Food Truck Location Ideas: Movie Set Catering

When we think of food truck locations, we usually envision parking curbside in a heavily populated area or city park. Food truck rallies are another popular location in which to park and sell your delicious food. These locations just mentioned cater to the general public where any customer can walk up to your truck and order food. Streetside is usually the place where you’ll notice food trucks.

Movie set catering

But there are a number of private venues and events that have started hiring food trucks to feed their guests rather than a traditional catering company. One of the reasons is that food trucks have a following and a reputation that people already know about. Think about it… if you were invited to an event where the food was served by your favorite food truck, would you go? You’re more likely to know about the food you’re going to receive from a food truck than if it came from a regular catering company. Do you even remember the name of the company that catered the last event you were at? These private events are a good way to market your food truck and even get hired for more events!

Movie set catering - Grey's Anatomy Seattle

In reality, there are plenty of other places where you can sell your food and still make a profit. You just have to think outside of the box sometimes. One such place you might not think of is a movie set. Whether you know it or not, there are movie and video productions going on all the time in all major cities. Most are not known to the public because producers do not want hordes of fans flocking to the set. In any case, we want to just open your eyes to alternative venues where you can make money with your food truck.

Do Movie Sets Need Food Trucks?

One question you might have is whether or not a movie set is a viable place to find customers? The answer is definitely yes! And here’s the reason. For ages, movie and film sets have used catering services to feed cast and crew during long production days. It is not uncommon to have 12-16 hour work days for these crews! Obviously during that time, the cast and crew have to eat and they can’t leave the set so the food has to come to them.

Movie set catering - Grey's Anatomy Seattle

Some productions like this shot captured from the set of Grey’s Anatomy in Seattle actually had 2 types of catering during their production days. They had one craftservices snack cart that served quick and easy to eat items throughout the day. They offered items like packaged foods, drinks and sandwiches that were prepaid for cast and crew to consume. Later, they had a big catered lunch from a local restaurant during their lunch break. The big meal is where your food truck comes in.

What If I’m Not Near Big Hollywood Productions?

Even if you don’t have access to big budget Hollywood production sets, you can still cater to this industry because in nearly every major city, there is some sort of independent film production going on that have large production crews and cast members.

As mentioned before, these filmmakers often work long production days and their crews need to be fed during their scheduled breaks. You may not need to be on-location during their whole day but you could work out a schedule with producers to find out when you can arrive and prepare before the crew takes their breaks. Keep in mind that some productions have hundreds of people that need to be fed while other productions have smaller crews. Some locations might be in the middle of the city while others are in very remote areas. So depending on the location, you have to be very prepared and plan

for everything! As with any location, you don’t want to end up running out of food or fuel during a major event. That could seriously damage your reputation!So carefully plan out the quantities you’re going to need. Bring on more staff if needed or even bring along an extra vehicle for supplies. It definitely helps if you have had catering experience in the past.

Movie set catering - Grey's Anatomy Seattle

Director Tom Horton reviewing shots on the set of Grey's Anatomy.

How Can I Access This Customer Base?

To be honest, the film industry seems like a bit of a secret members only club but it is not totally inaccessible. You can try contacting your state film commission to see if they can help hook you up with film companies. You could also get in touch with state and local parks or even chambers of commerce to find out if those offices have contact names of producers who might need your services.

Movie productions often need permits to shoot in locations so find out who issues these permits and drop your information off with them. That way, these organizations can help promote your business to this clientele.

Where Else Besides Movie Productions?

While movies and independent films are the most common type of production that comes to mind, there are other types of productions that need catering. One idea would be music video productions. Those often involve just as much work as a movie set and the catering requirements are often the same. They use the same type of personnel and the crews are sometimes just as large as a full-blown movie production.

The movie and video industry can be a lucrative market to cater to but be prepared for high volume, fast turnaround and extreme deadlines! Hope this has inspired you to think about other venues where you can park and sell your food!

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2 Responses to “Food Truck Location Ideas: Movie Set Catering”

  • Food Truck Fan on April 28, 2012

    Great story and loved the on location photos. :-) Food Trucks and Food Truck Festivals are popping up all over the country. When I was researching How To Start A Food Truck Business I came across another site that helps with the exhaust hoods. I imagine it can get pretty hot & smoky if you don’t have a good one.

    • Andrew on April 30, 2012

      Thanks! I took these photos while the crew of Grey’s Anatomy was in Seattle shooting for their pilot episode. So this is before anyone even knew the show existed!