Food trucks are becoming increasingly popular among consumers. The major challenge that most food truck owners find is how to implement effective marketing strategies, customer service and payment processing methods to increase sales.
Strategically set up shop
Location has a lot to do with the success of a food truck; the type of food sold plays a large part in determining where to set up shop. According to Small Business Trends, BEAST Food Truck, a mobile restaurant that specializes in paleo diets - which is a trend that appeals to many health-conscious people - parks itself in front of gyms. Such a wholesome menu would most likely appeal to those with a nutritious palate, such as health-conscious people that go to the gym.
While this location works for BEAST Food Truck, it probably wouldn't work for a truck that sells less-nutritious options such as hot dogs or concession-stand food. However, food trucks of all types can utilize this same strategy. Merchants should ask the following questions: Who is interested in the food I'm selling? What menu items are they most interested in? Where is my target audience located? For example, an ice cream truck may be able to sell cool treats (what) to kids (who) on a hot summer day at the pool (where). Where as a food truck that sells hot dogs might benefit from parking outside of a baseball field. The advantage of a food truck is that they can go to the consumer, rather than the other way around. This is an amazing opportunity every food truck owner has and should take advantage of.
Accept multiple forms of payment
Consumers do not always stay up-to-date with the location of their favorite food truck and can unexpectedly stumble upon one of their favorite meals. When consumers aren't prepared, they may only have a debit or credit card on them, and are therefore limited in their payment options. To be successful, a food truck must accommodate various types of payments, and that's best done with an effective point-of-sale (POS) terminal. An up-to-date POS terminal will allow customers to pay with cash, credit, debit or make an NFC transaction with their phone. Accepting multiple forms of payment means a merchant will never have to turn down a customer, therefore increasing the merchant's sales and profitability.
FoodTruckr advises food truck owners use mobile payment processors that attach to their phone or tablet as a more portable option. This will allow them to swipe customers' cards, take signatures and email receipts on a single, hand-held device. Food truck owners should also look for a mobile payment solution that provides data analytics opportunities for them to revamp their business strategy. Track when peak selling times occur and find out which products sell best.
Effectively attract customers attention
It's not just about incorporating eye-catching colors into the design of the truck, it's about letting customers know who you are and what you sell before they ever approach your food truck. Incorporate brand identity into the visual strategy by promoting the company logo or having the menu displayed on the outside of the truck. Not only will this steer eyes toward the food truck, but it will also build credibility. Buying food from a truck isn't entirely conventional yet, so food truck owners will want to ensure customers that the business is legitimate. Having a truck with a professional appearance will help with this.
Create a marketing strategy
Part of getting consumers invested and interested in your business is implementing a powerful marketing plan. As with payment solutions, technology is a factor. Social media is a great way to do just that. According to Entrepreneur magazine, social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook can do more than just get your name out to more people; they can tell customers where you're currently located. Update your location on social media as frequently as you move to let your faithful patrons know where you are.