Use these ten marketing ideas for food trucks and other mobile business models to grow your business by creating brand awareness and demand for your signature menu items.
On the Road Again: 10 Marketing Ideas for Food Trucks and Other Mobile Business Models
Over the past several years, the food truck has transitioned its role in the restaurant industry from sometimes-questionable construction site staples to gourmet fast food restaurants and tourist destinations. Food trucks found their way into the mainstream and even onto movie screens, sending foodies and other local diners out into the streets in search of the specialty foods and unique experience only a food truck could provide.
Some food trucks remain truly mobile while others have taken up more permanent spots; food trucks are now common vendors of specialty dining fare in urban business districts, on college campuses, in residence at street fairs and farmers markets, at music festivals, outside nightclubs and sports arenas and in a host of other locations. And with menus filled with delicious street eats from hot dogs and burritos to specialty, regional gourmet signature menu items, there’s something for just about every palette. Food trucks also provide restaurateurs with an innovative way to test-market new locations or expand at a relatively low cost.
Consider these food truck industry statistics:
- More than 3,500+ food truck businesses in the U.S.
- More than a billion dollars in annual revenue
- Employing more than 15,500 people
- Growing at an annual rate of over 8%. [Infographic]
Small wonder that an overwhelming 91% of consumers say that food trucks are no passing fad, but are here to stay. One of the pitfalls of the food truck industry is lack of marketing plan, so we came up with these marketing ideas for food trucks (and other mobile business models).
10 Marketing Ideas for Food Trucks and Mobile Business Models
1. Frequent and timely use of social media, email and text message (SMS) marketing – post a status update on your social network and send an email and/or text SMS with mouth-watering image or compelling offer right an hour or so before the lunch or dinner bell sounds.
2. Get people to look for you by rewarding customers for sightings or holding contests on social network, email and text SMS marketing where customers get clues as to your next location and a reward for finding you there.
3. Tie in to a local charity and donate a portion of proceeds or proceeds from specific menu items or from sales made on specific days of the week to make people feel even better about buying from you, create predictable demand for certain menu items or boost sales on slower days of the week. Charitable tie-ins are also a great way to get some love from local media!
4. Offer “rainy day” specials and create an instant patio by setting umbrella-covered bistro tables to entice customers to buy from you on bad weather days.
5. Update your website every day and make sure it’s optimized for mobile; people searching mobile devices for a local place to eat usually take action within 1 hour!
6. Offer street samples and a bounce back offer coupon to commuters passing by in the morning to create demand for lunch items later in the day.
7. Send email announcements to the offices of local employers with special offers just for their employees, provide a stack of menus and limited-time-offer coupons for break rooms and seek out listings on corporate intranet sites and employee newsletters.
8. Create signature or regionally-oriented menu items that tie in to local tourist destinations or sports teams. Send samples to local media and invite them to come and cover your business for use as a web or TV news “fluff” piece with local flair.
9. Expand your capabilities by offering local delivery service or for group orders.
10. Incentivize standing orders and pre-ordering and use pre-orders to help determine where you will set up shop next or on certain days of the week.
[Infographic – Food Trucks – Restaurant Marketing Ideas]
source:Mary Beth Campeau via wordpress