Cost to Rent a Food Truck for a Party (2024 Prices)

Renting a food truck for a party will vary depending on what type of cuisine you want, how many guests you have, your location, and how popular the date or the truck is.

Since we started managing food truck catering in 2009, we’ve learned a lot about what goes into the costs of renting a food truck.

Below are some of the average costs our customers frequently ask about when looking to rent a truck for a party:

Pricing by Cuisine Types and Number of Eaters

The menu that you’re looking for affects the rental costs of your food truck catering more than any other factor.

Cuisine Average Price per Person 1-100 Eaters (Minimum) 101-200 Eaters 201-300 Eaters
Taco Truck Catering $12-15 $1,200 $2,000 $3,000
Pizza Truck Catering $15-25 $1,500 $3,000 $4,500
BBQ Truck Catering $15-25 $1,500 $3,000 $4,500
Burger Truck Catering $15-25 $1,500 $3,000 $4,500
Lobster Truck Catering $35-45 $3,500 $7,000 $10,500
Ice Cream Truck Catering $8-20 $800 $1,600 $2,400
Beverage Truck Catering $8-20 $800 $1,600 $2,400

The pricing above will also be affected by whether you want drinks or dessert options (with a savory food truck), which will range between $1-$5 extra.

If you’re having a small party of 50 guests or less, you’ll probably be affected by the truck rental minimums, and the price per person would increase.

What is a “food truck minimum” and why does it exist? A food truck minimum is the lowest a food truck will charge for coming out to your event (regardless of the number of eaters). Food trucks set minimums because it’s not cheap to drive a restaurant to parties. Fuel costs, food costs, staffing, and drive time are just a few of the expenses that owners have to think about.

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Factors That Affect Food Truck Rental Prices

1. Type of Event

Corporate Events

Pricing for corporate events will be dependent more on the catering budget than anything else. If you’re having a large event that requires more than one food truck, this will typically increase the price per person or even double it.

Many of our corporate customers rent more than one truck to provide more variety, especially for important company parties.

Looking to bring a food truck to a company event? Learn more about corporate food truck catering.

Private Events (Birthdays, graduations, etc.)

The chart above is a good guide for what a typical private party food truck rental will cost.

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If you’re looking to rent a food truck for your wedding, the pricing will be different compared to a private party. Since weddings are more complex logistically pricing will be higher than normal, but as you can see below, it will be much more affordable than traditional wedding catering.

For 2020, the average cost of catering a wedding is $70 per guest, according to the Knot. Renting a food truck for catering will drop the price to $25-$45 per guest. If you have an average wedding of 150 people, total costs for food truck rentals will be $3,750-$5,250, instead of the normal $10,500.

Learn more about food truck wedding catering.

2. Party Location

Location is another factor that affects the cost of renting a food truck. On the expensive side are major cities such as New York and Chicago, where it’s more expensive to operate a food truck due to city restrictions. In a city such as Los Angeles, prices will be higher than the national average, but will also range on how far a truck needs to travel and the cuisine type (renting a taco truck will be less expensive than getting a fusion truck).

If your party is in a city that does not allow food trucks or a rural location, prices will vary based on availability. Food trucks will typically not drive long distances without extra travel fees.

Another very important note to consider when renting a food truck is the location of the party itself. A public space might require a city permit, while private property will require enough space for the truck to park and operate. If your space is limited you may want to consider a different type of catering, such as a tent or pop-up. Many food trucks will provide these types of services, but pricing may not always be lower.

Many cities also have zoning and parking restrictions on food trucks. A common restriction does not allow a food truck to park within a certain distance from a restaurant. If your party is near other food establishments, make sure the food truck will be able to legally park at your venue.

3. Date of Your Party

Also, as we hinted at above, prices will vary based on the date of your event. During popular holidays, such as July 4, many trucks book up, and therefore increase prices (especially for last-minute bookings). In some cases, as you can see from the Kogi example, Saturdays can also be more expensive.

4. Duration of Your Event and Time Onsite

A normal food truck catering will last 2 hours regardless of how long your event is. Most food trucks will be available during lunch and dinner hours.

Most trucks will increase their minimums or charge an extra hourly fee if they need to stay for longer than 2 hours, or if the event is late-night.

5. Food Truck Brand

One important factor is the popularity of the food truck you want to rent for your party. The Kogi Truck, for example, is the most famous Los Angeles food truck. Their party catering minimums for standard hours are $1,250 (and $1,500 for Saturday service). The price does not include the additional 15% service charge.

Cheaper Alternatives to Food Truck Catering

If you’re looking for cheaper catering options, consider booking a food cart vs. a food truck. Not only are they a cost-effective alternative, but food carts can also fit into smaller spaces, indoors, and in backyards.

Here are some average prices to rent a food cart for catering:

Taco Cart – $6-$12 per person with a rental minimum of about $400-$800.
Ice Cream Cart – $5-$10 per person, with a rental minimum of about $300-$600.

Lastly, don’t forget that drop-off catering can also be a great backup option. While drop-off delivery doesn’t come with the sounds and smells of the food being made in front of your guests, it will feed a hungry crowd.

Need Help Renting the Right Food Truck?

Roaming Hunger can help you find a great food truck for your party, no matter what the occasion and size. For more information just go to our Private Party Catering page.

Once you give us some basic information on when and where your event is, your dedicated catering manager will help you get the best options based on your needs. All you’ll need to do is pick the menu packages you like and we’ll handle all the logistics. We also protect every single catering with our 100% Roaming Hunger Service Guarantee.