How do you make your food truck stand out in a crowd? What if your menu is not enough to make you stand out? Have you thought about adding some new profit centers that will separate you from the rest of the pack? I will tell you a few of the things that I have done on my truck (Love Food Truck Co.) to separate myself from the others.
Stand Out: Do a Variety of Menus
One of the ways I separate my truck from the pack is to be able to do several menus from my truck. This helps in several ways. One way would be at an event that has a burger truck, ok I can also do “XYZ”. This would allow me to do the event and not miss out on the business.
Another way I separated my truck from the pack is adding cold brewed coffee served under nitro. This was two years before cold brew was even really a big thing. And we served it under nitro which lets it pour like a Guinness! It settles with a thick creamy head on the top and no one was doing it like this. This past year since we have the cold brew on nitro, I added three iced teas served on nitro. I did a kumon black, hibiscus berry and a moroccan mint. We brew and keg all the teas and coffee in house. It has great margins and again sets me apart from the rest of the trucks.
In previous articles you read about my Love Hot Dog Co. trailer, it is known for exotic game sausages and Exotic toppings like bacon jam and sweet onions. It was also known for the steamed cheeseburgers and Traditional New England lobster rolls. Again separating me from the other hot dog vendors when a catering or event client called.
Stand Out: Clean and Colorful
Food Truck: Good Graphics
Some other ways you can stand out from the pack are your graphics on the truck. The colors need to be bright and eye catching. You also need to be able to read them from a far. If people can't read it, they can't contact you! The truck needs to be clean, I've seen too many trucks show up dirty. If you clean as you go and wash the truck regularly, it's easy! If you have simulators on the wheels and they are smashed, take them off and paint the rims. I prefer black gloss, it is easy to touch up and keep them looking great.
Staff: Clean Uniforms
Your staff shirts can be an easy way to make your crew stand out from the pack. We use a Dickies mechanic style shirt, that is embroidered in several spots and screen printed on the back. Keep them clean and looking good, wear an apron to help while cooking. This is also a major part of your brand. I've see to many trucks allow staff to wear what ever or dirty stained staff shirts, this is a turn off to customers. Your staff are part of your brand as well.
Food: Plating and Garnish
Plating and garnish can be a great way to separate your truck from the pack. Don't settle for plain old paper plates for your dish. Add a Chinese take out container or a nice to go box with a logo ink stamp of your logo on it. Don't just drop the burger in a boat at a few pickle slices as garnish. Do some pickled onion to top that taco. The vibrant pink color makes the dish pop. People eat with their eyes and post pics before they even taste your food.
Customer Service: Names and Conversations
Another way to separate your truck is how you interact with people at your window when taking their orders. You need to be attentive to the customers and try to learn names when serving at the same locations. Customers love to be recognized by name. While they are waiting, communicate that they are coming off the grill next. Ask how their vacation was or how was the wedding? It makes the customer feel appreciated and valued. A customer that feels this way will be more likely to return to your truck and tell other people about your truck.
Look for ways to set your truck and yourself apart from the pack. You can no longer think that just your menu will do it for you. There are more and more trucks popping up. And some will make it and some will go by the wayside. Where will you be?
You can get tons of great tips by associating with other top food truck operators. Join us in the Street Food Pro team.