Mobile catering is growing popular by the day. There are well over 20,000 such businesses in the US currently, with a 6.8% growth rate being recorded between 2014 and 2019. There’s a reason for this. The demand for mobile catering is on an uncontainable surge.
If you’re considering joining the food truck market, there aren’t many hurdles to stop you, and making good isn’t really a pipedream, but if you want to be better than the rest, then you have to be smarter than them. Below are a few tips to help you achieve success with your mobile catering business:
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Invest in the right trailer truck.
The food vehicle is the most critical asset of any mobile catering business. How you choose will have an impact on how your business performs in the long run.
Factors to consider before buying a food vehicle should include the size of your business, the kinds of foods you’ll be serving, the need to prepare food in the vehicle, the number of employees, state laws, and of course, your budget.
If you’re going to offer made-at-home food, then a medium-sized trailer would serve you well. Ice creams and other fast foods can be sold from a cart. On-site food preparation, on the other hand, would call for a full-sized food vehicle with a kitchen section.
Since they can be a considerable investment, ensure you consider your business’ long-term objectives when looking for kitchen trailer trucks for sale. If you have imminent expansion plans in mind, consider buying a sizeable vehicle even if your business is small at the moment.
Choose your staff wisely.
Every business that involves in-person human interaction needs friendly and personable staff. Food trucks often serve repeat customers, meaning the need for hospitable employees is even greater.
Consider creating a comprehensive hiring criterion to minimize the chances of taking on incompetent individuals. Qualification should count only when it’s accompanied by the right attitude and energy for the job. No matter how good the food is, customers will have other options out there, and the service you offer will have a sway on whether they will continue coming back or not.
Offering what the competition doesn’t have is an age-old technique that works nine times out of ten. Before starting, you have to ask yourself, “What does every other food truck in the neighborhood serve?” If the streets are packed to the gills with sandwich carts, then that’s one item you shouldn’t have on your menu.
Understandably, it can be hard finding popular yet rare foods to offer, but if you do, success is almost bound to come your way. Conduct far-reaching research that dives deep into the offerings of the mobile catering businesses in your locality. Whatever’s missing should be noted and kept aside for consideration.
Get a website.
Did you say you want to stand head and shoulders above the competition? Well, here’s the thing: you’re not entering the top bracket without an online presence. We’re in the digital age, and no one wants to guess your location when they can find you on their phone.
A website will help you post and update your location every day and provide menu information, employee bios, and anything that customers may want to know.
A website is also great as a complementary element for local SEO, so new customers in your area who want to learn more about you can click onto your website and have a look around.
Your online catering website should be neat, easy to navigate, and optimized for mobile devices.
Start a loyalty program.
Loyalty programs evoke loyalty by rewarding customers for subsequent visits. If your business is in its infancy stage, a loyalty program will help you build a client base quickly and accelerate your business’ growth curve.
One viable way to do it is by providing punch cards to every new customer, where one gets a notch every time they buy from you. For instance, you can offer a free meal every time a customer buys, say, ten meals from your food truck. After that, they can restart the cycle or be upgraded to the next stage of the program.
Just ensure you don’t hurt your bottom line and long-term business objectives with your loyalty program. The ultimate goal is to make more profit, not to have a vast customer base.
Invest in food blogger outreach.
Regardless of the size of your business, you can’t overlook the importance of a good marketing strategy. One often overlooked yet beneficial approach to fire up your growth is to invite food bloggers to your mobile catering business and ask them to try your meals and review them on their blogs.
Some bloggers have huge followings, and getting a positive review from them can impact your business massively.
The only catch to this type of marketing is that your food truck must be excellent because you’re looking for genuine reviews. If the experience is bad for the blogger, chances are you’ll get a negative review, which will taint your business image.
Delivery can call for the alteration of your budget and some of your business plans, but it’s a tried-and-tested way to boost sales.
According to a survey, 61% of millennials consider the availability of delivery and takeout options an essential factor in choosing restaurants. That’s nothing to overlook if you want to thrive in the mobile catering industry.
If you’re not equipped to build your own delivery department, consider partnering with a third-party delivery service provider such as Eat24Hours or GrubHub.
Success in the food truck industry isn’t given on a silver platter. You have to understand the market, know your audience, and create strategies to provide you with the edge on your competitors. The above tips can help you find your feet in the rather chock-a-block industry, whether you’re still in the planning phase or your business is up and running.