(This article is an opinion piece and a follow-up to the article from last week.)

Last week, I wrote a piece about how (some) food trucks are far too expensive, and seemingly go out of their way to not show pricing to people until the window. Which, DID get me the feedback I wanted. I truly wanted to know the WHY behind the pricing as it is... and there are 2 standout factors I wanted to highlight.

First: New Food Truck Laws from the State of Montana

Something that I missed over the years was the change for Food Trucks and "Temporary Cooking Operations" that took effect this month. The State of Montana adopted the 2021 International Fire Code, which included new requirements for those operators.

KRTV in Great Falls had a great article on this if you want to learn more, but the long and short of it is...

Food Trucks needed to put in a fire suppression system, which comes to around $4000. A one-time fee, at least, but still... a BIG ask for trucks selling as much as they can in a limited time window.

But, that one doesn't really grind my gears. What DOES grind my gears...

Second: Events and Venues Skimming Off The Top

Credit: Canva
Credit: Canva

Maybe I'm just on my own planet here... but WHY do venues think they are entitled to a piece of the Food Truck income? I would understand a small fee if the Food Truck Vendor needs power or some other hookup... but I've seen the majority of Food Trucks be self-sufficient (It's kinda the point of the truck).

So... WHY are these events and venues charging an extra fee on top?

Food Truck Owners Have Answers

One email I got from the owners of Lil Red Wagon highlighted this for me... and I just haven't been able to get it out of my mind.

According to Lil Red Wagon, MetraPark charges $150 automatically for a weekend event, such as a gun show, RV show, etc. (I attempted to verify this, however, nobody was answering the phone at MetraPark.)

Now, I won't pick on just MetraPark for doing this, as their price actually is cheaper than others.

One I saw come by is for Relay for Life Of Yellowstone. Their event is just 5 hours long, but, to participate you have to pay THEM $200. Oh, and you MUST be on site by 2 PM (2.5 hrs BEFORE the event starts... and you can't even start selling until 4:30 PM).

I don't WANT to pick on Relay for Life, but I will. Trucks have to recoup that $200 before they even start making ANY money, not to mention their existing overhead. No WONDER Food Truck owners have to charge $15, $20, or more!

There has to be more

Now, I'm looking to learn the "WHY" behind these prices. Is it simply a case of "Others do it, so why don't we do it?", or is it something else? Because from the outside looking in... it looks like our Food Trucks are being taken for a ride... and who suffers in the end?


We suffer the repercussions. Food Trucks have to inflate their prices to cover that initial "vendor fee", and we end up paying more. I honestly WAS irritated at the Food Trucks last week for their pricing... but, my eyes are open now. And, hopefully, yours are too.

If you want to share the WHY behind your event or venue charging these "vendor fees", shoot me an email.

What are your thoughts?

Do you know of a venue or event trying to skim off the top? Or, do you have more information to fill in the blanks? Send us a message on App Chat in our app, or comment below the post on Facebook.

10 Alternative Hot Sauces to Replace the Sriracha Brand at Your Table

Better make sure you stock up on your favorite! But what if you can't find it? Here are 10 alternatives that can still bring the heat but also have great flavor.

Gallery Credit: JD Knight

More From 103.7 The Hawk