Food trucks are fueled by more than just diesel. Across the country, food truck operators are relying on the latest technology to streamline operations, manage wait times, inform customers, and so much more. Today, we list the must-have technologies for food trucks. They’re designed to distinguish your food truck from the competition while boosting efficiency.
A Mobile Point-of-Sale System
Using a specialized Food Truck POS system is a no-brainer. Mobility is central to a food truck business, and your point of sale should support that. Using a handheld device like an iPad to run credit cards, manage inventory, and place orders streamline operations and fit into the limited space of a food truck. Plus, the ubiquitous nature of a touch-screen means that you don’t have to train new drivers or employees on how to use it—it’s intuitive and easy to learn.
Space, ease, and cost are not the only reasons why many food truck owners are opting for a mobile POS system:
Menu customization—If you offer multiple sides, different condiments, or other specialty additions, you can customize your menu to feature all that’s available. These customization options can also be used to remove items, which is imperative for customers with allergies.
Send orders quickly—Chances are you have long lines; keep it moving by sending orders to your chef straight-away. Your guests are patient, but during a rush period, there is not a second to waste.
Process payments fast—There’s nothing more tedious than waiting for a faulty server connection to process credit and debit cards. Help your guests ease through your food truck experience with fast card technology.
Pull up sales reports anywhere, anytime—The beauty of a modern POS system is the flexibility it presents you as the owner. If you cannot be on location, you can still have your ear to the ground by pulling up sales reports anywhere in the world.
Manage inventory—Check how your best-sellers are doing and manage your purchase orders in one easy flow. With a digital inventory tracker integrated with your mobile POS system, you can schedule automatic orders and get demographic information for your best sellers.
Going digital with a Food Truck POS is the obvious choice for food truck operators striving for efficient, successful operation.
Where are you now?
Running a prosperous food truck business is reliant on customers knowing your location. While your ease of mobility helps you to stand out and try different neighborhoods, it can also be a disadvantage when potential customers can’t find you.
There are three ways to put the word out there:
In some cities, like Boston, GPS tracking devices are required for all food trucks. But for all intents and purposes, GPS tracking is something all food truck operators should consider. If you rely on your guests to check Twitter and Facebook, you might be missing out on a host of potential customers. That’s because many companies and firms are blocking social media sites from work computers.
Since shouting through a megaphone isn’t very effective, try a mobile website with GPS tracking. Tech companies like Mobile Meteor have a unique system that allows food trucks to update their location at all times. Customers simply have to visit the food truck’s website for an accurate location.
Aggregate Food Truck Location Apps and Sites
Another option is to sign up with local, regional, and national sites that aggregate food truck locations. For instance, Food Network developed the app Eat St. to allow users to search for food trucks by location or cuisine. Being present on these apps helps new and old customers find you. Joining these networks takes the pressure away from informing customers of your whereabouts and attracts new diners.
Check out the list below and check with locals to see what apps and sites they are visiting to find the nearest food trucks and make sure you are listed with local food truck apps and sites to grow your reach.
Apps to get listed in
- Roaming Hunger
- Appy Pie
- Eat St.
- Food Truck Fiesta
- Road Stoves GPS
- NYC Truck Food
What better way is there to update the happy customers of your ever-changing location but through their smartphones. SMS marketing is an easy and cost-effective way of notifying customers of your whereabouts and specials.
Consumers today use their smartphones more often than any other way to find a place to eat. They nearly never put the device down and will see notifications from your SMS messages instantly.
First, they must opt in to receiving text messages from you. This is easier than you might think—simply offer an incentive, like a free portion of French Fries or dim sum. Then, update customers on your location, menu changes, daily specials, and limited-time offers as you like. It’s recommended that you avoid sending too many texts at once. Otherwise, you will turn off your base.
Choose a reliable text messaging service that specializes in sending bulk SMSs for businesses; check out this list here to start your research.
Loyalty Programs with Push Notifications
Through a loyalty program, you can send notifications and emails to your customers. Most restaurants use this to send sales information and discount offers to loyal customers. For your food truck loyalty members, try sending a notification when you move locations to keep them up-to-date and always able to find you.
Online Food Ordering
Online food ordering is one of the hottest restaurant technologies right now; food trucks can take advantage of its capabilities.
It’s known that the lines for food trucks can be excruciatingly long, and to many people, it’s a turn-off. Having the option to order food online is a huge incentive for today’s customers to choose your food truck over others. A pre-ordering online system is especially ideal for professionals during lunchtime. Customers with limited free time will appreciate having their food waiting for them, instead of the other way around.
Digital Menu Displays
As a restauranteur, you’re continually searching for approaches to draw in your clients. Grasp the future with Lavu Digital Menu Boards for your eatery or bar, and make an enduring impression with your visitors.
Lavu Digital Menu Boards have best in class plans that will separate your foundation. Extraordinary help is ageless. Being up to date means keeping with the times when it comes to food truck innovations.
Advanced Menu Boards give clients something to respect other than your food. Browse many backgrounds and editable layouts and an assortment of screen sizes and client collaboration types. You can choose a video background as well, entice visitors with melty cheese, or twirling a decadent pasta.
Tips for Creating a Digital Menu Display
When creating a digital menu display, you want to entice visitors walking by to come to try your food. Make images large enough to be seen while passing by.
If you offer multiple menus, using our Digital Menu Boards makes it easy to switch entire menu selections with the switch of a button, no more manually selecting items or flipping boards.
Try using an automated scheduler for your food truck and save on labor costs. This will help ensure that you are always properly staffed and able to serve your customers. With an automated scheduler, you will create a master schedule, fill in information for your current employees, and have all of your scheduling needs taken care of with the push of a button.
Food Safety Technology
New applications are available that allow you to monitor the safety of your food through one simple application. Monitor temperatures, cooking time, and eliminate the need for manual reports.
These applications are great for any foodservice business but are even more crucial in a food truck due to the increased chance of FDA and health inspections coming without prior notice. Use these apps to make sure your food truck is always up to code and keep your business from the risk of being shut down by a failed health inspection.
Bluetooth temperature monitoring
Keep your food at safe temperatures throughout to cooking and storage process with the use of Bluetooth temperature sensors. They work for hot and cold temperature settings and can send you an alert when something isn’t right.
A beautiful website is easier than ever in today’s world. Coding is made so easy that anyone can create a beautiful website that meets their customer’s needs and directs them to visit their location. Make sure they can find you no matter where you are, and that your website is eye-pleasing and informative as to what you have to offer.
Make sure you include these key elements on your site to drive your customers to find you.
Create content that can be shared on social media. Use eye-catching photos and share relevant stories that users will want to share. Create share buttons that can be used to instantly share and follow you on all social media sites you are listed on.
Local SEO targeting
Use local SEO targeting to make sure locals find your site when searching for local food trucks. Get listed on review sites, and be sure to fill out your Google My Business profile information to stay in the top search results.
When you will be visiting local events, create new articles and content that links to the event pages to get locals excited about seeing you there.
Use the names of local and nearby towns, festivals, and events as keywords for your website when creating new content.
Keep customers up-to-date with your location with GPS monitoring integrated with your website for your food truck.
Online menu and ordering options
Aside from having an app to order from, make the option available to order online through your website as well. Make sure your menu stays up-to-date and that all photography is displayed optimally.
When creating a menu online, it is also important that it is usable for all devices. Most users find your website through mobile searches and will want your website to be optimized for mobile users.
Take advantage of these technologies at your food truck. They minimize common aches and pains and can help drive your business towards success. The more digital adoption you utilize in creating a plan for your business to be integrated with the latest technology, the less paperwork and stress you will have as a food truck operator.