Editor’s Note: Today we’re excited to bring you a guest post from Mike Kaplenko, the Content and Marketing Director at VendingTrucks.com. Mike’s here today to talk about how food trucks aren’t just for aspiring entrepreneurs and passionate foodies—they can also be a powerful marketing opportunity for restaurant owners and other big brands.
Take it away, Mike!
We’re big believers in the versatility of food trucks over at Vending Trucks, Inc.
When you think of a food truck, you typically think of a hard-working owner/operator dishing out their delicious cuisine on the street or at a festival.
That’s not the only way you can use a food truck, though.
Big businesses and brands have been getting into the food truck scene lately, and it’s not because they’re looking to get into the food service industry.
They’re renting food trucks for marketing and advertising campaigns.
One of our more recent and successful product sampling vehicles was rented by a frozen foods manufacturer for a three-month nationwide tour. The truck was equipped with ovens and freezers so that their brand ambassadors could cook food samples to give away wherever they set up for the day.
This kind of personalized experience allowed customers to form a connection with the brand and give immediate feedback on what they enjoyed about the product and what they didn’t. Everyone was also encouraged to follow the tour on Twitter and Facebook.
Some trucks have had live-streaming or video recording options installed so that the footage created could be used in current or future marketing campaigns. A food truck is a very versatile tool, and we help to maximize its effectiveness.
You don’t have to be a food company to reap the benefits of a product sampling tour, either. The concept lends itself to any type of consumer product or service. If you can demonstrate your value to consumers on a personal level, than you can succeed with a product sampling campaign.
You may be asking, “I’m a restaurateur, why do I care about big businesses renting food trucks?”
The answer is simple—learn from what they do. These businesses test out markets with food trucks and expand their brand awareness by enlightening people who may have never even heard of them before.
If you’re thinking of expanding to a new location, you could rent a food truck for a month to test out potential locations on the other side of a big city—or even to explore a new city and see if people there would develop a taste for your food.
For example’s sake, let’s say you have a restaurant in a suburban town.
If you rented a food truck, you could send it over to the next suburb to see if people there would enjoy your restaurant’s food—and, more importantly, to let them know you exist. Imagine what having 50 new “regulars” could do for your restaurant. Now imagine doing that for every town you visit? You may even find an excellent location for your next restaurant!
After the rental is completed, you can even opt to purchase the truck if you feel it complements your business. Plenty of restaurants are utilizing food trucks for catering events or even as a fun and profitable way of engaging with their loyal customers by visiting them at their workplaces and leisure spots.
I’ve talked a lot about brand awareness in this article thus far, and having a vinyl wrap goes a long way toward making your brand memorable.
You only get one opportunity to make a first impression, right? Why not do it with panache by having a professional design a wrap for your truck?
By covering every side of the truck, you are effectively converting it into a mobile billboard for your business.
Show off your logo or emblem, or feature signature dishes or products your company makes. This blank canvas begs to be used, and you’re doing a disservice to yourself by not making your truck look as awesome and unique as it can be.
As you can see, a food truck is a very versatile piece of equipment that can be used to help your business grow in many ways. Consider renting one to see what all the fuss is about and become a bonafide FoodTruckr.
image by Public Information Office