It’s not always easy to finish the year off on a strong note, especially if 2018 has thrown its fair share of obstacles your way.
Nonetheless, we hope the collection of articles below can help you do exactly that.
10 Articles That Will Help FoodTruckrs Finish 2018 On A Strong Note
Finally, make each fan’s experience at your truck a memorable one by adding those special small touches that transform a lunch from “delicious” to “WOW.” Think of something like the iconic holiday red cups Starbucks uses each year or the big red plastic bags with snowflakes you see at Target during the holiday season. These simple touches cater to fans who are in the spirit of the season and who are excited to see holiday reminders everywhere they go.
Whether you invest in some holiday-themed cardboard containers for your dishes or tie a festive ribbon around each to-go box, a little bit of seasonal cheer makes your truck stand out in your customer’s mind. And the next time that customer heads out for a day of holiday fun and shopping, he or she will visit your truck for the small burst of celebratory cheer you have to offer.
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In many ways, your brand is defined by all the ideas your customers have about you. When they see your truck, they remember the experience they had last time or the great review they read about you on Yelp. They think of how quickly you served a long line of customers during a lunch rush or how each of your recipes is inspired by your grandmother’s home-cooked meals. These expectations are important because they encourage people to return over and over again—but they also matter because once you’ve given people an idea of what to expect, you must continue to deliver it.
Your brand is effectively your company’s promise to your customers—but be sure you don’t confuse branding with advertising. There’s an easy way to remember the difference between the two. Ads explicitly tell customers to come to you, while your brand silently communicates who and what you are. Fast food chains like Wendy’s and Burger King spend lots of money on TV and radio spots that bring people in the door, but at the end of the day, it’s their brands (the promise and expectation of affordable food served fast) that keep people coming back.
Flat tires are the pits. An inconvenience to anyone driving a regular car, a flat can quickly become a devastating loss of business for a food truck owner. That’s not good this time of year. So, during the winter, you need to monitor your tire pressure carefully because cold weather makes the air pressure in your tires dip. You could lose up to 1PSI for every 10 degrees the temperature drops—and when your tires are low on air, you’re much more likely to get a flat. Properly inflated tires also distribute the weight of your truck more effectively and help you get better traction on the road in order to keep you safer during snowy, wet, or foggy driving conditions. Get yourself into the habit of checking your tires first thing each morning when temperatures are often the coldest.
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Do It the Right Way: The key to this type of promotion is consistency. You can create any type of special offer that you like and run it on any day you want, but you need to stick to it so that fans know what and when to expect their discounts. These sales don’t have to be big or outrageous (and in fact, it’s usually best if they’re not since you don’t know what kind of demand you’ll encounter down the road), but they do need to happen on a regular schedule.
Be Sure to Avoid: As we mentioned above, it’s best to keep regular promotions to a minimum or moderate discount, especially while you’re still starting out. Because the most important part of these types of offers is consistency, you don’t want to get yourself into a situation in which you have to discontinue the promotion because you’re losing too much due to high demand. Keep regular promotional discounts to a manageable amount. Though that amount will definitely vary from truck to truck, a good guideline to use is to make sure you’re still erring on the side of the profit. Save the loss leaders for one-off sales and special events.
You can make the best first impression possible by ensuring that your greeting is sincere. Though we recommend staying upbeat and positive in your approach, it’s most important to know your own style. If you’re the furthest thing away from perky in your day-to-day life, putting on a chipper face might come out looking a little forced and disingenuous. Remember how thankful you are for your customers and allow that feeling of gratitude to guide your greetings—a simple, heartfelt “Hey there! What can I get for you?” accompanied by an honest smile is preferable to a bored, surly, “Hi, what do you want?” any day.
We’re hoping today’s new post will bring all of you who are getting ready to start your own food trucks a little inspiration. Though many aspiring food truck owners know exactly what they want to cook before they get started, we also hear from many of you who are still searching for the perfect idea. With that in mind, we thought we’d bring you a few new ideas today to help you get the creativity flowing. Grilled cheese trucks and dessert trucks are definitely all the rage (and will always be some of our absolute favorites!), but we’d also love to find some trucks specializing in these new cuisines.
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In addition to teaching your team about the culture and values that drive your truck’s daily operations, there are a number of more clear cut procedures and tasks that new employees will also need to learn before they can be trusted to operate your truck. Once you have a larger team in place, you may be able to hire individual people to be in charge of separate categories—but for now, we recommend making sure that each person working on your truck is cross-trained and capable of performing every one of the following procedures. You never know when someone may call in sick or have a personal emergency that keeps him or her from coming in, and it’s important to have another person who can keep the truck running available.
Though winter can make it tough for some food trucks to hit their regular street stops, the season can also open up new opportunities for other trucks to attend events and festivals! Many cities hold holiday-themed community events and food truck festivals in December. Find out what’s happening in your city and take your truck to where the people are spending their time.
Catering is one of the best ways food trucks can supplement street sales all year long, but it’s especially effective during the cold winter months when your customers don’t feel like braving the snow to get to your truck’s window. Though people in your city might consider food trucks to be a warm weather-exclusive destination, they’ll be eager to enjoy your delicious meals during any month if you’re willing to bring the food to them. From corporate events to birthday parties, people need food all year long—and there’s no better way for you to make up for slow street sales than with a large catering contract that will serve 50 or more people at a single stop.
Now, it’s no secret that we love food trucks—but today, we wanted to go into a little more detail and explain exactly why something as simple as a restaurant on wheels is so very special. With that in mind, we’re proud to present the 12 reasons we love food trucks!
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