Food Truck Guarantees or Minimums

Whether you are a festival organizer, an event planner, or an office building or business, you may have been asked or disclosed about minimums or guarantees.  What are they and why do food trucks request them? 

Food trucks provide a wide array of services.  At a minimum, they provide food for your guests, employees, or tenants.  Other reasons you may add a food truck is the convenience or possibly the draw food trucks bring to your event.

Depending on the food truck’s popularity, they may have multiple requests for the same day as your event.  In order to decide which event to commit, a food truck operator asks other food truck’s experience or uses their judgment.  Some food truck operators use a “minimum” or “guarantee” to determine which event to choose.

A guarantee is not limited to selecting one event over others.  In instances where a business will cover all meals, a food truck may request a minimum or guarantee.  While festivals may provide larger amount of cash at one time, weekday lunches are the day-to-day cash flows that keep a food truck business operating.  Therefore choosing an employee appreciation lunch versus parking at office park may be required. The purpose for a guarantee in this situation is if an employer overestimates their employees’ involvement in the employee appreciation lunch, a food truck may have lost revenue they forecasted by selecting the employee appreciation lunch versus a routine, scheduled lunch spot.

Another reason can be location.  The Triangle is a wide geographic area.  Long distances require additional expense for a mobile kitchen.  The additional expenses include gas to operate the truck and generator from the food truck’s commissary to your location, additional labor hours for transit time from the food truck’s commissary to your location, and depending on your estimated attendance additional food costs.  If the event’s attendance is overestimated, the labor, fuel, and food costs (that may be thrown away) are an additional cost that hits the food truck’s bottom line.  Food trucks are mostly family-owned and operated businesses, which means these losses hit closer to home.

How to approach guarantees or minimums

First, when requesting a food truck, understand why a food truck is asking for one.  Not all trucks minimums are the same, as each food truck has different costs and not all events have the same minimums.

As a food truck operator, make sure your guarantee or minimum is reasonable.  Asking for too much and you may lose out on opportunities that were more than your minimum.  Also, asking too much and under delivering, i.e. bad service, may give your brand a bad reputation. 

Second, RDUMFA recommends a written minimum or guarantee.  While oral contracts are legally binding, a written agreement is easier to communicate between two parties.  For instance, is the minimum before taxes, does the minimum include outside sales not part of your event (if allowed), is it voided if an event ends early (either by the truck, the event planner, or weather)? While written agreements may seem unnecessary, subsequent disappointment after an event are things both parties can avoid with a written agreement.

Third, accepting a guarantee or minimum may be necessary.  When searching for a food truck, you may decide to continue your search to find one that is closer to your budget.  However, accepting one may be warranted if a food truck is in demand.  For instance, if the event’s honoree, etc. requests for a specific food truck, they probably want that specific food truck.  It may be worthwhile telling the operator when planning the event, as they may recognize the loyal fan and adjust the guarantee.   The other reason may be your event’s day is in high demand due to festivals with large attendance, graduation parties, or weddings, etc.

When requesting a food truck, keep in mind a guarantee or minimum may be discussed.  Before accepting or rejecting, understand why one is being requested.  After the event’s conclusion, make sure the guarantee’s discussion follows the same guidelines as negotiated before the event.  Keep in mind disagreements can be avoided if properly communicate prior to an event.  Disagreements should be avoided, as they may lead to a bad experience for both the food truck and event organizer or business, which could result in a bad reputation.  Good communication leads to positive experience for all parties involved.

15 Food Trucks with Perfect Health Sanitation Scores

As of September 30, 2016, 15 RDU Mobile Food Association (RDUMFA) members have perfect health sanitation scores of 100.

These food trucks are:

  • Baguettaboutit (3 perfect scores in a row)
  • Bam Pow Chow
  • Bandido’s (3 perfect scores in a row)
  • CockADoodleMoo
  • Cousins Maine Lobster
  • Flirting with Fire
  • Gussy’s (6 perfect scores in a row)
  • King’s Authentic Philly Cheesesteaks (3 perfect scores in a row)
  • Morfa Empanadas
  • Parlez-Vous Crêpe
  • Philly’s (4 perfect scores in a row)
  • Qspresso (2 perfect scores in a row)
  • Taco Grande
  • Thai Box Zing


As a licensed eating establishment, all mobile food units are inspected by county health departments.   Whether the kitchen is mobile or stationary, health inspectors test and grade under the same criteria.  In addition to Members having pride in their accomplishment of keeping an operation safe for their customers, it also shows their dedication in safety.  In order to receive a score of 100, a mobile food unit must have a Certified Food Protection Manager (CFPM) on site.  In order to be considered a CFPM, this person has passed an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved exam.

One of RDUMFA’s core values is Safety, which includes serving quality food in a safe environment.  As of September 30, 2016, the average health score was 98.


Food Trucks Round Up to Raise Funds and Awareness for Project Catch

Raleigh, NC – RDU Mobile Food Association (RDUMFA) food truck members will be at The Salvation Army of Wake County’s Judy D. Zelnak CENTER of HOPE location (1863 Capital Boulevard in Raleigh) on Monday, May 9th, 2016 from 5 to 7 pm. The event will be a dinner food truck rodeo, where a percentage of sales and tips earned will be donated to Salvation Army program, Project CATCH (Community Action Targeting Children who are Homeless). In addition to selling to the public, RDUMFA estimates food trucks will serve over 300 free meals to those benefiting from Project CATCH and the Salvation Army. Project CATCH is a unique program to the Raleigh area, which provides services and advocates for children experiencing homelessness.

Gus Megaloudis, owner of Gussy’s and RDUMFA Board Member, encourages others to bring a canned good. After he toured the Salvation Army’s facility, he identified the pantry’s need. Rodeo guests can also tour the facility.

The food trucks that will be here are:

  • Baozi: a food truck that specializes in steamed buns (called baos) served with meat and vegetables.
  • Chick-N-Que: a food truck that specializes in Eastern Carolina-style Chicken BBQ
  • Cocoa Forte: a food truck that serves chocolate dipped cheesecakes.
  • Gussy’s: a food truck that serves Greek food, like gyros with chicken falafel, or lamb, dolmades and baklava.
  • Philly’s: a food truck that serves Philly Cheesesteaks.
  • Sweet Traditions: a food truck serving cupcakes and other desserts.
  • Will & Pop’s: a food truck serving burgers and fries. 

For more information on this event, contact Gus Megaloudis, Director of Community Relations, (919) 656-7096. For more information on RDUMFA, email