Chicago Food Truck Rentals—The Ultimate Guide

Red food truck La Cochinita with a bride in white and a groom in a suit in front

Hello Chicago! If you’re looking to add a dash of vibrancy you’ll never “fuhgetabout” to your next Chicago corporate event or branded experience, getting a short-term or long-term food truck rental can be a game-changer.

This guide will show you how and why to rent a food truck—whether for a new business, marketing promotions, or catered events! Get all of the Windy City talking about your events with great food truck rental options.

Continue below for more information…

1. Rent Chicago Food Trucks for Your Mobile Equipment Needs

Renting food truck equipment is like picking your favorite Chicago-style pizza—you can prefer thinner crusts for a short-term fling (perfect for one-off events), or commit to a long-term deep dish relationship (ideal for ongoing projects). 

Whether you’re an entrepreneur testing a new business idea, or a company needing a mobile solution, renting a food truck offers flexibility and affordability. Short-term rentals are perfect for one-time events, while long-term rentals can help kickstart your own mobile food business without the commitment of purchasing a truck.

A short-term rental might include a production company renting a truck for a commercial shoot and they pay a daily or weekly fee, whereas a long-term rental would be leasing a truck for a month or more. For example, a chef looking to test out a new food fusion idea, or a non-profit that wants to feed people in the local community, would look for long-term leases. Whether you’re a hotel, school, or any organization looking to supplement food service you can rent mobile equipment for the long-term.

Another option is to go to a food truck marketplace like Roaming Hunger. It’s a free resource to help you find any kind of mobile equipment you need. If they don’t have what you’re looking for, they’ll be able to point you in the right direction. And if you ever want to build a food truck of your own, they can help you design and make one from scratch!

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Lastly, you can contact local food truck owners directly to see if they have equipment or full trucks you can rent out. These can be difficult to find though, so an online database is generally best to put you in touch with the right resources. 

Lease Food Truck Equipment Here!

What’s the cost you ask?

  • Short–term rentals vary, starting from a few hundred to a couple of thousand dollars.
  • Long-term rentals can cost anywhere from $6,000-8,000/month. It all depends on how long you need the truck or equipment for.

2. Get Food Trucks for Events in Chicago

It’s easier than bringing in a different Chicago hot dog cart any day of the week…‘cause it’s Chicago and there’s no better hot dog spot around.

Online platforms like Roaming Hunger can help you find food trucks for any kind of catering based on the type of event and the number of attendees. They make it quicker than picking a beautiful spot by the lake on a summer day!

Many of the most famous food trucks in Chicago can be booked on food truck platforms, so you and your guests can share a wonderful day or night out with some of the best food in Chicago. These companies generally hold your money until after your event so you have a better chance of the food truck showing up. They also often have 100% satisfaction guarantees so if anything goes wrong, it’s easier to receive a refund, instead of having to chase down a caterer. 

Prep yourself for a party neither you nor your guests will ever forget!

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How much is it?

  • Food truck catering costs can vary depending on the size of your event and the type of cuisine you’re looking for. Typical costs can range from $13-25 per person.

3. Use Food Trucks for Branded Marketing Promotions

Looking to rent a food truck to market your company or product? Then this section is for you!

If you want to know how a food truck can fit into your modern marketing campaign, then talking to an experiential marketing agency like RMNG can help. They’ve worked with everyone from Budweiser, Publix, and Portillo’s, to Apple, Google, and Amazon. 

A sit down with an agency can help you decide what kind of equipment you need, how to get the branding right, what kind of budget you should consider, and they can help you build-out exactly the kind of experience you want your customers to have. That way, you can produce a successful event full of food and giveaways that really gels with your brand. 

Mobile activations can last for anywhere from 1 day to several months if a company wants to tour its new product or has recently gone through a rebrand. Pop-up or mobile experiences let customers grab delicious eats from the best restaurants and food trucks in Chicago at expert-led, on-brand events.

Wanna launch a promotion? Get started here!

Need to know some numbers? We got you covered!

  • Renting a food truck you want to wrap for a brand promotion (such as a short-term rental for a movie shoot) can cost upwards of $8,000, give or take a few hundred. 
  • Hiring an experiential marketing agency like RMNG to wrap a truck and create a 3D marketing activation for your brand starts at $25,000.

The Deal…

Whether you’re hosting an event, promoting your brand, or launching a mobile business, renting a food truck in Chicago is a deliciously smart move. So why wait? Open your doors and welcome a food truck to your next Chicago event today!

FAQ

Q1: What’s the cost of food truck catering for events in Chicago?

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The average cost of renting a food truck for catering in the Chicago is around $1,615—but prices can range from $800 to $2,500. The price tag definitely depends on the type of cuisine you prefer, how many guests you have, and how long your event is. Just remember, you can’t put a price tag on a happy belly…and food truck tacos are pretty much pure happiness (just wrapped in a soft tortilla).

Q2: Can I customize the catering menu of the food truck I hire?

Absolutely! Most food truck rental services in Chicago allow you to customize the menu to cater to your event’s theme and your guests’ dietary preferences.

Q3: Are there any specific regulations for food trucks in Chicago? 

100%! Food trucks in Chicago must adhere to specific health, safety, and zoning regulations. It’s always best to check with the booking/rental company or the Chicago Department of Public Health for the most accurate information.

Q4: Will I need permits to sell food from rented food truck equipment?

Simple answer is, yes! All vendors in Chicago must comply with state laws. 

Q5: If I do a branded promotion with a marketing agency, do they take care of all the permits and legalities of operating it?

For sure! Everything from ideation, to building, to checking permits is done by agencies like RMNG. Always do your research, confirm with the agency, and make sure your contract with them has all the details ironed out.


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