It may seem like a small part of your overall food truck business, but the food truck menu board can have a big impact on how successful your food truck really is. It doesn’t matter how delicious your food is if you can’t attract the customers over in the first place.
A lot more goes into creating a food truck menu than just scribbling your specials on a chalk board. Take the time to plan, organize and design your food truck so that it will attract your target audience. Here are some 10 tips for creating your food truck menu board:
Highlight Your Best Dishes
When you are designing the menu board, leave the upper right hand corner or the center of the board for your most popular dishes. The eye is naturally drawn to these spots first and this way you are ensuring that your best dishes are noticed first. Not every passerby will take the time to read the whole menu so you want to make sure the best of what you offers pops easily off the board.
Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment a Little
While there is certainly the saying, “Don’t Fix If It Ain’t Broken,” sometimes tweaking your popular dishes a little can lead you to a different item to add to your menu at little cost to you. For example, if you have burger on your menu, why not experiment with different toppings and sauces to offer something a little bit different? It is an easy and inexpensive way to increase your offerings.
Offer Only Key Items on Your Menu
When you are worried about having something for everybody, it is tempting to fill your menu with lots of options, but that can get overwhelming for both you and your customer. If there is a lot of items all jammed together on the menu board, it can make it more difficult for your customers to choose and they might head to another food truck with a simpler menu. Also not to mention, having too many items to make will also strain things for you inside the food truck. There are only so much space back there so storing a lot of ingredients can be difficult. Plus you don’t want the taste to suffer and that can happen if your staff is juggling making too many very different dishes.
Along the same vein, even if you just have a few dishes to promote, don’t fill the board with extra information that isn’t necessary. Keep everything short and sweet and make it easy for the customer to find the information they are looking for.
Make Your Food Truck Board Easy to Update
Prices are always going to fluctuate and certain vegetables may or may not be in season at different times of the year, so make sure your menu board is easy to update whenever you need to. Fancy boards might be harder and more expensive to update so take that into consideration.
Choose the Right Colors and Visuals
Your food truck menu board is another great way to reinforce your brand. Use colors and visuals that reinforce your brand and attract potential customers. If you want to include pictures, stay away from clip-art and use photos of your actual dishes instead. For best results, hire a skilled food photographer to take the pictures for you. Bad photographs can actually do more damage than no photos at all.
Proofread Your Menu
Nothing is more embarrassing to you and distracting to the potential customer than typos on the menu board. It might seem like a little thing, but it does matter. Remember, that we are all susceptible to typos. Our minds tend to see what we expect it to say and not what it actually says so that is why it is best to have extra pairs of eyes checking it for you. If a small mistake gets spread around social media, it can actually cost a lot of damage to your reputation.
Avoid Fancy Fonts and Calligraphy
Readability is the most important ingredient for creating your food truck menu board. Fancy fonts might seem fun and interesting, but what is the point if your customers can’t understand what is on the board?
Highlight Special Dishes on the Board
If you offer special vegetarian or vegan dishes or menu items that are gluten-free or heart-healthy than it will be helpful to your customers to make them prominent on your menu board. Otherwise they might not know you offered these dishes and move on to another food truck.
Get Schooled on Menu Psychology
Yes, this is actually a thing. Psychologists have studied the design and wording to menus to center in on what makes a menu work or not work. Here are just a few psychology tips to consider when designing your menu board:
- Don’t use dollar signs. You don’t want your customers focusing on the price instead of the actual meal, do you?
- Don’t use columns of numbers. Instead write creative descriptions of what you are offering.
- Add some fun adjectives to your descriptions to make potential customers smile and be enticed to try out the dish.
Get Feedback on Your Menu Board
Don’t be afraid to ask your customers and your social media followers for feedback on your menu board. They can let you know if your descriptions are confusing or if the board is hard to read.
Now once you got the customers to line up and place the order, it is now time for you to wow them with your delicious meals and exemplary customer service. Everything needs to be working in tandem. The creative sign draws them in and the food and service keeps them coming back for more.
If you are new to the food truck business this is especially important. Want to own your food truck, but not sure where to start? Consider owning a Zac’s Burgers food truck. Get more information about this family-friendly burger joint and their food truck business here.
Zac's Burgers is presently not selling franchises and does not have a certified franchise disclosure document. Zac's is offering licensing opportunities, however, potential licensees must meet all federal and state requirements.
I am always on the lookout for a good food truck. One thing that I really appreciated how this article is that it talked about offering only key items on your menu. I think that it’s a great idea to have a nitch and not having too many options.