Creating Your Food Truck’s Signature Dish

Creating Your Food Truck’s Signature Dish

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The rise in knowledgeable food consumers has grown leaps and bounds since the increase of food related television programming. Because of this growth, it should be no surprise that the the mobile food industry has benefited from the new foodies in the world.

These foodies tend to be consumers who enjoy sharing information about their last, best meal through word of mouth and social media. A great way for a food truck to give these share happy customers a reason spread the word about their mobile business is to provide them with a signature dish to talk about.

kogi short rib taco
Kogi BBQ’s signature short rib taco

Classic cuisine dishes have always connected diners with their roots or the history of the regions where they have lived or traveled. Your food truck’s signature dish can be a modified or elevated version of a popular dish from the cuisine your concept is built on.  By promoting these signature menu items, food truck vendors can take advantage of these customer emotions or memories and create committed fans and followers.

Creating Buzz About Your Signature Dish

People show tremendous loyalty and enthusiasm for their favorite foods, and signature dishes give you the ability to find a way of sharing your culinary self-expression. In fact, many food trucks have started operations based partly on the culinary appeal of their signature dishes.

  • Signature dishes often incorporate local produce, seafood, game or condiments.
  • Most mobile food vendors specialize in cooking national, regional or local dishes that are popular with people from particular ethnic backgrounds.
  • Brand image and food consistency often have their roots in distinctive signature dishes.
  • Emphasizing history, preparation techniques or sustainable local ingredients provides rich marketing possibilities for food trucks.

Signature dishes could include appetizers, soups, salads, streaks, entrees or desserts. Regional favorites include barbecue dishes, Cajun and Creole specialties, crab cakes, chili and even Philly cheese steaks.

The cooking methods can range from simple and healthy to complicated dishes, it really depends on the technical skills of your staff to consistently recreate the dish. Not only can your signature items draw in local consumers, it can serve as tourist attraction if your market has a high flow of out of town foodie visitors.

The Benefits

An important point about a signature dish is that they can capture the imagination of foodies who can influence others to visit your food truck’s service window. Other promotional ideas to consider:

  • People who visit food trucks to enjoy their favorite foods often try other menu items and spend additional money on sides and beverages.
  • Window Servers can up sell signature dishes by explaining their history.
  • Food trucks can link their cuisines with local or regional foods, ethnic specialties and sustainable local sources.
  • Signature dishes can generate social and traditional media attention for your mobile food business, which will increase local market followers, and online visibility.

Food trucks often change their menus to keep pace with culinary trends, but your signature dishes have the power to serve as menu anchors for loyal customers and evolve to reflect new culinary trends and healthier eating habits.

Does your food truck already have a signature dish? Tell us about it in the comment section below.

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