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Food Truck Minimums & Deposits


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Tulsa Food Trucks: Minimums & Deposits Article

So you want to book a food truck for your event? Let’s talk Deposits and Minimums, what they are and why they are becoming more common.


Minimums:

When you ask a food truck to book your event, you are asking them to leave their established spot where their customers expect to find them. In order to facilitate your service, you are offering to pay them what they would expect to make so that they do not take a loss.

Minimums vary based on the truck, the type of food, the day of the week, the time of day, and holidays. Generally, a 2-hour event will book for $500-$2500.


This is why it is not usually possible for a food truck to be booked to serve 20 people.


It should be stated that a minimum is what is required for a food truck to book an event but if attendance and menu are above the minimum, that is what the host would guarantee. A truck will generally not carry food for 300 people if their minimum will only cover service for 100. Expect to pay for 300 guests if that is how much food you want the food truck to be prepared to serve.


Deposits:

Regardless of whether you are booking a host-pay or self-pay event, paying a deposit to book the food truck is beneficial to both the client and the food trucker. It is an agreement of service that shows the client understands a payment is required and ensures the food truck will make their required sales for the day. It also assures the client that the food truck will honor the commitment of being there.


When a food truck is booked for a self-pay event (the attendees are paying for the food per order) the host of the event would receive back all or a portion of their deposit in most cases. In the case where attendance or food purchases are significantly lower than expected, the host is responsible for any remaining portion of the minimum that was not met by food sales.


For host-paid events, the full amount due is generally paid in advance but some trucks may require it to be paid upon arrival.


To protect the small business community that Tulsa Food Truckers represent, business owners cannot and should not be responsible for poor planning. Gone are the days of food trucks taking on the financial responsibility for massive amounts of food. Depending on the area and facilities, food truckers are not allowed to chill leftover food to reheat and sell. That means when a food truck is booked for 200 guests but only 50 show up (it happens too often) then the food truck is basically required to throw away 150 plates of food. No one wants to see this kind of waste happen and most are working to avoid it. We also encourage food donations to local shelters whenever possible.


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