Do you need tips & strategies to organize a food truck festival? If YES, here are 10 steps on how to organize a successful food truck event. If you live in the United States of America, Canada, Australia or Europe, you would have come across food trucks; trucks that sell stuffs ranging from ice cream to barbecue cum fast food. Perhaps you would have also attended food truck festivals or related events.

As a matter of fact, U.S. and Canadian cities including Toronto, Montreal, Hamilton, Vancouver, Washington, D.C., New York, Austin, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Calgary, Portland and Tampa are key places where food truck businesses thrive the most and they usually organize food truck events.

Event planners usually move towards industries that organize events which is why as an event planner, you should consider bidding for food truck events or festivals or perhaps add food truck events or festivals to your service offerings. In case you have never organized such events before, no need to worry, just read through this article and you will be equipped with the tips that will help you organize food truck events or festivals in any city of your choice in the United States of America.

10 Steps to Organizing a Food Truck Event or Festival Successfully

1. Develop Great idea and Concept

The first thing to do if you are looking towards organizing a successful food truck festival or event is to come up with a unique and sellable idea; an idea that will help you attract not only food truck operators but also an idea that will help you attract food truck lovers and sponsors as well.

The secret in this regard is to make sure your idea passes through standard procedures, that is it should be subject to modifications and tweaking so that you can get the best from the idea. For example, you can come up with a unique food truck festival that is targeted towards vegetarians. Please note that this type idea can only fly if you intend organizing this event in a location that has loads of vegetarians.

2. Create A Budget

Another strategy that will be very handy when you are looking towards organizing a food truck event or festival is to, as early as you can, create a budget for the event. Of course this might not be the final budget, but it will help you with your planning. Just ensure that you keep adjusting the budget to fit into the big picture and you will be fine.

3. Determine the Type of Food Truck Event Your Want Organize

Determining the niche or type of food truck event you want to organise should never be underestimated in your strategy. The type of food truck event or festival you intend organizing is the key to finding the right sponsors and partners.

For example, if you intend organizing a food truck event that is targeted towards immigrants; people that are used to intercontinental foods, then you should look towards partnering with the immigrant communities. You just have to look for immigrants who are interested in the food truck industry to help sponsor the event.

4. Create an Agenda for the Event

Another strategy that will keep you focus and pull-off a successful food truck event or festival is to make sure that you create an agenda for the event as fast as you can. Your agenda will help you determine whether you will be having an all-day food truck festival or an event that can be done within a few hours.

Your agenda will also help you in the selection of the type of venue that will be highly suitable for your event, the type of food truck companies that you should participate in the event and loads of other factors that will go a long way to determine the success of the event.

5. Lease the Most Appropriate Venue

The success of any event including a food truck festival is greatly dependent on the venue the event will be taking place. Once you decide on the type of food truck festival or event you want to organize, then you should try as much as possible to book the venue as soon as you can.

If you can successfully book a venue for the event, it will give you the leeway to plan the event with peace of mind. Trust me, if the venue is central and secured, you will not only attract major players in the food truck industry to your festival, but you will attract sponsors and customers.

6. Go into Partnership with Stakeholders

If you intend organizing a top class food festival, I can assure you that you can hardly do it alone hence you need to partner key stakeholders not just in the food truck industry but also in the event planning industry. Partnerships will give you the leverage that you need to make a success as an event planner.

7. Source for Sponsorship Deals

Sourcing for partnership is one thing and sourcing for sponsorship is another thing. When sourcing for sponsorship deals, you need to consider carefully which companies and organizations will be interested in sponsoring your event and what are the benefits this sponsorship offers them. Sponsoring companies are interested in the event’s audience and benefit when they determine whether or not your event is an appropriate place to promote their brand.

8. Choose Most Appropriate Event Management Software

In this age, you cannot successfully organize an event without the aid of event management software. In essence, you would need to choose the most appropriate event management software, and prior to choosing, look for a solution that will actually work for you. Take into consideration the options you are offered and the corresponding pricing. You should choose the solution that offers you the most flexibility and customization options without tying you to third parties.

  1. There are quite a number of event management software that you can choose from and some of them are;
  2. Bizzabo: This event success solution helps organizers create attractive event websites, sell tickets, and build a community …
  3. Eventbrite: Brings people together through live experiences. …
  4. Cvent: This company offers online software for event management as well as a global event venue directory with more than 150,000 venues.

9. Recruit The Right Volunteers and Workforce

Another important tip that you would need if you want to successfully organize a food truck event is to ensure that you hire the right workforce; that is both paid employees and volunteers. Of course you might not be making enough money from the event to pay a huge workforce which is why you should also look towards recruiting volunteers, people with the right mindset and who will be willing to learn and work for free.

Please note that the fact that they are volunteers does not mean that you will not give them anything. So ensure that you prepare what you will give your volunteers after the event.

10. Get Your Branding and Publicity Right

Lastly, the success of your food truck festival is greatly dependent on your branding and publicity. Good enough, there are several platforms you can leverage on to publicize your food truck event and here are some of them;

  1. Place adverts on both print (community – based newspapers and magazines) and electronic media platforms
  2. Sponsor relevant community programs
  3. Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, twitter, et al to promote your food truck event
  4. Install your Bill Boards on strategic locations all around the city you intend hosting your food truck festival / event
  5. Engage in roadshow from time to time in targeted communities create awareness especially as it relates to getting traffic to attend the event
  6. Distribute your fliers and handbills in target areas where you intend getting food truck owners to participate and also people to attend the food truck event.
  7. Position our Flexi Banners at strategic positions in the location where you intend getting food truck owners to participate and also people to attend the food truck event.
  8. Ensure that all your staff members and volunteers wear your customized clothes, and all the food trucks that will be participating are customized and well branded.

Conclusion

The hallmark of an event is when the success benchmarks are meet or even surpassed. So part of what you need to ask yourself as a professional event planner is to know the key measurable areas where you and your sponsors would want the event to be assessed. It could be the number of participants that attended the event, the feedbacks they got from the event and it could be any success indicator as agreed by the partners, and organizers of the event.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How Do You Start A Food Truck Festival?

To start a food truck festival, the following guidelines are required;

  • Obtain all necessary permits and insurance
  • Read your contracts carefully
  • Determine where the food truck will be located
  • Choose the menu carefully
  • Calculate how much food you will need
  • Use food trucks strategically
2. How Much Does A Food Truck Make At A Festival?

Between $1,000 and $2,000

3. Why Are Food Trucks So Cheap?

Food truck is cheap because it is more economical in terms of rent and utility bills.

4. How Do You Advertise A Food Truck Event?

Through the following means;

  • Email
  • Social media
  • Bulk message
  • Print marketing or flyers and
  • Every social networking site relevant for your event.
5. How Does Food Truck Rally Work?
  • Finding a location
  • Getting a good sight site layout
  • Getting people on board
  • Getting the right insurance and licences
  • Getting equipment
  • Creating a website
  • Finding food vendors
  • Including live entertainment
  • Marketing your event
6. What Are The Top 5 Reasons Food Trucks Fail?

The top five reasons food truck fails are the following;

  • Lack of execution and planning
  • Failure to pivot for industry shifts
  • Lack of patronage
  • Failure to evaluate and Staying on track
  • Lack of understanding.
7. What Do You Call A Gathering Of Food Trucks?

It is simply a food truck festival or food truck gathering, because it is an event where a group of food trucks gather in one location.

8. Can You Sell Food You Make At Home?

No, it is prohibited to sell any home made food because of poor hygiene which may cause diseases or any form of sickness.

9. What Is A Food Truck?

It is a large vehicle equipped with facilities for cooking and selling food.

10. How Do You Find A Food Truck Location?

Food truck location can be found through the following ways;

  • Live map
  • ‎vendor info
  • Social media Posts
  • ‎Shares with friends.
11. Booking A Food Truck, How Does It Work?
  • Use the search bar to enter a food truck name, type of food/drinks, location or city.
  • View the food truck profile page to see photos, menu, specialties, capacity, costs, the calendar for availability and more.
  • Click the “book this truck” button to send your request and details directly to the owner.
12. Is Food Truck Considered Fast Food?

Yes!

13. How Many Menu Items Should A Food Truck Have?

Five to twelve different menu. This is because the fewer it is, the better it will keep your quality top notch. And also make your menu easy to prepare.

14. How Many People Should Be In A Food Truck?

As many as your truck can accommodate. Between two to six people.

15. What’s The Cost To Hire A Food Truck?

From the range of $10 to $35 per guest.

16. How Do Food Trucks Get Power?

Food trucks get their power from three main sources. Such as;

  • Portable diesel generators
  • Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders and
  • Solar panels which attached to the roof of the food truck.
17. What Do You Call Someone Who Runs A Food Stand?

A waiter or steward.

18. What Are The Pros And Cons Of Owning A Food Truck

Pros are;

  • Easy attraction for Sales
  • Lower risk when compared brick and mortar restaurants
  • Less expensive to start
  • You can start small and save on capital costs
  • Product Specialization and Creativity
  • A sustainable market
  • Potential for growth.

Cons are;

  • Regular maintenance cost
  • Barrier involved in securing licenses and certificates
  • Numerous levels of regulations and compliance
  • Small profit margin
  • Open for Competition
  • Availability of Small Work Space
  • Operate based on Seasonal order.
19. Is It Hard To Start A Food Truck Business?

Yes, it can be difficult for a food truck business to break through and generate a concept that will stand out from the masses. And it can require many hours of maintenance, location switch, cleaning and event booking.

20. What are other ways To Showcase Your Food Truck Asides Participating In Festivals?

The better way to showcase your food truck rather than participating in festivals are by the following guidelines;

  • Through website advert
  • By social media notification
  • Pop-ups at locals pubs
  • Through promotional materials like flyers and business cards
  • Loyalty cards
  • Prize draw or promo
  • By newspaper advert.
21. Where Is The Best Place To Park A Food Truck?

The best places to park a truck are;

  • On the road side or street outside a large environment like; schools or shopping centers
  • Food truck parks
  • At a festival or event
  • An office park.
22. What Is A Typical Day For A Food Truck?

Food trucks start their services between 11:00 and 11:30 am and stay open for three hours on average. And busy trucks remain steady most times between 12 noon and 2:00 pm. Once the line starts turning down, they use the remaining time to pack up the vital things and close down the truck.

23. How Do Food Trucks Get Water?

Food truck gets water through a water heater which is usually powered by electricity.

24. What Is The Best Food Truck App?

Roaming hunger food truck finder app.

25. Are Food Trucks An American Thing?

Yes!

26. What Social Media Platforms Would Offer The Best Exposure For A Food Truck?

Twitter is a platform that can offer the best. It has a great capacity to send messages out as a notification which draws customers to the latest location at the right time. Twitter serves best in bringing a non-visual voice for your food truck’s brand.

27. What Is The Most Popular Food Truck Item?

Burgers

28. Where Are Food Trucks Most Successful?

Food truck business is most successful in the following locations;

  • Orlando
  • Philadelphia
  • Indianapolis
  • Houston
  • Austin
  • Los Angeles
  • California
  • New York City.
29. Why Do Food Trucks Fail?

Food truck fails due to high costs and much charges. Most of the food truck owners tend to spend more money on their business than they initially expected, so when expenses is higher than income, business can collapse and fail.

30. Are Food Trucks Profitable 2020?

No, food truck wasn’t profitable in the year 2020 because of the high increment which is over 34%, and this was occasioned by the outbreak of the corona virus.

Joy Nwokoro