A bride called us the other day, excited about the prospect of having Peaches' cater her wedding. "Do I want people eating a plain ol' chicken breast and some boring mashed potatoes at my wedding? No way, that's not me." Hell. Yeah. We couldn't have said it better.
That's one of the benefits of having a food truck cater your wedding-- it's a fun experience and usually cheaper than standard catering. Part of this is purely logistical. Food trucks usually roll up charged up, fully equipped and ready to go with less set-up and less clean-up.
That said, planning a food truck wedding requires a little know-how about a unique industry. Below is a list of frequently asked questions we get regarding food truck weddings. Email us anytime and we can send you a checklist of things to think about as you plan. You can also submit a catering form and we'll email back a proposal with packages and pricing. Our friendly staff are here to help!
Food Truck Wedding FAQ:
I've read that food trucks go out of business often so it's risky to book a food truck for my wedding, is this true?
Okay, on the real, that's a tiny bit true. BUT, it's really only true for trucks that haven't been around for very long. Most trucks that have been around for two or more years are around for a reason-- they have staying power and a strong customer base that you can only build with time. So ask the food truck you want how long they've been in business. If you see they cater a lot of events, that's a good sign. If they have a brick-and-mortar location, even better-- it means they have the facilities and staff to execute bigger and more complicated events.
Note: if you are interested in a particular truck, you can always ask us what we've heard about them.
Someone told me that if I have a food truck cater my wedding, my guests will wait a long time for their food. How can I prevent this?
The way we explain it is: if you have 150 guests and each guest gets served in 30 seconds, it will take an hour and fifteen minutes to serve everyone. The more experienced food trucks have done this a million times and can move your line quickly. We also recommend a limited menu (for example, 3-4 entrees and 2-3 sides options), which is typical even for standard plated dinners. Peaches' has served as many as 150 guests in an hour with a limited menu, but for most trucks, you can expect a 1-3 minute wait time with a limited menu. Now, if you're expecting more than 75 guests at your wedding and the food truck you want hasn't suggested a limited menu, that's a red flag. Just think about it-- no matter how many people you staff or food you prep, you can't make a patty melt actually melt without time. Your other option is to make a whole bunch of food and leave it sitting there until someone orders it. Which is not how food tastes best.
What we typically recommend is if you definitely want food served from the food truck directly, then release your guests by tables (2-3 at a time). Otherwise, you can do a split service (e.g. entrees from the food truck, sides from a buffet) or you'll want to consider full buffet, family-style or plated dinner.
Because Peaches' has two trucks, we sometimes bring both trucks to serve large events quickly. There are a few other trucks in LA that have multiple trucks. For those that don't, ask them about what other options they provide to speed up service.
Why do some food trucks charge for "overages"?
With a standard caterer, they'll estimate portions for the number of guests you expect (e.g. 6 ounces of protein, 4 ounces of chilled salad and so on) and when you're done, you're done. With our truck, we stock extra food (even when we're doing buffet) because our food truck has refrigeration. When you agree to overages, this means last-minute guests and hungry relatives can come up for seconds. Overages are actually good because you only pay for the actual meals we serve above your estimated guest count.
Not all trucks offer an overage option, so ask them about that. And double check that they are calculating portions so that they don't run out of any menu item early. For example, for a 150-person wedding with Pulled Pork Sandwich, Fried Chicken Sandwich and Heirloom Tomato Sandwich on the menu, our team will bring enough pulled pork for 70 people, fried chicken for 90 people and heirloom tomatoes for 25 people (total entrees: 185). Now, we won't fry off all the chicken or charge you for it, but it's in our fridge waiting to be cooked off if your guests are extra hungry for fried chicken. Whichever food truck you choose should be doing this math. The last thing you need is the people at the end of the dinner line missing out on a dish they were waiting to order.
I got quotes from other trucks and their prices are lower than yours, why is that?
Peaches keeps really busy-- not because we're dirt cheap, but because for the quality of food and service, you are getting a big bang for your buck. As far as we know, there's no other food truck that does what we do. Our food is made from scratch, our servers are top-notch, we have two food trucks for high volume services, a 10x10 walled tent we can set up as an outdoor staging area, and we have an in-house design team that will carefully craft your cheese and charcuterie board and even create floral arrangements to integrate into your buffet. All those wood boards and adorable farmhouse decorations? We own those, so you're not paying extra for us to rent them from someone else.
In LA, the average cost for wedding catering is about $60-100+ per person. Our couples typically request tray pass, dinner and an additional service (such as coffee service or cheese & charcuterie boards for cocktail hour). Our average couple pays anywhere from $40-60/person ($20-35 on the low end with fewer services and $75+ with all the extras). We're as busy as we are because we do a great job and have the reputation and repeat business to show for it.
Now, that said, you can probably get a taco truck to cater your wedding for about $12-$15/person. And we know some good ones, if that's your jam. But if you're getting quotes for less than $12/person, run run run for the hills.
There's a food truck booking company that wants to help me book food trucks for my wedding. Is this a good idea?
All food truck booking companies/middlemen pull a commission. So bar none, you'll pay more for your wedding catering. That said, if you want someone else to take care of the correspondence between you and your caterer, the extra cost might be worth it for you, especially if you really trust they'll do a good job. Not all food trucks have an administrative team, so having a food truck booker that can bug them constantly isn't a bad idea. If you prefer to book your own trucks, you can always find contact information on a food truck's website. If the food truck you want doesn't have a website or easily identifiable contact info, you're probably okay moving on to the next food truck on your list. =)
SEE ALSO: Food Truck-Friendly Wedding & Event Venues (Los Angeles)
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Are you trying to plan an event and a food truck is asking for a "minimum guarantee"? Don't worry if you don't know what that means! We can help explain. Here is how a minimum guarantee works:
Say you want a food truck to come out to your event and you are expecting 200 people. If the food truck is asking for, say, an $800 minimum and your guests spend $900, then you've met your guarantee and the truck has met its sales minimum for the day. If the truck sells, $750 worth of food, however, then you would be responsible for making up the $50 difference.
The reason why minimum guarantees are important is because it protects the food truck from losing money on events. Between gas, propane, labor, insurance and food prepped ahead, the moment a food truck leaves its lot, it's already spent a lot of money to be at your event. It's actually a good sign when a truck asks for a minimum because they tend to be more experienced.
If you're wondering whether you can meet a truck's minimum, these questions might help:
1) How many people do you expect at your event (e.g. last year you had 400 attendees or there are 600 students at your school)? We recommend booking so that at least 60-100 people eat at each truck.
2) Will there be other food options? If there are other food options available, such as a low-cost bake sale, free drinks, etc., that will also affect the sales for the food trucks.
While it can be tempting to want to book extra trucks, it's often a great idea to book an ideal number of trucks serving cuisine that your guests will love. The trucks will feel great about coming to your event and if it's a successful event, word will travel and you will have an easier time booking the best trucks in town!
Are you thinking about bringing food trucks out to your company for lunch? Or maybe you've been tasked with booking trucks but don't know where to start? It can feel a little overwhelming at first, but here are some tips that might make the process a little easier:
TIP #1: Research the food trucks you want. Not all food trucks are created equal. Try asking your co-workers for suggestions or do a quick search on Yelp or Google. Start by contacting food trucks that have good reviews and a strong online presence. These are often the trucks that are the most professional and nice to work with. You can also get suggestions from your local food truck association. In Los Angeles, we have the SoCal Mobile Food Vendors Association. You'll find tons of useful information about food trucks on their website, check it out: www.socalmfva.com
TIP #2: Attract great trucks. Many food trucks have a sales minimum they need to meet whenever they go out. A good rule of thumb is 50-60 tickets. If you're able to get at least 50-60 people to buy their lunch from the food trucks, that's a good start. Don't forget to promote the trucks that are coming, designate a parking spot that's big enough and keep an accurate calendar! As long as the trucks are making money, they'll spread the word to other food trucks. Then you won't have any trouble at all getting the best trucks to come out and feed you their tasty, tasty grub!
TIP #3: Offer variety. We live in exciting food truck times, especially here in L.A. You can find just about anything you want to eat on a food truck: sushi, BBQ, burgers, bahn mi... If you want it, there's probably a food truck cooking it up right now. There's even a food truck now that sells fried ice cream! Fried ice cream! That's all they do! It's wild. So to keep things fresh and fun for your office (and profitable for the trucks), a good rule of thumb is to book a variety of rotating cuisines.
As you book trucks, you'll probably have more questions, like: "What do I do if a food truck cancels on me?" or "What does it mean when food trucks ask for a 'minimum guarantee'?" Feel free to comment below if you need answers now! We'll do our best to address them. And feel free to email us at eat[at]peachestruck[dot]com if you have any pressing questions. We're here to help!
**The tips above are based on the experiences of a food truck owner based in Los Angeles. Other markets may differ, so if you have any questions about food trucks in your city, try reaching out to a reputable food truck or mobile food vendor association in your area for more advice!
Whenever we cater a wedding or special event, we're always very honored. From putting together the perfect menu to serving your guests quickly to making the food truck experience fun for everyone-- we take our responsibility seriously but we also have a lot of fun with it.
That said, not every venue is ideal for food trucks and many will not accept outside caterers. For example, we've been asked to cater at venues that are physically restrictive (I'll address "How to Book a Food Truck" in a separate post). Others either won't allow food trucks or require the event planner (you) to pay a hefty fee to bring in an outside caterer. It's kind of a bummer.
Recently, Peaches' had a bride-to-be ask us for a list of venues that we've had great experiences with. As the caterer, we've seen all kinds of venues and each venue has its pros and cons. Some venues have kitchens, others do not. Some have great parking, others not so much. And so on. If you ask us, we'll always give you an honest answer.
Below is a list of our favorite venues. We've also added in some recommendations from fellow food trucks (thanks to Umami Burger, Mighty Boba, Let's Roll It, Mandoline Grill, Vchos, Border Grill, Falasophy, Chunk n Chip and The Pudding Truck for their input).
All of the below venues allow outside caterers-- most do not require you to pay an extra fee to do so, but do contact the venue directly to confirm.
Good luck on planning your big event or wedding and please do not hesitate to call or email us if you have any questions! We are here to help.
Los Angeles Area Event & Wedding Venues that Allow Food Trucks
List updated: 8/30/2016
The Victorian (Santa Monica)
McCormick Home Ranch (Camarillo)
The La Canada Thursday Club (La Canada)
Smog Shoppe (Los Angeles) - the last time we catered here, we were told caterers must use the on-site kitchen, so no physical trucks allowed - PIC
Angelus Mountain Center (Altadena, CA) - a customer tells us they allow events only, no weddings
Will Rogers State Beach (Malibu) - PIC
Langham Hotel (Pasadena)
Grace E. Simons Lodge (Los Angeles)
Center for the Arts (Eagle Rock) - PIC
The Harlyne J Norris Pavilion (Rolling Hills Estates)
The 1909 (Topanga)
The Plaza At Cabrillo Marina (San Pedro)
Adamson House (Malibu)
McGroarty Arts Center (Tujunga)
The Vineyards (Simi Valley)
Shakespeare Club (Pasadena)
Natural History Museum (Los Angeles)
Heritage Square Museum (Highland Park)
The Fig House (Highland Park) - we are told they require $2000 buy-out
Roxbury Park (Beverly Hills, CA)
Studio 1342 (Los Angeles, CA) - this space can accommodate up to 2 standard-size food trucks (not the big In'N'Out ones) - PIC
Angel City Brewery (Downtown Los Angeles, CA) - PIC
The Autry (Los Angeles, CA)
The Auto Museum (El Segundo, CA)
LA Police Academy (Glassell Park, CA)
Calamigos Ranch (Malibu)
Marriott Hotel (Newport Beach, CA)
Lombardi House (Hollywood, CA)
Valencia Country Club (Valencia, CA)
Owl Creek Farms (Hemet, CA)
Millwick (Los Angeles, CA) - PIC
Studio 11 (Los Angeles, CA)
Agoura Hills Recreation Center (Agoura Hills) - PIC
Puddingstone Resort (San Dimas, CA) - this is a hot tub resort
Big Red Sun (Venice Beach, CA) - we catered a wedding here with Komodo and both trucks fit in the back parking lot - PIC
Great Oak Estates (Temecula, CA)
Werkartz Studios (Downtown LA, CA)
The Elysian (Los Angeles, CA)
Smoky Hollow Studios (El Segundo, CA) - one of our faves! PIC
South Coast Botanic Garden (Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA) PIC
Howl Event Space (Long Beach, CA)
Orcutt Ranch (West Hills, CA)
Paramount Ranch (Agoura Hills, CA) - PIC
Adamson House (Malibu, CA) - PIC
Carbon Canyon Park (Brea, CA)
Glendale Sports Complex (Glendale, CA)
Malibu City Hall (Malibu, CA)
Sherman Library and Gardens (Newport Beach, CA)
Environmental Nature Center (Newport Beach, CA)
Unique Space (Los Angeles, CA)
Saddlerock Ranch (Malibu, CA)
440 Seaton (Los Angeles, CA)
Tree People Center (Beverly Hills, CA)
Oak Park Community Center & Gardens (Oak Park, CA)
Tiato Kitchen Garden and Venue (Santa Monica, CA)
The Ruby Street (Highland Park, CA)
LA River Studios (Cypress Park, CA)
Venue By Three Petals (Huntington Beach)
Studio VOR (Signal Hill/Long Beach, CA)
Church Of Our Saviour (San Gabriel, CA)
If you are an LA-area event venue that would like to be added to this list, please email peachestruck[at]gmail[dot]com to be added. Include your venue name, address, website and if you charge extra for outside caterers.
SEE ALSO: So You Want a Food Truck Wedding?
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Planning a Super Bowl party? Want delicious, made-from-scratch food to feed your friends but don't have time to do all that cooking? No worries, we got this! We'll show up with tasty grub for you and all your friends, you just sit back with some cold beers and enjoy the game!
Email us at eat(at)peachestruck(dot)com to book your party package today!
PEACHES' PARTY PACKAGES
Free game day delivery within L.A.
Price includes plates, napkins, and forks plus a surprise goodie.
Pick any 3: $10/person
Pick any 5: $12.5/person
Pick any 7: $15/person
Pulled Pork Sliders
Roast Beef Sliders
Portabella Sliders (V)
Fried Chicken Sliders
Chicken Salad Mini Sandwiches
Homemade Chicken Fingers
Smoked Jalapeno Poppers (V)
Chili (meat or veggie)
Potato Salad (V)
Deviled Eggs (V)
Veggies with Dip (V) homemade buttermilk ranch, blue cheese or French onion
Assorted Fresh-baked Cookies
Super Bowl full-service catering ($800 minimum)
One of the best things about catering, besides getting the chance to spend a little less time in traffic, is getting to see and taste the delicious food that Ryan (Chef Peaches) cooks up. Ryan is first and foremost a restaurant chef, so doing special events gives him a nice creative outlet. Don't get me wrong, we run awesome specials on the truck all the time and we love the food we serve, but events are always something fun and different for the team.
This week we're catering some holiday parties that requested special menu items. I love how the menus turned out. Here's one of them!
Baby Back Ribs with mulled apple cider glaze
Organic, Free Range Turkey Sandwich with cranberry aioli, arugula, and gruyere cheese
Country-Fried Steak Sandwich with peach aioli, lettuce, onions
Fried Chicken Sandwich with house pickles and garlic aioli
Organic BBQ Chicken Sandwich with fresh coleslaw
Grilled Cheese with homemade pimento cheese
Apple, Sausage and Pecan Cornbread Stuffing (plus non-sausage option)
Pecan-crusted Sweet Potato Croquettes
Macaroni & Cheese
Plus: sweet treat (Peppermint Brownie Bites), as well as homemade BBQ sauces, aiolis and other condiments
Typically when we plan events, we work with our customers to create a menu at a price that works for them and the whole process, from picking the menu to preparing the dishes to serving it to happy guests, is always a cool experience. The guys get to create stuff in the kitchen, which is fun to watch. It usually looks to me like a lot of tasting and nodding and discussing and the occasional high-five.
It's one week to Christmas and today's cornbread stuffing (made with the au jus from our smoked turkey) has really gotten me into the holiday spirit. I told Ryan in the car today that I wanted to blast Christmas music and roll all the windows down, but he vetoed the idea. So to get back at him, I am going to listen to Mariah Carey's Christmas album (the first one, of course), really loudly every morning until Christmas. He'll love that. =P
Hope you all are having a fantastic December and hope to see you at our food truck soon! Oh, and stop by for a mini candy cane! We're giving them out to all our customers to spread some holiday cheer!
The good people in San Fernando have been doing a lot to revitalize downtown San Fernando, and we're stoked to be a part of it!
Every Thursday at the San Fernando Mall, a bunch of food trucks post up near 900 San Fernando Rd around 5-9pm with tables and chairs on the sidewalk and a DJ spinning tunes while everyone enjoys their dinner. The San Fernando car clubs roll through, too, providing lots of eye candy. It's a really chill, fun atmosphere.
Peaches' will be back again tomorrow (10/24) and this time we are bringing it with an even bigger menu than last week! Can't wait for you guys to try our new Country-Fried Steak Sandwich!
SLIDESHOW (from left): Ryan and Diana with the Pioneers, Rinisa and Anthony; Ryan and Diana taking turns enjoying the abandoned bench seat at the studio; Diana's first time sitting in the food truck; the winning team with the panel of judges (Steak, Alpana and Drew).
When Ryan and I first got married in 2012, we never thought that a year later we would be competing on a Cooking Channel TV show to win a food truck (and actually win it!). Food has always been our shared passion and it's been our dream to someday open up our own restaurant. The Peaches' food truck is kind of like our little restaurant on wheels!
Filming Food Truck Face Off truly was a fantastic experience, and we came out not only with our own business, but with some great friends. What they didn't show in the final, edited version of the show was how well we got along with our competitors. In fact, we are still in touch with Rinisa and Anthony and are planning a trip to visit them in Lancaster for a reunion cook-out!
Looking back, in the short time that we filmed Food Truck Face Off, we learned a lot about working together and about the food truck business-- stuff that we'll need in order to be successful. We can't be grateful enough to the folks who have tuned in to support us and the show! The encouraging messages you've sent us are much-needed as we embark on this next adventure of being food truck owners!
In fact, we officially launched Peaches' Smokehouse and Southern Kitchen last week and sold out of food at the Way Over Yonder festival on the Santa Monica Pier! Even after we ran out of bread, folks were asking for pulled pork on a plate.... and then when we ran out of plates, they asked us to serve them BBQ on sheets of bakery paper!
Ryan and I want to continue to make you all (or, as he would say, y'all) happy with the food that we love and enjoy preparing for you guys. We hope you can come visit us soon! Don't forget to follow us @peachestruck on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, where we post our location, news and fun giveaways!