanup, etc. You may need to hire servers for additional help during the reception.
✓ Inquire about gas or mileage fees. Some food trucks will charge an additional cost to travel to venues located outside a specific area. For example, if you live on the west side of Cleveland, consider booking a food truck company located on your side of town.
✓ Ifyouplantobookafoodtruckfora late-night snack during the recep- tion, you’ll want the DJ or band to make an announcement. Another option to alert guests is mentioning the food truck in your invitation, on seating cards or signage on tables.
✓ Askforaguaranteeincasethefood truck breaks down or another potential situation arises. You want to have a backup plan in place just like you would for a photographer, DJ or any other vendor.
✓ Ask the food truck company for referrals or testimonials from other weddings and special events. The food truck staff should be profes- sional, friendly and experienced in the unique elements of a formal event. Try sampling food trucks around town before making your decision.
Special thanks to all our Food Truck Vendors for their contribution to this story.
O Culinary Services
• Enhance your wedding theme: Food trucks can be a perfect tie-in with your wedding theme. For example, a food truck that serves delicious barbeque favorites, such as pulled pork sand- wiches, ribs and corn-on-the-cob, works well with a rustic or barn-themed wedding. Perhaps you and your groom are both from Northeast Ohio and want to show off your hometown to out-of-town guests. What better way to show your hometown pride than serv- ing Cleveland-inspired entrees, such as pierogies and Polish Boy sandwiches?
• Cost-effective option: Food trucks are a cost-effective option for rehearsal din- ners, cocktail hours, late-night snacks and even reception catering. Many food trucks charge per hour versus per guest, so the cost is typically less than tradi- tional catering. If you’re thinking about using a food truck for the reception din- ner, keep in mind this type of catering works best for smaller weddings of 75 guests or less to avoid long lines.
cocktail hour to late-night snacks
Before choosing a food truck, you need to first decide when it will be used during your wedding. For example, will the food truck serve up creative appetizers during cocktail hour or late-night snacks after guests have worked up an appetite danc- ing the night away? In addition to food trucks, there are beer trucks that serve specialty craft beers and dessert trucks that serve cupcakes, doughnuts and crepes. If you want to keep a traditional catering option at your reception, consid- er using a food truck to bring some fun to your rehearsal dinner.
rollin’ into your reception
There is no “one-size-fits-all” when it comes to food trucks. From casual to for- mal fare, there is a food truck to accom- modate virtually any kind of cuisine. While some food trucks are versatile in the food they serve, others are very niche. If you’re looking for a food truck to serve up one-of- a-kind offerings your guests can’t find any- where else, choose a niche food truck. If
you want more traditional offerings, most catering-specific food trucks can serve up a variety of entrees. Either way, food truck chefs will work with you and your groom to plan the perfect menu.
To ensure guests receive their food promptly, consider inviting them up to the food truck by table or small groups. For large weddings, most food truck compa- nies recommend bringing in at least two different food trucks. On your invitations, ask your guests to mark down what type of food they want, or give them tickets to one or more food trucks at the reception. This gives the chefs an idea of how many peo- ple they will be serving.
‘tis the season for food trucks
Are you planning a wedding in the heart of winter? If so, a food truck might not be the best option for your catering needs. Since your guests will be waiting in line outside to get their food, the weather should be mild and comfortable. Food truck season typically runs from April through October. Therefore, food trucks are ideal for late spring, summer, or early fall weddings. With summer being the busiest time of year for food trucks, you’ll want to get on their calendar as soon as possible.
think about the theme
Don’t forget the theme of your wedding when choosing a food truck. For example, a southern cooking-themed truck pairs well with a country wedding, while a crepes dessert truck is perfect for a Parisian-themed wedding. In addition to the food offered, think about the appear- ance of the food truck, which can range from vintage to modern, art deco to south- ern charm.
While food trucks are staples at com- munity festivals and farmers’ markets, they are a growing trend at weddings across the country. Whether you’re look- ing for a taco truck for a late-night recep- tion snack, or a fun twist to traditional catering, food trucks are creative, quirky and memorable. It’s no surprise that more and more couples are choosingnfood trucks to serve up delicious food – and
loads of fun – on their special day. AC W
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