The following article was written by Eric Weiner on and is reposted with permission.


One of the most frequent topics that comes up regarding food trucks and mobile food vendors is how much does a food truck need to be paid to show up to an event or whether or not the truck or vendor will agree to pay a fee to attend an event. This article should help answer many of those questions.

Fee structure:   When hiring or requesting a food truck or mobile vendor for your event, trucks and vendors can be compensated in a number of ways.

  1. By the event organizer:  This is similar to hiring a caterer; you simply contract with the food truck to serve a particular number of people within a certain budget or by a designated menu, or a combination of both.  This is the most commonly used method for private events and special occasions.
  2. By the attendees:  This is similar to street service. A truck or vendor is requested to provide service at a specific location or event, and the attendees then pay for food directly to the truck or vendor. Keep in mind that in this scenario, most food trucks will need to do 45-60 sales or more per hour. This payment method is most common for larger events or at locations where there will be significant foot traffic with many people looking for a variety of food options.
  3. By guarantee: This is often the best solution for smaller events or to be able to have multiple food trucks at your occasion or event. The attendees pay for the food directly but the organizer agrees to guarantee a certain amount of sales.  The organizer pays the difference between the actual sales at the event and the guaranteed amount.
  4. By vendors paying a fee:  If asking a food truck or mobile food vendor to pay a flat fee to attend your event, keep in mind that the truck or vendor will need to earn 10 times the amount of the fee. A reasonable and often preferred alternative to a flat fee is for a food truck to pay between 5-10% of their sales at the event in lieu of the flat rate.  If you are holding an event which charges an admission to the general public, and where you are expecting the food trucks to be a major attraction and help draw in crowds, there should not be a fee for the food truck to attend.

If you are looking for more information about having food trucks at your event check out these Useful tips! is dedicated to connecting the food truck community. We host listings for food trucks and mobile food vendors, as well as where they’re serving now and where to find them next. With 8,500+ trucks and schedules listed in 1,800+ cities (and growing daily!), you’re sure to find an old favorite or a new treat.

Our team is always here to help, whether you’re a vendor setting up shop or a food fanatic hiring your first truck.