Making specials a regular part of your food truck menu is a good idea for a lot of reasons. Not only do they keep things interesting for your cooking staff, servers and customers; but they are a great way to use product that might otherwise go to waste. Specials can also provide your servers a way to start conversations and establish rapport with customers.
Depending on your kitchen crew, you might open up the creation of specials to staff other than your chef. Any opportunity to help your food truck staff members feel pride in their work should be taken.
Whoever comes up with the dish can explain it to the window server as they sample it (yes, your window servers need to taste the food they are selling), this should hopefully increase their interest and enthusiasm.
Ideas for specials can come from many sources:
- One is when you need to figure out what to do with food that didn’t sell well in its original intent. If too many roasted chickens were made on Tuesday, how about running a chicken taco special on Wednesday?
- The seasons will always be a source of inspiration. The first chilly day of the year would be a great time to make a pot of warm soup, especially if you happen to have some beef trimmings left over.
- US regional and the various ethnic cuisine food trucks should have a myriad of ideas that can be used to add specials.
- Your kitchen staff, especially when they get into the swing of it, is bound to be a source of new ideas.
Be sure you take the time to cost the specials out, so you’ll know how to price them. And don’t underestimate the importance of making sure your serving staff are familiar with the new dishes and how good they are. Nothing sells itself.