Yes they do. It used to be trucks would just drive around servicing construction sites. Times have changed. Food trucks are one of the most popular catering options with a large variety of cuisines and typically lower prices than catering firms.
Unfortunately it is not that easy. Trucks generally do not have a public schedule. It may be possible to follow their social accounts, but this is hit and miss (mostly miss) and time consuming. Food Truck Connector (FTC) displays their calendar if it is a public Google calendar or if they have shared the calendar with FTC. You can find the locations of these food trucks on the FTC city home page or the FTC truck-locations page.
Food Truck Connector has over 300 Dallas area food trucks in its network. There are more trucks than this, probably close to 500 overall, but those in our network are the most operational and reliable.
This is what food trucks used to do. They would swing by one location, see who was hungry, then go to the next, the next, and so on. There are still a few trucks that do this. These are usually simple trucks that offer pre-prepared sandwiches and beverages. We do not have any trucks like this in our network. The trucks we have will spend lunch at one location, and then dinner at another typically, and each day is different. It depends on if the truck has obtained some private caterings in addition to supporting some locations on a periodic basis.
For trucks that make their schedule public, you can go the FTC city site and see where these trucks are today. As we stated in another question response, it is often difficult to know where a truck is because most of them don't make their schedule public.
The trucks are all independently owned and operated. In some cases the same owner may own a few trucks with different names but this is not normal. Mostly truck owners own and operate one truck. Food Truck Connector does not own any trucks, we just connect the people that need trucks with the trucks and can help select the trucks and ensure they understand all the event requirements if necessary including making sure they are on time and reliable.
The food trucks are generally self-contained. The main requirement is that the food truck workers have access to a bathroom. Also, if your event is going to run longer than 3 or 4 hours, you may need backup to the food trucks generator. This is normally a 50 Amp plug-in. Consult with the food trucks if this is your case. In rare cases, the location may have an height limitations on truck access. If you have a height limitation, make sure the truck you are considering meets the limitation (truck heights can vary).
They are not all the same. A large truck is about 25 feet or longer, less than 25 foot is normal, less than 20 is smaller. Also, many times a food truck trailer is considered a food truck. If you care whether the truck is a trailer or not, confirm this by looking at the online FTC photos.
The size of the truck is generally only a consideration when you have a large event where the truck needs to serve a lot of food (over 200 or so meals). The truck needs to be able to have refrigeration to hold the amount of food required, which is sometimes not possible on smaller trucks. We have found that Greek Girls is the best in Dallas for large events because they have a large truck, multiple cuisines, and can move food very quickly.
The short answer is no. There are some requirements. In general, trucks cannot park on public property but may be able to if nobody complains, you are servicing a facility with the facility's permission, and there are no brick and mortar restaurants within walking distance.
Trucks can park on private property, but only with the owner's permission and only if that owner has restrooms available for the truck workers. Even when operating on private land, food truck operators are required to keep their permits up to date and file itineraries with the city.
Trucks can park in residential areas if they are servicing a catering event and have permission from the HOA or private property owner. The trucks must park on a paved surface, vending on dirt or grass is prohibited.
The answer is it depends on a lot of things, like cuisine, brand, day of week, time of year, truck popularity, and more. For lunch events, you can normally figure that a minimum of $500 sales will be required but this depends on the truck. You have to think about it. The truck has to drive out to location, pay its employees, pay for its food, pay all its overheads which are substantial, and hopefully make some money to stay in business. The truck costs may exceed $500. The other thing you have to look at is supply and demand. A more popular truck will have more choices, and this would typically result in a higher price. Like most businesses, you typically get what you pay for.
The same thing applies for dinner but the prices are higher. Instead of $500, use $1000 as a minimum. You can find trucks for less than this (it always depends on how many people are being fed) but this is a good starting point. As to how much it costs per head, for a savory truck for budgeting consider $15 to $25/head, plus tax and gratuity.
For attendee paid events, food trucks will often require minimum guarantees. They require these guarantees because there is no guarantee of how much money they will make, if any. The way a minimum guarantee works is that if the truck sales are less than the minimum amount the host guarantees the rest of the amount. For instance, if a minimum guarantee is $800, and the truck sales receipts only add to $600, the host covers the additional $200.
Clients often don't like minimums, but they are necessary. The minimum should be set at a number that guarantees the truck will make some money, enough to make it a reasonable risk for the truck to come out. If an event is not going to make the truck enough to cover its costs with a reasonable commodity margin, why should the truck come out? If your event can or can't ensure this, you should guarantee a minimum, or reconsider bringing in food for the event. A minimum guarantee is not a bad thing, it is a good thing. Minimum guarantees ensure the trucks can make a reasonable profit or cover their costs, and any reasonable customer would expect their vendors to at least make something. If the truck sales reach the minimum, you owe nothing. So please don't push back on minimums, they are necessary for business.
About a month in advance is good in general. The trucks rarely have full schedules this far in advance. However, reserving a truck a year in advance is not unusual, especially for big events such as weddings and other private parties. At FTC its even possible to reserve a truck the day of the event! This is not recommended however, because your choice of trucks will be limited and your costs will likely be higher.
It depends on the truck, but the answer in general it's as far as necessary. If the truck has to go further than what may be considered normal (20 miles or more), it may charge for mileage costs to get to the event. It really depends on what kind of deal you work out. Remember, the trucks need to make money to stay in business, and mileage/fuel costs are a big expense along with the employee paid time to get to your event.
This varies depends on the truck and the cuisines. If you hire a large truck, and select a cuisine or menu that can support large parties, up to approximately 250 people can be supported by one truck. Greek Girls has done this amount in an hour on some of our events in Dallas. Most trucks can't do this however. 100 is a good number in general but this is 2 people per minute so food has to pre-prepared and ready to go, you can't expect people to order anything they want, and there has to be a limited menu.
More trucks usually means more expense but that is not always the case especially if you have a large event. Clients will go with more trucks sometimes to get more cuisine choices, but some trucks, like Greek Girls, have multiple cuisines they can move quickly so the added complications with multiple trucks aren't necessary sometimes. In summary, how many trucks and how fast food can be moved are dependent on a lot of factors, the important thing is to make sure the trucks you have selected understand and can meet the requirements of your event.
This varies as well. If you request catering through FTC, we sometimes deliver the request to nearly our entire network of 300 trucks in the Dallas area. This is normally not the case however. We may distribute it to the 50 closest trucks that meet your requirements, or the trucks we have known to have delivered the best results for our customers. At FTC, you can also select individual trucks for distribution, and we may only distribute to these or similar trucks. You can also select trucks by cuisine through our request catering form.
Simply fill out a Request Catering form with your requirements and we will distribute it to the trucks. The main thing is to make sure you have enough business for the trucks to make it worth their while, considering how far they have to drive and the time required. These considerations are addressed in other FAQ's.
At FTC you can certainly do that. Simply click on Request Catering and fill out the form selecting the cuisines you desire that are available in your area. We will distribute to those trucks that can support the cuisine choices.
Food Truck Connector (FTC) manages over 50 apartment/office locations and would be happy to support your facility as well. You can click on request catering, and fill out the form, entering in the description area what you want. You can put in bogus information for the form fields that don't apply to your situation. We individually review all catering requests and will get back to you.
The most important requirement is that there is enough business at your facility to support a food truck. If you don't think your facility can support $500 for lunch or $800+ for dinner, then it will likely be very difficult to establish consistent recurring trucks at your facility unless you are willing to guarantee minimum sales.
Yes you can. We can manage food trucks at your location or you can use our free scheduling software designed specifically for apartments/offices. The important thing is that there is enough business for the trucks, if so, either way will work.
If you are using somebody other than FTC to schedule trucks into your location, then the answer is yes. At FTC you have an option to use our free scheduling software, and if you choose to do that then the answer is no the trucks are not charged.
Yes this is done all the time. Simply click on Request Catering at FTC and fill out the form. Attendee events need to be large enough to support food trucks or the trucks will generally require a minimum guarantee.