Trend Alert: Food Truck Catering

Jillian Span Hofbauer
Columbus Monthly
Paige and Alexander Toussant chose a food truck to serve up late-night bites at their May 16, 2015, wedding at the High Line Car House.

Consider adding a food truck (or two!) to your catering lineup for a casual twist on wedding-day dining.

With today's weddings, anything goes—and catering is no exception. That is why some couples are shifting from the traditional buffet or plated dinners and opting for a trendier approach: food trucks.

From rehearsal dinners to receptions to late-night snacks, food trucks are finding their way into wedding celebrations as more mobile food vendors are dishing their fare in Columbus.

For Alexander and Paige Toussant, having the Sweet Carrot food truck, owned by Two Caterers, as a late-night snack option for their May 2015 wedding at the High Line Car House was a big hit. Guests enjoyed bites like fried macaroni and cheese balls and sweet potato fries when not on the dance floor. “Every time we talk to a guest about our wedding, the first thing that [they] talk about is the food truck,” says Alexander.

If renting a food truck piques your interest, Andy Schmidt, co-owner of Schmidt's Sausage Haus in German Village and president of Schmidt's Hospitality Concepts and on-the-go services, has some advice to keep in mind.

“It's a great way to create an atmosphere, if that's the atmosphere you want for your wedding,” he says. Start with determining your guest count. Generally, 75 to 100 guests is a comfortable max for experienced, equipped trucks to serve everyone in a timely manner. For larger crowds, he advises a buffet-style setup, allowing the truck to serve as a backdrop for the meal to expedite the process.

Next, Schmidt has a word of caution about choosing the right vendor. “Trust is huge in selecting the people that are going to feed your guests [on the] most important day of your life,” he advises, adding that the right selection is about more than just picking your favorite food truck. He suggests checking to make sure the food truck you choose belongs to an organization that offers a level of accountability, like the Central Ohio Food Truck Association.

Background checks and references are also important. Pay close attention to factors like whether the truck has the capability to cook on-site, if the vendor is experienced and equipped and if the truck is clean, he says. If costs are extremely low, it could be a red flag; well-established food trucks aren't significantly cheaper than traditional catering.

Whether you decide to rent a food truck for the reception meal, rehearsal dinner or as a late-night snack, doing your homework is the best way to ensure you have a great experience, says Schmidt.