Marketing can be a difficult monster to tame no matter what industry you are in. But in the fast paced lifestyle of food trucks, strong marketing is more important than ever. Owning a mobile eatery removes the ability for customers to associate your brand with a location. That’s the mobile part.
Because of this, many people are only able to get information about the business through previous customers word of mouth or seeing the truck on the street. Not only is it hard to inform customers in such a short time, it is also hard to set yourself apart from the crowd.
So what can you do to help customers recognize your brand and keep coming back?
1. Clever Names and Unique Concepts
While many reading this have already begun their food truck journey, we cannot highlight the importance of unique branding. With so many food trucks popping up in the United States it is becoming increasingly important to present your company, and your product in a way that stands out to your potential customer base. Creating a memorable branding for your food truck is going to ensure that you continue to receive business as many food trucks gain their popularity through word of mouth.
When you find a food truck for sale really take into consideration your vision of what your concept is and how it will translate onto the truck. Catchy names like Easy Slider or Pimp my Rice can make a lasting impression as well as put a smile on customers faces.
Your food truck art also needs to have an eye-catching aspect. Whether it be bright colors, artist designs or even something like a uniquely shaped food truck can put a lasting picture in peoples heads to share with others!
2. Team up with Local Brands
While sticking with a niche can help create a buzz about food trailers or trucks, when it comes to marketing you need to understand what your audience wants as well. An increasingly popular trend in many cities is to keep your food and connections local. There are several ways to keep your food truck local, with some potentially lowering your running costs. Many artists or smaller local companies are looking for exposure themselves making collaborations a win-win.
Sourcing your produce or meat from local farmers and vendors could provide you with fresh ingredients you trust and give the farmer more advertisement for their products. Another option could be having a local musician play outside of your food truck to attract hungry patrons. This can give your customers a wonderful ambiance many can’t receive from a run of the mill food truck.
3. Unique and Seasonal Offerings
Another important factor in branding your food truck is to offer food options that feature your unique flair. Even if you have a catchy name and some local connections, what your customers come for is the food. You can get away with simple menu items like burgers, sandwiches and sides, you should consider throwing a few options on your menu that are exclusive to your food trailer. You may feel uneasy about adding a new menu item. You may ask yourself: what if customers don’t enjoy it? Is this too adventurous for the average customer?
While any of these things could happen, the fact that they have never heard or seen this item before will pull on their curiosity along with the fact that your food truck may not be available to them on a regular basis.
If you have a regular spot where you set up your truck, you may have issue reaching new customers or retaining your current guests. This is when adding a rotating seasonal menu can really give new life to your food truck. The term ‘seasonal” really intrigues customers because it makes them question how long this item may be available and may lead to them ordering an extra item. Your seasonal menu can also play off your local vendor connections if you coordinate it properly.
4. Mobile Ordering and Payment
Who doesn’t want to do everything through their phone? Mobile apps and online ordering can be real time savers when it comes to food experiences. Americans are on the move constantly and continue looking for ways to expedite their experiences everywhere, especially when it comes to getting food.
Ordering before they even reach the food truck can really draw in these fast-paced people. Investing in quick ordering systems can also make your live a little easier giving you the ability to focus more on the food quality and presentation. Food trucks are small and can only fit a few people on board and having automated ordering can reduce the number of employees you need to staff (and pay).
5. Local Festivals
Presumably you are based in or near a larger town or city. With the growing popularity of mobile eateries, it is almost guaranteed you will find a food truck festival, or citywide event to attend near you. If not, search out to major cities near you and take your show on the road.
Food truck festivals are a great way to get your truck in front of hundreds, potentially thousands of customers eyes. They can also be very helpful when your business is suffering- being that you can make double your daily profit or more in a few hours. When attending the local festivals take the time to look at the other food trucks and contemplate ways you could improve your own.
There may be a better way to secure napkins for guests or a new ingredient you can work with. If you’re feeling extra confident you can also ask other vendors their thoughts on your set up. This can really help with improve your trucks reputation, and build your network and customer base.
Marketing a food truck brand may seem like no simple task, but with a little creativity dedication, you can build a quality brand that is easily recognised and well loved by customers. If you have any tips for marketing a food truck business, share them in the section below.