How to Grow Your Business with a Food Truck

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Are you looking for a way to grow your restaurant’s event opportunities? There are a ton of advantages to having a food truck to complement your brick-and-mortar location. Not only does it signal that your restaurant brand is innovative and growing, but you’re able to reach a whole new level of possible clientele.

 

To gain more insight, we chatted with Caroline Perini, owner of Easy Slider Truck, Dallas-Fort Worth’s first and only gourmet slider food truck. Read on to see some advice she offered for restaurants looking to expand their business with a food truck.

 

Cater to events on-the go

One of the biggest advantages to owning a food truck is that you can cater to your customers’ needs instead of always having them come to you. This will open you up to a whole new area of business, and possibly the types of events that you can take part in. While your brick-and-mortar may only be designed to accommodate certain types of events, you can expand your reach with a food truck, whether it be a children’s birthday party or a corporate lunch celebration in an office parking lot. “Having a mobile kitchen enables us to bring the catering to the guest, completely contained,” says Caroline. “No drop off, or pick up or set up involved. Clients love the convenience.”

 

Expand your audience

If you have customers interested in having your food at their event, but they can’t afford to rent out an entire space, they can opt to hire your food truck instead. Food trucks are typically cheaper than booking a private event space.

 

BY THE NUMBERS: 47% of millennials have eaten from a food truck. (Big Think)

 

Lean on technology

If you’re using technology to power events at your brick-and-mortar restaurant, you can use the same technology to book events for your food truck. This allows you to work smarter, not harder. “Some of the top tech tools we use to run our food truck business include Gather, a wireless POS (point of sale) system, social media and of course, our smartphones,” says Caroline. You don’t have to be by a computer to manage events at your food truck. With cloud-based software, you can access all of your event info in the palm of your hand.

 

Enhance your current social media strategy

If you’re a brick-and-mortar restaurant, you most likely already have an active social media presence. Take advantage of your social platforms by posting about your new truck on your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. This will help you grow your social media strategy in an easy way while letting people know about your new food truck.

 

Build your brand

Adding a food truck to your existing restaurant can help you reinvent your brand. You’ll be introducing your food and drinks to new audiences, and you can use this opportunity to add on existing elements to your restaurant. “Our food truck is a moving billboard for our brand. The truck is able to cover more ground versus just a stand alone brick-and-mortar,” explains Caroline. “We’re able to visit different cities, make contact with a wider range of people at city-wide events, and reach guests at private parties who would not have ventured into our brick-and-mortar neighborhood.”

 

BY THE NUMBERS: America now boasts over 4,000 food trucks. (The Economist)

 

Test out new menu items

With a food truck, you can regularly test out new menu items and see what’s popular with your customers. If you see a pattern with a certain dish, you can add that to your restaurant’s regular menu. “When creating a menu, choose your bestsellers to feature and keep it streamlined,” suggests Caroline. Food trucks work hard to stand out, so don’t be afraid to add your own twist to all of your menu items. For example, if you’re a barbeque food truck in the South, try adding some pimento cheese to a menu item, or adding okra as a new side dish.


PRO-TIP: Incorporate seasonal ingredients into your food truck menu — they’re cheaper and will result in fresher dishes for your customers.