It’s hard to find a gig that compares to being a food truck owner. Setting up a single location and drawing return crowds, while providing consistently great service and food—these are the basics for brick and mortar dining establishments. But the unique nature of a food truck requires different ways of doing business, and with it, a unique set of challenges.
Along with applying for parking permits and standing out in a highly competitive arena of the food industry, food truck operators must also contend with their mobility and its limitations, a lack of space for bulk inventory, marketing new locations, and more.
Even so, these drawbacks are offset by the opportunities a food truck’s mobility affords. When it comes to making a profit, your mobility is your best asset. Navigating bustling streets and happening corners is just one way to make money. But how about booking catering gigs? Music festivals, weddings, and corporate events are profitable opportunities for food truck operators. With a reliable Food Truck POS, you have the luxury of putting your food truck in front of new customers in different neighborhoods every day.
How Food Trucks Can Book More Events
You’re ready to book your food truck—now how do you find events? Here are three ways to book new catering gigs for your food truck:
1. Update Your Website
If you haven’t noticed, websites are the models of the Internet. The more compelling one looks, the more interest it garners. Keeping a clean and polished website is important—we cannot emphasize this enough. Your website is a mirror of your business—if it looks a mess, you can be sure that a potential client will think your food truck is the same.
Visitors might have had zero interaction with your actual business, and will be judging your capabilities by your website. Interested parties might receive recommendations, find your name in a web search, or be led to your site by a magazine article. Don’t let your site scare off customers. It’s worth investing in an update to attract more customers.
Local Search Engine Optimization
Local SEO is imperative for food trucks and foodservice businesses, because the stronger your Local SEO ratings, the higher your location will rank in local searches. In today’s world of mobile searching and instant gratification, customers are likely to go with the top option they see when they ask Google for “nearby food trucks.” Keep the following in mind when creating a search engine optimized website, we’ll go into further detail below.
- Targeted catchphrases and expressions
- A great inbound promoting methodology
- Social Media commitment
- On-page SEO
- Providing helpful and important substance
- Listings on Google My Business
- Reviews of your business on Google
- Citations and Link Building
- Avoid Black Hat SEO procedures
- Optimizing your site for portable use
- Having a steady blog
Giving helpful and significant website content implies not to fill your site with cushion, or have your whole site be a promotion for your business. Exhibit your incentive to your locale by including content that helps perusers and is significant to your business. Research the issues that your clients are confronting and make content that plans to take care of their issues.
Provide helpful information on your blog and continue to update the information consistently to get customers coming back for more.
Social Media Engagement
Keep up social media commitments by posting reliably and giving significant substance that draws in your client base. Pose inquiries that are not a short answer. Summon feelings by including unique photographs and reviewing a memory. Offer client stories that touch your client base and cause them to interface with you. Search your organization name via web-based networking media locales to see when individuals are discussing your business, and offer any positive posts you find.
Your engagements on social media help earmark your success as they are part of the larger puzzle that makes up search algorithms for local SEO.
Ease of Navigation and Use and Meeting ADA Guidelines
The most fundamental viewpoint to consider when making or keeping up your site is whether all perspectives are open. If you have numerous visual pictures, make you have elective content that a screen peruser can use to help the visually impaired. In the event that your site depends on record with sound, give a transcript or subtitles. Additionally, remember people with epilepsy or different maladies that trigger a seizure and don’t make any substance that is known to incite seizures for your site.
Most clients who quest for neighborhood or close by organizations are doing as such on a cell phone. This makes having your site improved for versatile utilization crucial to your success. Neglecting to do so will tank your positioning. Check burden times, photograph enhancements, and the general look of your site on versatile and work area adaptations. If your page neglects to stack immediately, regardless of whether you are the top outcome, clients are probably going to ricochet from your page to the following alternative. In the realm of moment delight, neglecting to stack rapidly on a cell phone can cost you more business than any number of other SEO botches you may be making.
Get listed in Google My Business for local customers to find you
Rundown your business on Google My Business and use the majority of the highlights they have access to build your pursuit positioning. This is an instrument given by Google to organizations. To appear on Google maps, your business must have all the data rounded out in Google My Business alternatives.
2. Have Eye-Catching Photos of Your Menu Online
The next best thing to tasting your food? Eye-catching photos! If you don’t have some already posted, hire a photographer (or even a social-media-savvy teenager would do!) to take mouth-watering photos of your menu items, and post them to your website. Keep an updated version of your menu online, and to boost interest in your catering abilities, suggest a menu with special dishes. To round out your site’s gallery, upload one or two photos per event category to show how versatile and accessible your menu is for different crowds.
Share your photos to Social Media
Boost interest in your offerings by sharing photos from your website to social media. Does your business have a profile on all of top social media sites? If not, it is time to invest a little time in social media marketing. With a small amount of time dedicated to social media you can boost sales even without hiring a social media marketer.
Lavu Pro Tip: Don’t add menu prices. Prices distract viewers from the quality of the food and your experience. Without prices, you also have the flexibility to maneuver costs depending on the event.
Share event information to show that you are available for events.
Show the world that your food truck is available for events by sharing event photos and information for where your food truck will be. Try having a sharable calendar online that visitors can easily track where you will be, and use the information to book your truck for their next event.
Opening a food truck requires more than just making great food. As the owner, you are responsible for spreading your truck’s name throughout the community. Get out there and meet event professionals and other business owners. While business owners might have large companies—or can recommend you to their peers, event professionals help produce special events. Music concerts, political fundraisers, and corporate galas are just a few examples of the types of gigs an event professional would need a food truck for.
If you’re not sure where to start, first join your local department of commerce, then, visit the buzziest happy hours in the area. Don’t be shy when introducing yourself and your food truck.
Look for conferences that are being held locally and introduce yourself to the event coordinator to offer your food truck as a vendor on site. When at the venue, take a chance to meander inside and rub shoulders with the participants with coupons or swag to draw them to your truck.
These are some great ideas to get networking opportunities and increase gigs for your food truck.
- Corporate conferences
- Music festivals
- Religious retreats
- Chamber of Commerce meetings
- College campuses (enrollment dates mean increased foot-traffic)
- Sporting Events
- Farmer’s Markets
- Parade Grounds
Know Your Guidelines
What are your guidelines for booking an event? Create a clear set of standards and stick to them when it comes to agreeing to take your food truck to an event. Ask yourself the following questions when creating a set of guidelines for event booking with your food truck. Knowing the answers to the following questions will help you to make the most of every event opportunity:
What’s the minimum order for driving your “restaurant” to a location?
Keep profits in mind when driving to new locations, but don’t say no too often. You’ll end up losing out on potential networking opportunities than can drive new customers to your brick and mortar location and become lifelong loyal patrons.
What times are you available for special events?
Is this event in between meals? An event between 1 PM and 4 PM could monopolize your day and make it impossible to serve lunch and dinner. If that’s the case, make sure the event’s sales would make up for missing mealtimes.
How many other food trucks are coming? You want to know if it’s worthwhile to attend an event.
With what types of food trucks are going you may also want to inquire about the types of food they offer. If there are already three taco trucks and your food truck is the same, you may choose to skip that one. However, if you are a taco truck and all of the other trucks offer pizza slices, you should go to add a variety for patrons of the event. The more unique your offering is to the event, the more likely you are to generate new customers.
How far are you willing to drive?
Take gas mileage as well as time of travel into account when driving to events. If you don’t believe locals to the event would drive to your normal location it mat be best to skip the event.
Stay ahead of the competition and build an alternate source of revenue by catering to special events with your food truck. Not sure if you can handle the demands? Check out these must-have technologies for food trucks.