If you own a restaurant and are looking to buy a food truck, you may look around and start to notice something. Many of your favorite restaurants, some of the best in town, also have food trucks.
You might see them on job sites, at festivals, at actual food truck events, and even at other locations you might not have thought of at first. Why does it seem like some of the best restaurants in town also have a food truck? Here are five important reasons.
1. Brand Awareness
One simple thing is that a food truck is a moving billboard. If it is parked in a different part of town than its parent restaurant, people are seeing and recognizing the brand. This might inspire them to visit the physical location as well, which will probably offer them a lot more menu options than a food truck can.
The food truck is like a teaser menu. It gives customers a taste of the food quality and lets them know what they might experience at the restaurant itself. The increase in brand awareness alone is often worth the investment. This is the exact reason why so many brands build custom food trucks to catch the eye of their target market.
There is a word of caution here though. Only offer items on your menu that are easy to prepare quickly while still maintaining quality. This ensures that the brand awareness the customer gains is a positive one rather than a mediocre or a negative one.
2. Mobile Sales
Not to overstate the obvious, but a mobile sales platform simply gives you another place to sell food and gain new customers. Smart restaurant owners know that if you can’t bring the customers to you all of the time, you can go to them. A food truck is a simple way to do so without adding a whole lot of overhead.
In fact, the biggest cost is the initial investment in the truck and outfitting it with the exact equipment you need. Once the truck itself is paid for, the only expense is gas and maintenance, usually minimal since the truck is rarely driven too far, labor costs, and the cost of the food you will prepare.
The big advantage of mobile sales is that you can accept the same payment methods and operate almost the same way you do at your physical location with the use of modern technology, and the profit margin is just as good or better.
We mentioned brand awareness, but the other aspect of a food truck besides the billboard advertising is that you can use it as a marketing platform. Offer coupons for customers the next time they visit your physical location. Give out copies of your full menu, and give exclusive offers to your food truck customers.
Additionally, train your staff to ask the customer to visit your restaurant, and take surveys to see where customers heard about you, and if they have been to your location before. This form of data gathering is valuable as it can tell you something about your current reach, and areas where you could market more effectively.
Don’t discount the value of simply marketing your location through your food truck and take the endeavor seriously as the potential investment it is.
Besides simply serving food at festivals and events, a food truck can be a great device to cater parties, events, and more elaborate affairs. The reason is that you at least have the ability to transfer food to almost any location, and you have a portable kitchen in case those on site are inadequate or unavailable for some reason.
A food truck can enable you to offer a “fresher” catering experience to your customers than other catering services, as things that don’t travel as well can be made and served on the spot rather than just delivered in warmers. Catering can offer your food to a whole new audience, one that is more sophisticated and likely to visit your location at a later date.
Catering will require some staff, but often you can hire temps for things like set up, tear down, and serving without stressing your current staff or leaving your location short. This is yet another use of a food truck that has served many of the best restaurants well.
5. Extra Profit
All of this really adds up to one thing: more profits. From mobile sales to catering, from the marketing and brand recognition you get, the smartest and best restaurant owners understand everything is about volume, numbers, and less waste. The more efficiently you run your restaurant, the more loyal customers you have, the greater your profits.
A food truck is simply one more step in that direction, a way to expand your business and your reach. When considering how to make your business more profitable, a food truck is a definite plus.
As you can see there are quite a few beneficial reasons why the best restaurants have begun to deploy food trucks. From building a bigger customer base and growing your brand recognition, to testing new locations and food items, food trucks offer a competitive advantage for restaurants to outgrow their brick and mortar limitations.
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