While thinking of ‘mobile food options’, you may conjure images of conventional street food vendors on mobile vehicles. But, this no longer holds good. This is now the age of a new group of businesses revolving around the concept of mobile food options. It is known as ‘FOOD TRUCKS’.
Mobile food joints do not only offer food on the go, they are also focal points for great social interactions.
For anyone intending to make some money by selling food it offers great flexibility with a low investment requirement. A budding entrepreneur can test the waters in the food industry with a food truck first and then expand the concept into a restaurant if it is received well by customers.
WHAT IS A FOOD TRUCK BUSINESS?
For the uninitiated, a food truck business is nothing but a truck selling piping hot food. The inside of the truck is renovated into a kitchen and food is served on the road, literally. It is a mobile restaurant moving from one place to another. People who love eating out for dinner find such food trucks an attractive and pocket friendly option. They also love the idea of the restaurant coming in search of them rather than the other way around.
WHY A WEBSITE AND MOBILE APP IS CRUCIAL FOR A FOOD TRUCK RESTAURANT? THE BENEFITS!
A food truck does not have a fixed location for people to seek details. It is, therefore, mandatory that they have a central hub for information. A food truck must consider using a standalone website as its branded digital storefront so that potential customers have an authentic platform to know more about the brand. Rather than relying on social media profiles as they cannot be uniformly used as a storefront, a food truck restaurant must make optimum use of its website to showcase its food, culture and personality.
A food truck business’ website can also be used to advertise other services like private catering, event planning, concerts and festivals. With such details clearly mentioned on the website, more business opportunities are generated and a greater brand awareness is created.
A website enables customers to know your truck’s location schedule and other information that they might find useful to visit you. A good website is the ideal platform for executing all the marketing, branding, outreach and promotional activities.
Creating your own restaurant website with functionalities like online ordering and direct payments is extremely easy. The website must be loaded with images and videos as content marketing is key for the success of any business website.
The number of online orders received by restaurants have tripled over the past 5 years
With mobiles being increasingly used by millennials for ordering food online, it is mandatory for a food truck to have a mobile app too. With an online ordering system integrated into the mobile app and the website, a restaurant enjoys direct orders without having to pay commissions. It increases the impact of a food truck’s branding and advertising efforts and also helps to retain customers in the long-run.
Third party platforms will not provide ample space for a restaurant to promote itself to a great extent. But, with an exclusive website and mobile app in place, a food truck can push its message to the target audience in any way that it wants to. As far as the platforms are concerned, a business simply needs to ensure that it is descriptive, has a responsive design, is visually appealing and gadget-compatible. Food trucks can also provide a pre-order facility for customer convenience and for estimating demand in advance, especially during busy days and hours.
DIGITAL AND OTHER WAYS TO PROMOTE A FOOD TRUCK BUSINESS
Promoting a food truck involves personal interaction with potential customers. Only this can arouse interest in them, especially because of the mobile nature of the business. Potential customers also include current customers who can turn into regular visitors. Therefore, promotion happens both inside and outside the food truck.
The following are the ways to promote a food truck:
Build Your Own Website
As we already discussed in detail, creating a website is the first and most important step to initiate the marketing activities and getting found by new customers who are always on the lookout for exciting dining options. There are a number of DIY website builders offering customization of templates to a great extent.
Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are ideal for promoting a restaurant business. Users of Instagram mostly search for and share images of food. By sharing attractive images of food on Instagram, a food truck can gain great mileage. A food truck can create a business page on Facebook, invite people to like it and subsequently build a Facebook community that is like-minded. This FB platform can be used by a food truck business to share recipes, tips or simply let people know about your location calendar during the upcoming weeks. FB also allows running targeted ads in specific locations. Twitter can be used for building a community, creating trending hashtags that are exclusive to your brand and also letting people know about your location plans. Since managing several social media platforms effectively is time consuming, it is better to stick to just one or two that works well for the business and focus purely on it.
Since a clear brand is absolutely essential for effective communication, a food truck must stay away from ambiguous names or logos that might confuse consumers. In order to market the business in a great manner, a clear, concise and a consistent message through all mediums is necessary.
In order to get opportunities for corporate events, a food truck must first have a website to project itself in a professional manner. Once corporate events start flowing in, there is no looking back for a food truck business.
Flyers & Business Cards
A food truck can also promote itself by adopting the age old, yet, never failing method of handing out flyers and business cards to let people know about it, where to locate it or how to order food online. This method can prove to be very effective in locations where there are several high-rise offices and therefore, a large number of customers.
Once a food truck has gained customers, a loyalty scheme is essential to make them keep coming back. For example, a free meal can be offered for every 10 paid meals.
Having a signature dish is particularly helpful for a food truck as it helps to arouse people’s interest and draw their attention to other offerings on the food truck’s menu.
Signing up for an event platform is profitable as people visit those platforms to book street food stalls or food trucks for their private and corporate events. Besides a website and a strong social media presence, these event platforms will help generate business and also get identified by new customers.
FINANCIAL PROJECTIONS (SALES FORECASTS) OF A FOOD TRUCK BUSINESS
Estimating the realistic financial projections of food truck business is definitely difficult while starting it. But, if funds have to be allocated efficiently, it is important to analyze the target market and set distinct financial goals. Forecasting future sales will ensure that the food truck business is profitable.
This section of the business plan will indicate how to predict sales over the first three years since inception. In a mobile food business, it is sales volume that determines whether the business will survive through the first year of operation and also successfully venture into the subsequent years.
Although there is no set formula that suits all kinds of food trucks, making a well-informed judgement will definitely help in future funding. Instead of simply writing down numbers that will be of no help for the business or its investors, if sales forecasts are meticulously written down for the first three years, financial issues can never get out of control.
DESIGNING AND CREATING A PERFECT WEBSITE FOR A FOOD TRUCK
Making your food truck website with an integrated online ordering system, direct payments and mobile app is essential to make business as profitable as possible.
We, from Restaurantify, can help you in this regard. Our robust restaurant website building templates enable owners to complete the designing process all by themselves. Get in touch with us to create a restaurant website with our pocket-friendly, comprehensive and rewarding plans.
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While thinking of ‘mobile food options’, you may conjure images of conventional street food vendors on mobile vehicles.