Food trucks are the next big thing for foodies, and it’s not uncommon to see them banding together like a mobile food court full of unique, scrumptious treats. A well-organized event can reach a huge customer base and introduce your eats to many new people. Try these tips for having an unforgettable event.
Add Some Entertainment
Image via Flickr by Quinn Dombrowski
Though chow takes center stage at a food truck event, guests appreciate having something to do while munching. Add entertainment and visitors will have an added incentive to come and try your fare. Live music is a particularly popular choice. Book a few local bands and you’ll both benefit from the pairing. Fans of the musicians may come for the music and stay for a meal, while foodies who came for the munchies may discover a new favorite performer.
Some other options for entertainment may include comedians, dance troupes, and other stage performers. If your venue doesn’t have a stage, consider setting up carnival games, face painting, craft booths, or a DJ and dance floor.
Have a Theme
Give your food truck event a creative theme to drum up a little more excitement and interest. Choose an obscure holiday and plan a special event to celebrate it. Have each food truck serve special twofer deals on Repeat Day (June 3), focus your event on wellness for Positive Thinking Day (September 13), or have each food truck compete to come up with their most original take on the PB and J for National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day (April 2). There’s no end to the possibilities.
Get Sponsors for the Event
Having sponsors increases your marketing power and makes it easier to reach out to more potential customers. Sponsors might open a booth at the event, give some swag for goodie bags, or offer merchandise for a giveaway. Your sponsors will want the event to have as much success as you do, so they’ll naturally spread the word to their customers.
Choose your sponsors carefully so you’re reaching the right kind of clientele. If your food truck serves up healthy smoothies and vegetarian eats, a health food store or yoga studio is the perfect sponsor. Partner with a country western bar for your BBQ truck. Forming these business relationships will serve you well long past your event.
Inform Your Existing Customers
In the weeks leading up to the event, make sure you tell every customer what’s coming up. Print special napkins with event information on them. Put fliers up in the windows of the truck. Give out a brochure with every order. Share on any social media site you use. If someone purchases food from you before the event, he needs to walk away checking his calendar to see if he’s free to attend. Make sure your staff is hyping it and striking up lots of positive conversations to get people excited.
Remind Customers Again and Again
As excited as they might feel, your customers are likely to forget about your event if they’re only told of it once several weeks before it takes place. Remind them again and again to make sure it’s at the forefront of their minds.
Encourage your customers to follow you on a social media site like Facebook or Twitter so you can remind them easily with updates. If your customers sign up for promotions via email, send out a reminder a week ahead of time and the day before. Don’t give up the day of. Post updates to social media sites as the event is taking place, including pictures and special promos.
Get Involved with Your Community
Your food truck event will bring in a lot more business if it’s about more than just food. Partner with a local charity to raise money for a worthy cause. Donate part of every purchase to the cause so you’re all eating with purpose. This will draw in supporters of the cause who just want to help as well as hungry citizens who just want a bite to eat. At the end of the day, everyone wins.
Every town has lots of great causes just begging for a little extra help. Whether your raising money for your local elementary school’s new playground equipment, or you’re hosting a pet-friendly event to support an animal shelter, your company will get a lot of great press from giving something back to the community. Not sure where to start? Have your customers put suggestions into a jar on your counter and you’ll find lots of local opportunities.
Run a Contest
Contests add interest to any event. Challenge your fans to come up with a new flavor, recipe, or product name. The winner has the honor of seeing his creation right there on your food truck. Create an eating contest and post photos of the proud winners on your truck.
Many contests also act as smart promotional strategies that your customers can actively participate in. Have fans post pictures of themselves eating your food on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook and choose a winner from the participants. A giveaway like this reaches all the friends and followers of your participants. Announce winners and give out awards at the food truck event.
Make it a Regular Thing
If your food truck event is well-organized, word of mouth will increase participation. The problem is that your customers need some time to tell everyone they know how great the event is. Set up a recurring event so you can take advantage of a customer base that regularly increases over time as more and more people discover what’s happening.
Try hosting a weekly or monthly food truck event in the same location. Invite several local bands to play and change the lineup for each event. If you’re hosting an event that’s too large to repeat in the near future, make it an annual thing and set up a web page that’s continually counting down to the next big day.
A well-organized food truck event can make even new concession trailers into local legends. Russell Concession & Mobile Kitchens, can outfit you with everything you need to enter this exciting industry.