Receptions on Wheels: the Food Trucks Roll In

From raw oysters to lobster rolls to alcohol-infused ice-cream, food trucks deliver modernized, pandemic friendly wedding spreads.

“The food truck is uniquely suited to manage the flow — and the food just arrives,” said Matt Geller, the chief executive of Best Food Trucks, a Los Angeles-based company that manages food trucks for customers and locations.

Food trucks can serve 100 meals in an hour if they’re quick, so Mr. Geller recommends having at least two savory trucks plus a dessert truck for a 100-person wedding.

A decade ago food trucks had been a supplement to weddings — it wasn’t unusual to see a slider food truck slide up to a reception as guests were leaving. Today food trucks are the main meal.

The food It’s all about the lobster, but you won’t have to deal with the mess from cracking shells. This is a wedding, after all. Couples can choose to serve everything from lobster rolls to lobster tater tots, lobster tacos and lobster grilled cheese “sammies.”

The business “We’re getting inundated with people asking for our truck for their weddings,” said Sabin Lomac, an owner of Cousins Maine Lobster, which operates 40 food trucks and 11 restaurants spread throughout the United States from New York to Texas.

The price $3,000 minimum, starting at $40 per person for one entree (a lobster roll or a lobster taco or a lobster grilled cheese) and one appetizer (New England clam chowder, lobster bisque or lobster tater tots).

The food Ice cream with and without alcohol (though during the process, most of the alcohol content is lost, leaving the flavor of the alcohol). Flavors include Drunken French toast (maple ice cream with hazelnut liqueur and cinnamon cookie crumbles); Lightly Toasted Almond (Amaretto ice cream with toasted almond bits); Mint Chocolate Nip (Peppermint Schnapps ice cream with chocolate chips); and Rosé Sorbet (peaches and rosé wine) are some staples.

The business Tipsy Cones is based in Stratford, Conn., and during the majority of the pandemic, Connecticut limited capacity at gatherings. “So for food trucks, that meant no festivals or large parties,” said Brooke Santagata-Albers, the owner of Tipsy Cones. They were already booked for 2020, but by the end of May 2020, all their events were moved to 2021. Now, some events have already been shuffled to 2022.

The price Everything is customizable, but a party of 50 in Connecticut (they only serve this state) starts at $700.

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The food Raw oysters, clams, shrimp, lobster rolls, lobster grilled cheese.

The business Shuckin’ Truck is a family affair based in Point Judith, R.I., and does business in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut. It owns two scallop boats, a year-round oyster farm and their own commercial fishing vessels. The seafood comes from their fishing vessels or from other fishermen in the Rhode Island area, and it’s picked up by the Shuckin’ Trucks the following day — when it’s served. Ninety-five percent of its fully booked schedule was postponed because of the pandemic. Everything is cooked in the truck. An entire wooden raw bar structure is provided with sneeze guards.

The Price Starts at $55 per head with 50 people minimum for an all-you-can-eat raw bar, unlimited appetizers, lobster rolls and seafood tacos.

The food Refreshments. Serve yourself Champagne, rosés and other types of wine and craft beer from the taps attached to the trailer, or use one of its bartenders to pour and mix mimosas, bellinis and signature cocktails.

The business During the pandemic, the Silvercloud Prosecco Van, which is based in Austin, Texas — though the company will travel throughout the United States for bigger events — saw most of its bar service business shift from a full-service bar to a self-service model with the taps. “Since we have taps on the exterior of the trailer, guests can self-serve any of our kegged cocktails, which makes it a safe option for socially distanced events,” said Yvonne Johnson, a founder of Silvercloud. The company added staff to keep up with the increased demand for its tap trailer rentals.

The price Starts at $999 for three hours, which includes the trailer but no alcohol (you or your caterer can provide wine and alcohol for the trailer for this option). Before the pandemic, the most popular package cost $2,149 for three hours of service for 100 guests, which includes three hours of the trailer rental, one licensed bartender and a keg flight (wine and prosecco on tap). Silvercloud provides the curated selection of prosecco, craft beer, cider and red wine for this package.

The food Grilled-cheese sandwiches, tater tots, tomato soup. These aren’t ordinary grilled cheese sandwiches — they offer expanded options such as the asiago with prosciutto and aioli; the sharp Cheddar with barbecued pulled pork and caramelized onions; and the mixed vegetable melt with Muenster, caramelized onions and herb aioli.

The business After the pandemic essentially shut down business for Gorilla Cheese NYC, the truck served essential workers in New York City. Since the film industry reopened, they’ve been catering for TV and movie sets. They serve the New York metropolitan area.

The price Starts at $600, but the average party is $2,100, and serves 125 guests for two hours, offering a full sandwich menu, tater tots, tomato soup shooters and nonalcoholic drinks.

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source: nytimes.com