Use Free Meals To Increase Your Food Truck Sales

Use Free Meals To Increase Your Food Truck Sales

An increasing number of food trucks are looking to boost their winter sales with deals to lure customers back to their service windows.  One way you can do this is to randomly awards free meals to a customer every week.

free food sign

The primary reason this marketing ploy works is that it helps build brand recognition and loyalty, which in turn can boost word-of-mouth marketing. The cost of a single meal, entree or appetizer is far outweighed by the amount of marketing traction you can get from running this type of deal.


There are many ways to creatively apply a free meal campaign to your own food truck no matter how big (or small) your sales are:


  • Encourage customers to sign up for your email list and randomly select a monthly winner from new signups to receive a free meal
  • Randomly give away a free meal per shift
  • Give away a free entree or appetizer in exchange for filling out an online or paper survey and providing an email address
  • Hold “happy hour” specials featuring a buy one, get one free entree, appetizer.


Run these offers on the social media platforms you subscribe to such as Twitter or Facebook and see how quickly they end up retweeted or shared. Even if someone doesn’t enter your contest, your brand is being shared among many people within your community…for what…$2.50 in food cost?

The best way to leverage a free meal offering is to gather some information from your customer while they take advantage of it.  The more you know about your customer, the better you can target them for repeat business in the future.  And the more you build your customer base, the more likely you are to survive hard times.

Richard is an architect by degree (Lawrence Technological University, Southfield, Michigan) who began his career in real estate development and architectural planning. In September of 2010 he created Mobile Cuisine Magazine to fill an information void he found when he began researching how to start a mobile hotdog cart in Chicago. Richard found that there was no central repository of mobile street food information anywhere on the internet, and with that, the idea for MCM was born.