Tags Posts tagged with "Grand Opening"

Grand Opening

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food truck advertising

Spring is in the air and more food trucks are getting ready to launch their grand openings. So how do they get the word out to their community? Do they just pull up to their first stop and hope that the wrap on their truck is enticing enough to get their first customers?

In many cases we’ve seen some food truck owners fall flat with lack luster opening day/week/month performances.

Advertising has always been a way to get the word out about new businesses; unfortunately, many truck vendors miss the opportunity to shine because they neglected to build an audience or customer base before their inaugural push.

Here is a sample food truck ad campaign that will get a line started at your service window.

Business Name: <Insert Your Truck Here>

Slogan: <Insert Your Truck Slogan Here>

Locations: In list form provide all of your scheduled stops for the week (location and day). We’ve provided some examples.

  • Local Mall (Monday/Thursday)
  • Downtown Plaza (Tuesday/Friday)
  • Local Bar or Pub (Wednesday/Saturday)

Printed Advertisements

Here are few ways you can use print media to advertise your campaign.

  • Flyers at each shopping center entrance with dates/times
  • Newspaper ad/BOGO coupon
  • Local entertainment magazine feature story with owner
  • Flyers at community center and library.
  • Flyers in the pub you are partnering with.

Radio/TV:

Want to use the public airways to get your message out? Here are some topics to pitch your local affiliates.

  • Interview on local television morning show about truck concept and campaign.
  • Live radio remote from food truck grand opening.

Signage

Even though your food truck is a huge sign, there are other ways to inform the public about your location with the help of directional signage.

  • Signs on stakes with arrows at each location while truck present.
  • Sign at each location indicating when truck will return.
  • Sign on mall or bar marquee introducing food truck.

Social Media

This is where food trucks have shined…and for good reason. Most of these can be done for little cost (if any at all).

  • Facebook page: Check In for a free upgrade to a large shake.
  • Twitter: Daily tweets about locations, discounts and specials of the day.
  • Instagram: Show us your Instagram pic for 50% off your next visit.

Giveaways

People who may know nothing about you (especially if you are preparing to launch your grand opening) are always enticed with the offer of free or discounted food.

  • Free drink coupons for people who attended a movie at the mall. Bring in your movie ticket stub for 10% off your purchase.
  • Register on your website to win a week of free entrees.
  • Bring a friend the next day to receive 50% off for you, 10% for friend.

Please be warned…an advertising campaign will get initial customers to show up, but the food your team serves and the service you provide will be what brings them back.

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As the mobile food industry grows a large number of culinary entrepreneurs are looking to enter the market. This is why you need to have an effective strategy in place to help put together a plan for your opening of operations.

Food Truck Grand Opening

By the time you launch your grand opening, you should have worked out all of the kinks and be ready to impress your customers. Planning for your food truck’s opening should take place over the course of several weeks.

Here is a quick list for planning your food truck’s Grand Opening:

Simple Menu

Develop a relatively simple menu to start off your food truck. As time goes by, you can add more selections, but keeping the menu simple in the beginning can help keep your supply costs down. A simple menu also gives your chefs a chance to develop their cooking procedures in your truck’s kitchen. When you start to grow the menu, your chefs will be better able to expand on the processes they have created, and keep your mobile food business running smoothly

Review Paperwork

Review all of the paperwork associated with running your truck, such as employee forms, supplier agreements and work schedules to make sure everything is in order. You should have at least two hard copies of this information. One in your office file and one set on board your truck. You don’t want to get tied up having to run home or to the office to get a document you need.

Set The Date

Set the grand opening date and begin to design some marketing material and how you plan advertise. Plan to start advertising at least two weeks before the opening day.

Unless you have an actual advertising budget, consider developing a social media strategy (for Twitter and Facebook) or put together a press release that you can get into the hands of local news organizations and food bloggers. Consider making your opening day at a food truck event where you can tap into the popularity of the other trucks scheduled for the event.

Soft Opening

Open your food truck one or two weeks before the scheduled opening day in what the food service industry refers to as a soft opening. Start with a limited staff and very limited advertising.

The point of a soft opening is to work out any problems you may have in your mobile food business before the grand opening. You will be able to determine employee scheduling concerns, problems with suppliers, issues with the truck and kitchen equipment before your grand opening.

Correct any problems that surface during the soft opening, and begin to increase staff levels to accommodate your grand opening day.

Invite The Press

Invite local food and restaurant critics to your food truck once you begin grand opening advertising. If you time it right, you may be able to get a review that can accompany your official launch.

If you are planning your grand opening, please feel free to send a press release to us at admin@mobile-cuisine.com and we will share your story.

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tip of the dayDon’t let the first day you open your service window be your official “Grand Opening”.

A reader of Mobile Cuisine is a friend of a food truck owner that sells different coffees and gourmet breakfast sandwiches.  Because of their excitement to get open as soon as possible, they pushed up their grand opening 2 weeks earlier than they had originally planned. Unfortunately the food truck owner has virtually no experience running a business.  They have never taken inventory, run a cash register, or even opened an Excel spreadsheet.

It is always recommended to have a soft opening a week or two before you make your Grand entrance into the market. During that time you have a chance to adjust your menu by eliminating or adding some items, take customer suggestions, or even rework the operational flow in the kitchen if its needed. You can let people know you’re open but don’t do any marketing or advertising.  This will result in a small steady stream of people who will already be familiar with you and your staff personally. Basically this time will allow you to work out the kinks on a very forgiving customer base.

You get ONE opportunity to make a good first impression.  Don’t mess yours up by bringing in the local customer base on the first day you open your business.  You may never get the chance to bring some of those customers back again.

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