‘Tis the season to drape your food truck in twinkling lights, strap the Christmas wreath onto your truck grille and get prepped for the onset of famished holiday revelers. Busy shoppers are out and about and boy, are their tummies grumbling. That’s where you come in. The holiday season is an ideal opportunity for you to plant the seed in their hungry heads that your food truck is the best spot to stop and refuel. It’s also a time to draw them in with a special holiday themed event or promotion.
First, don’t sweat at the thought of organizing an event. Events don’t have to be a big production. With a dash of creativity, your event can be as simple as adding a holiday food item to your menu and calling it “Merry Food Truck Monday” or being a donation point for a holiday charity drive. The trick is creating enough buzz to keep your business name and location top of mind during a time when consumers are so easily distracted.
Here are three ideas for driving foot traffic to your food truck during the bustling holiday season.
1. Host a Charity Drive
Partner with a locally based charitable organization for a holiday collection drive. Ask them to support your drive by promoting your business and location through social media and email. Besides doing something good for your community, if your fans and followers know that they can knock off two to-do’s on their list, fill their bellies and drop off a holiday donation, they’re more likely to make a point in stopping by. Because space is an issue for food truck owners, consider collecting smaller gifts such as pet toys for a local animal shelter or hygiene items for a homeless center.
2. Hit the Mail
Mail out holiday cards to your top costumers, suppliers and supporters. This not only creates a personal connection but it’s also an opportunity you to slip in a note about your promotions and where you’ll be throughout the season. Sweeten the pot by adding an incentive that encourages the recipient to bring along their holiday company or shopping buddies. Handle the mailing yourself with an on-the-go compact mailing system so you can get your cards in the mail pronto. If you miss the post-Christmas mailing deadline, New Year’s cards work just as well to remind your followers to stop in and refuel.
3. Amp up Your Social Media
You do have a Facebook page, right? If not, get one. Now. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest are cheap and effective buzz-generating mediums for promoting just about anything. Create Facebook Events for each promotion and invite your friends. Tweet like gangbusters. Post photos on Instagram of your holiday lights, your staff in elf hats, holiday treats, and happy customers (with their permission of course). Create a Pinterest contest where customers can pin photos of their food order to qualify to win a gift card. The options are endless but bottom line, social media creates a visual online picture that your food truck is the place to be.
Walter Lasky: Walter runs a marketing and SEO small business and reads every issue of Entrepreneur Magazine from cover to cover.