Opening a food truck is the dream of many chefs and small businessmen and women, but it is an undertaking that requires tons of forethought and investment. You might have the best food, stellar recipes, and the know how about running a food truck, but how will you get customers?
The simplest way to attract more clients is by running promotions that draw business. The simplest ones tend to be the most effective since people don’t often think about where exactly they will eat in the moment. However, more complex ones can draw interest, and companies and franchises like Zac’s Burgers have seen success with a combination of the two for years.
To further improve the base for your food truck franchise or food truck investment, consider the following promotions.
1. Buy One, Get One
This is perhaps the simplest and most well-known promotion in the book, but it is one many people use when opening a food truck because it works. People are encouraged to take advantage of this type of deal because it makes them feel like they are earning a small success – after all, they are getting free food.
With this promotion, you will only earn 50% on your products, but will usually bring in enough business to cover the cost. This is because more people will visit, and they typically bring friends and relatives who will also eat at the truck and take advantage of the delicious food. If you are just getting started with your business, then this is a great place to begin your promotions.
2. Discounts for Facebook Fans
This is a great promotion because it encourages active engagement from individuals, and also gets them involved with your social media presence. Individuals interested in the discount will follow you on your social media platform of choice – it doesn’t have to be Facebook – and can show their profile as proof. Then they get the discount.
The beauty of this promotion is that most people won’t unfollow your food truck’s profile after getting the discount. This means you can post about the truck, your activity, your location, and any future promotions. The information reaches a broader audience, and you will get more customers.
3. Discounts at Local Events
A promotion where you offer discounts for people who visit your food truck at local events is a win for multiple reasons. One, you’re engaging individuals who are already interested in the local community, and they are likely to come again and patronize the business. Two, you are forming professional connections with other entrepreneurs in the region, and having a solid business network is a great asset for anyone opening a food truck. Third, you’re once again drawing in clientele by offering the discount in the first place, meaning more people try your food.
Overall, this promotion is a win, win, win. Just remember to arrive early to local events and make sure all of your permits are in order before setting up shop.
4. Seasonal Deals
Seasonal deals is a promotion where you can get creative and take advantage of the unique foods you sell, people’s desire to get discounts, and the individual desire to be creative. With a seasonal promotion, you can offer discounts for just about anything festive. Some of the most popular are Christmas discounts where anyone who shows up with a festive hat gets $1 or $2 off a drink or popular food item.
The beauty of seasonal deals is that they aren’t limited just to popular holidays and can be changed every season or every month. Some examples of popular options are giving discounts to individuals who show up in Halloween costumes, 4th of July colors, floral outfits in spring, or festive autumn garb with leaves and scarves.
If you combine seasonal deals with promotions involving social media platforms, then you draw in new customers and maybe even encourage local social media influencers to attend. This is great because it increases your business connections and exposure at the same time.
5. Team Up with a Local Celeb
This promotion requires doing some research in the social media scene of your hometown or area of business. Social media is huge among younger generations, and people tend to follow Twitch streamers, YouTubers, beauty gurus, and other individuals on tons of platforms.
What you need to do is contact someone in the area and work with them to create a promotion that will boost their number of fans and your customers. This can be as simple as offering a $1 discount on food or drink if they are subscribed to that individual, or more complex like having them make a video or post about your truck with a discount attached for their followers.
This is an excellent promotion because it increases the number of local connections you have with other entrepreneurs attempting to market a brand, and you both benefit. The only downside is that some local social media influencers might want more than discounts, so don’t be afraid to look around and find someone interested in increasing their own presence by collaborating.
Opening a food truck can be a frustrating endeavor if you’re great at the cooking and serving businesses but not the best when it comes to advertising. Seasonal and regular promotions, both simple and creative, can be wonderful ways to bring in new business by helping you reach new customers and expand your reputation to a broader audience.
Besides these five basic promotions, there are tons of others available. If you offer a truly unique food, don’t be afraid to market how unusual it is. This will draw in people who are curious about the unknown quality of the ingredients or finished product, and you are likely to sell more. Likewise, don’t be afraid to market your ingredients, especially if they are farm fresh and organic.
Ultimately, the best promotions will be ones tailored to specific demographics that you know already have an interest in food trucks and supporting local businesses. You can’t please everyone, but you can build a loyal fanbase to help you out.