How to Rent a Catering Van. If your restaurant takes on its once-in-a-blue-moon catering job, one of the additional operating expenses is finding a catering van. If no one on your staff has an oversized van that can accommodate the food and supplies, you need to rent one.
Determine how large of a catering van you need. This size depends on how much food and supplies you need to transport. If you will be moving large tables that won't compress, you'll need a larger van than if you were simply transporting a few fold-up tables.
Contact a catering restaurant that you have a good relationship with. Make it clear to the restaurant that you don't cater very often and don't plan to, so the managers won't view you as competition instead of a friendly neighbor. Ask if they will be using their catering van on the date you need it and whether they would rent it to you for the time needed.
Call local equipment rental stores as early as possible. A catering van is something they may not have in stock but can get one fairly inexpensively if they are given enough time to track it down and get it on their premises.
Talk with your insurance company to verify that you would be covered for using the vehicle. Many personal auto insurance companies would cover such a rental for personal use. However, because this is a business use vehicle, you may not be covered.
Rent the catering van for at least 2 days, if it's a large party or early in the morning. It's best to have all your ducks in a row the night before for a large catering event, especially since you don't normally cater such projects.