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Booking a Food Truck Event
+ How can I book food trucks for events?
Reserving an event is as easy as pie – especially if pie is what you’re looking for!
The best way to request a quote for your event is to submit a request online. Once submitted, your request will be shared immediately with an events team member, who will respond to your inquiry. You can also email us directly at Events@ChicagoFoodTruckHub.com. Whether online or through email, it is important to provide as many details as possible so we can provide you with a prompt response and quote for your event.
+ When should I book the food truck I want?
Food trucks and other partners are confirmed on a first-come, first-served basis and are confirmed with a 50% deposit and an approved proposal. Summer is the busy season and options book up quickly. Confirming further in advance is advisable, especially if you are interested in a particular food truck, menu or service.
+ What type of occasions can Chicago Food Truck Hub cater?
The short answer: every event. Here'a a bit more detail: our team works with a wide variety of food trucks and other partners to manage any type of event. Below are some of the more popular types of occasions:
- Client / Employee Lunches
- Employee Appreciation Days
- Client / Customer Appreciation Days
- Holiday Parties
- Production / On Set Catering
- House Warming Parties,
- Backyard Summer Parties,
- Birthday Parties
- Bar / Bat Mitzvahs
Company Building Events
- Rotational Lunch Programs
- Cafeteria Replacement / Takeover
- Meeting Catering
Residential Building Events
- Tenant Appreciation Days (Ice Cream Social, Lobster Boil, etc.)
- Grill / Deck Takeover / Summer Party
- Private Tenant Catering
- Party Room Catering
- Rotational Programs
- Sport Tournaments
- University Events
+ What are the different service styles for food truck events?
Our team can accommodate any service style requested. These are the three most popular service options:
Food Truck Window Service As the description sounds, guests come up to order and take food from the food truck service window
Food Truck Buffet Service A buffet table is set up that allows guests to take food on their own. This is recommended for events starting at 150 people or more to help manage lines so a positive guest experience is maintained. Buffet tables can be situated outside directly in front of a food truck or inside.
Food Stations and Passed Service In addition to food trucks, we work with a large variety of incredibly talented food carts, crepe and omelette stations, sweet tables, smoked barbecue roasts and quite a number of others…just do ask. You’ll be pleased with what you find.
+ What is the difference between private / prepaid catering and an event where guests pay their own way?
There are two main types of events. The most common type of event is a private event. Private events are arranged ahead of time with a set menu and quantity of food and drinks from which guests can choose. These most often take place on private property. Examples of private events are company parties, weddings, etc. Everything is paid in advance.
Another common event scenario is when a budget is not allocated to pay for all event attendees and instead the host or organizer agrees to guarantee a vendor’s food and beverage minimum, commonly referred to as a guaranteed minimum. Examples of an event that may use a guaranteed minimum is a street festival. In this scenario, the total client costs depend on the event sales. If the guaranteed minimum is $1,000 and sales are $800, the client would be responsible for paying the $200 balance. If sales are at or above $1,000, the client would not have a balance for the minimum.
These figures are examples and may differ depending on the selected food truck(s). In both scenarios, rental fees, travel fees and an event fee may apply.
+ What is private food truck catering?
Food truck catering is a private catering service, open only to guests of a particular event and closed to the general public. These events are typically paid for by the host. Chicago Food Truck Hub has a team of event experts that will provide availability, menus, booking and coordination of anything you might need for your event. All you have to do is to make sure to have fun and enjoy the incredible food!
+ What do I need to provide?
First, a legal parking space must be made available. Food trucks can be be 30' long and are typically about 12' tall; please keep this in mind when planning the space needed for the truck and for guests' access to the truck. Food trucks provide disposable napkins, utensils and containers (i.e., plates, boats and bowls), typically made of paper and plastic. Some partners (but not all) may bring their own trash can, however it is strongly recommended to supply at least one garbage can per food truck and multiple garbage bags, which should scale based on the size of your event. If you would like other serving options, such as silverware, plates and glassware, we also provide rentals, including these pieces as well as garbage cans, linens, tables, chairs, china, silverware, glassware, etc.
+ What is required to have a food truck at my event?
Food trucks are self-contained mobile kitchens and run on generators. Power is only required if the event spans a longer duration (approximately 5 hours or longer). Other partners may need access to electricity. Access to a restroom for the food truck staff is needed as well as a legal parking spot on a flat surface that accommodates your partner(s) of choice. Additionally, permits and licensing may be required, which our team can help you navigate.
+ What if I want more than one food truck at my event?
Food trucks are typically able to serve between 60 - 100 guests per hour. Depending on the number of guests, the duration of your event and the requested menus, the recommended number of food trucks for an event can vary. We recommend submitting your request and a catering and event team member will help determine what is best for your event. Typically, one food truck or cart is able to accommodate groups of up to 100 – 150. Depending on the event details and selected partner, two food trucks or carts are recommended starting at about 150 people.
+ I need a special permit for my event - can you help me?
Yes, we work with various city agencies and municipalities to ensure that any events taking place in public areas (whether public or private events), have the required permits. We manage this process on your behalf and will communicate any costs incurred in the process. This may include permits for park district areas, street closures, street fairs and festivals and other such events.
+ Where can food trucks park?
A food truck event does not have to be complicated, but it does have to be thought out and planned in advance. Some municipalities have specific restrictions on where food trucks can serve, so be sure to check with your local government (typically the Department of Public Works). If you would like the food truck or partner to park on public property like a street or park, we can manage this process on your behalf (additional fees may apply). If parking on private property, permission is needed from the property owner. Food trucks are required to abide by all posted parking signs, including paid meters. If your event requires parking in a particular area that has a parking meter or a parking lot that assesses a fee, those fees will be included in the event costs.
+ What do you need to know to provide me with a quote?
Great question! By sharing the following information, our team of expert event managers can share a quote.
- Type of event or occasion
- Event date
- Event start and end times
- Event address
- Number of guests
- Cuisine preferences
- Dessert preferences
- Additional services needed? We offer bartending and bar packages, service staff, event rentals (tents, tables, chairs, linens, silverware, plates and bowls, glassware, chafing dishes, etc.), DJ/entertainment, photography (traditional photographers, photo booth, photo magnets), valet/transportation and more.
- Budget for the services requested
- Contact information
- Name, phone and email
+ What if a different number of people show up on the day of the event than I expected?
Food trucks and other partners are prepared to serve the final number of guests confirmed. Depending on the partner, some may bring extra product to account for additional servings, as needed. However, this should not be counted on to plan for extra people. Verify with your event manager if the partner you selected brings additional food with them.
During the event, if more food or drinks are needed beyond the contracted amount, your approval to provide additional servings will be needed. You can delegate a colleague, friend or relative to provide this approval on your behalf. Once the approval has been made, any additional costs incurred to accommodate the additional portions will be your responsibility to pay at the end of the event.
+ I got a quote - can I change any details?
The partner(s) listed, menu items and quantities can all be changed/increased/decreased/etc. Even the food truck or other partner can be switched. The idea is that you end up with a customized proposal based on your preferences that fits your budget as quickly as possible so you can make an informed and educated decision. We want you to be as excited as we are about the great partners, flavors and service that we bring to each event.
+ How much does a food truck cost?
Pricing varies depending on the food truck or cart, desired menu, number of guests, travel time, length of service and service date. Pricing ranges from $750 - $3,500+, which is dependent on the specific food partner, season, day of week, time of day and the demand for their food. These figures do NOT include taxes or fees and are only an approximation; a quote for your event may be lower or higher depending on your requests.
+ Do food trucks pay a fee or donate a portion of their sales?
Generally, partners do not pay fees to participate in events. If you work for a not-for-profit organization or if you are managing a fundraiser, we can explore the possibility of a donation after a certain sales level is achieved. When requesting a quote or checking for availability, please make sure to mention this information as well as the organization that the donation will benefit. Aside from donations, if not-for-profit certification is provided, taxes may be able to be removed.
+ How can I pay for my event?
When you’re ready to confirm your event, please approve the proposal using the link you received to review the proposal. Then provide your preferred payment for 50% of your event. Payments can be made by the following methods:
Zelle network / Chase QuickPay (preferred) - Our payment address is Events@ChicagoFoodTruckHub.com
Check - Details including an address will be provided if needed
Credit card - We accept all major credit cards, however there is a 4.25% processing fee for all credit card transactions. To save on unnecessary expenses, we always recommend the first two options.
Cuisine Options and Information
+ Are there any food trucks that can accomadate dietary restrictions?
Yes! Many of our partners offer vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. We also have halal and kosher options as well. For private events, menus can be coordinated in advance to accommodate dietary preferences.
+ What type of food is available?
This is the exciting part! We offer a wide variety of cuisines from our network of food truck and other food service partners. Below are just a few popular examples - please let us know if you have any questions about any of the cuisines listed or if you are interested in a cuisine that is not listed below.
- Breakfast (bagels, breakfast tacos, crepes, pastries)
- Dessert (cake pops, candies, churros, cookies, cupcakes, doughnuts, gelato, ice cream, Italian ice, marshmallows, pastries, popsicles)
- Drinks (licensed bar services, coffee, tea, espresso, juices)
+ Is eating from a food truck safe?
All partners in the Chicago Food Truck Hub network are legitimate businesses. They each carry and maintain their own business license, mobile vendor permit (where applicable), insurance, health inspection certificate and operating permits based on their area. In order to receive their mobile vendor permit, each partner must pass rigorous health and fire safety inspections and have a certified health manager. So yes, safe and delicious!