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How Much Does It Cost to Rent a Food Truck for a Day?

In the United States, it costs around $1500 to $2500 or more to rent a food truck for a day; however, it is important to note that the exact cost depends on a whole lot of factors.

Most often, these trucks tend to charge per person, coupled with other rental charges. Also, the menu of the food truck, the time needed for the rental, travel to your location, as well as any other services or factors, like permits or insurance, will affect the exact cost.

Food trucks have grown to become a vital component of most gatherings in modern America. When planning an event, you need to consider them especially since food trucks now serve as a unique way to inject a bit of fun into an event.

They’re quirky and non-traditional. Owing to that, you would relish the fact that you can utilize a couple of food trucks to help cultivate a festival-like atmosphere.

Factors That Determine the Cost of Renting a Food Truck for a Day

To ensure that you can put together the right budget around renting a food truck for your event, below are vital factors you must consider.

  1. Pricing Structure

Food trucks in the United States are known to have varying pricing structures. You will find that most food trucks would agree to park at events and feed guests based on one of two pricing structures — on a catering or attendee-pay basis.

  • Catering pricing structure

Under this structure, note that the truck owner will expect you to pay the truck for serving a precise number of dishes or people at an all-inclusive rate. Please note that this is the most prevalent route for private events, and it’s more or less the preferred route for food truck owners since they’ll know that all their costs will be covered ahead of time.

  • Attendee-pay model

Under this structure, the event organizers are not tasked with handling the payment that comes with booking the truck for the event. Rather, customers are expected to pay for their food like they would at a restaurant. Also, note that you can choose to pay a small booking fee while guests pay for their own food.

  1. Minimum Guarantee

Food trucks are known to bill a minimum guarantee, regardless of the price structure you use. A food truck’s minimum guarantee defines the amount a food truck will charge for being present at your event.

Keep in mind that this amount is stable regardless of the number of eaters you plan to have at the event, and it all works to ensure that the food truck owners can plan themselves accordingly.

The primary essence of this minimum cost is to make sure food trucks will cover their basic operating costs like fuel, food costs like ingredients, energy, staffing, and the duration they spend driving to and from your event.

  1. Duration of the Event

You have to understand that these businesses tend to employ staff by the hour, and they’ll need to be stocked and prepared for multiple servings. Owing to that, the amount of time they spend vending at your event will also determine how much they charge.

Also, note that hiring a few food trucks for an afternoon will be cheaper than hiring them for a whole day. You might very well get a discounted rate from food truck owners for contracting them for longer.

  1. Type of Event

Your food truck rental cost will depend on the type of event you are putting up. For instance, corporate events need more than one truck or a specific menu,.

This will more or less increase your price per person, and in some cases even double it. Weddings are known to possess higher rental rates owing to the complicated logistics involved.

  1. Location

Your food truck costs will also depend on the venue or where your event is. Food trucks are known to be quite expensive in urban cities and this can be attributed to the higher costs like labor, ingredients, and permits.

Howbeit, remote venues might mean higher transport costs for food trucks, and this will also get transferred to you as the event planner.

  1. Menu

Also, just as it works with traditional caterers, food trucks are known to offer varying menu types, and all these tend to come at varying prices too.

Howbeit, it is still very much possible to negotiate food truck menus to align with your interests while considering the truck’s capabilities.

Don’t also forget that the amount of food and the type of food you serve will factor in your overall cost. As such, it is important you factor this in when costing your food truck budget.


Truth be told, using a food truck for your big event is one of the preferred ways to make your event exciting. However, it’s necessary to have your details ready before you start shopping around. Most often, these trucks tend to charge per person, coupled with other rental charges.