Home Tags Posts tagged with "ideas"

ideas

0 347

As the end of another summer approaches, food truck owners around the country are beginning (or they should be) to plan their fall menus to entice and delight their customers.

fall fruits and vegetables

Fall is the perfect time to celebrate the bountiful harvests of the season, which brings with it an abundance of hearty vegetables, such as squashes and gourds, potatoes, and parsnips, as well as delicious, sweet fruits like apples, pears and pomegranates.

When daily temperatures begin to cool down, the fall season is that time when mobile food vendors can put fun, new twists on comfort food favorites such as Mac n’ Cheese, mashed potatoes, soups and stews to name a few.

So what should go on your truck’s fall menu this year?

Here are four fantastic ideas based on the most popular 2013 menu trends:

Locally sourced vegetables: One 2013 trend that the entire culinary industry predicted which is continuing to hold true is the local vegetable movement. Get ready to see a lot of vegetable dishes on the menu using locally sourced autumn produce, such as root vegetables and gourds, in particular.

Locally sourced meat and seafood: Again, look no further than your local Farmer’s Market and meat/seafood purveyors for fall menu inspiration. Locally sourced meats and seafood are also among the National Restaurant Association’s (NRA) annual “What’s Hot” Survey top three 2013 restaurant menu trends. The survey also reported new meat cuts such as Denver steak and pork flat iron, will be favorites for 2013 foodservice industry consumers.

Healthier spin on classic comfort foods: Top food truck menu trends this year also include healthier menu choices and comfort foods. While everyone loves an indulgence, there are a lot of food truck fans who want to have their cake and eat it, too. This isn’t to say that you should do away with the rich ingredient that make comfort foods so delicious, but also consider offering a “lighter” version for your customers who are more health-conscious.

Fruit desserts celebrating fall: Take advantage of the plentiful fall fruits to create wonderful desserts that will satisfy the sweet tooth of your food truck customers. Apples, pomegranates, pears and figs are among them, all which provide the staple for popular fall desserts, such as pies, cobblers, and bread pudding.

So what will be going on your food truck’s fall menu this year? Our readers would love to know.

1 934

Recently, a new food truck owner approached us to give them a list of easy to use marketing strategies to help them get the word out about their new mobile food venture. After numerous budget discussions and reworking of our initial list of tips, we came up with a straight forward marketing guide any food truck owner can use to help set up a marketing plan.

Food Truck Marketing Ideas

Anyone can tell you that you not only need to find new customers for your food truck, but you also need to increase sales to your current customers. You need them to come back regularly, to bring their friends and family to eat too, to recommend your truck to their friends, and to spread the word that you serve the Best (insert your cuisine here) in Town!

Here is a list of ideas for Food Truck Marketing that will deepen your relationship with your current customers and help you entice the new ones to keep coming back for more.

Social Media

Utilize the power, reach and low cost of social media … especially Facebook & Twitter

  • Today’s Specials: Let your customers know that they can easily find out the daily specials on your Facebook page or via Twitter. If you have a facebook and/or twitter stream on your website, then the special will automatically show up there too.
  • Menu Changes: An easy way to let your customers know that you’ve changed things up and keep them in the loop.
  • Chef’s Tips: Become a resource for your customers and help them out in their own kitchen with tips on time-saving, food freshness, food prep, complimentary food combos … whatever you can dream up that might be useful information. Have a Weekly Recipe for home cooked meals that you promote via your blog and social media.
  • Social Only Discounts: Reward your customers for interacting with you via social media and offer them exclusive discounts with the proper code that was posted/tweeted. Make sure you put something like: Today Only, This Week, 48 Hours, etc.
  • Online to Offline Social Gatherings: Invite groups from Facebook and Twitter to have real world socials at your food truck … be sure to get all their facebook names and twitter handles so you can thank them for hanging out around the truck afterwards. Be sure you give them one of your social-only discounts too.

Email Marketing

Make sure you’re using email marketing to it’s full advantage. The number 1 focus of your email needs to be the subject line and it should be short, to the point and enticing.

  • Newsletters: One of the great things about a weekly or monthly email newsletter is that you can present all the same items from the social media section, but link them back to your website/blog … especially the menu changes and chef’s tips.
  • Holiday Happenings: Give your customers a heads up on your upcoming holiday specials and events.
  • Email Contests: Contests that can only be entered via an email invitation so you can reward those who actually open and read your emails … they’ll keep opening them in hopes to find another one.
  • Customer Surveys: Feedback from your customers can often help you avoid disasters down the road. You can also use surveys as a crafty way to introduce new menu items to your customers … on your last visit, did you try our new Spinach/Artichoke Dip appetizer? If not, did you not see it on the menu or be told about it from your server?

Loyalty Programs

Reward the loyalty of your frequent food truck customers.

  • Loyalty Programs: Reward your customers for repeat visits. This can be as simple as a buy 10 get 1 free card or as complex as a points system built into your POS registers. Encourage customers to bring in their friends & family with buy one, get one or entree; half off deals.
  • Bouncebacks: A promotional offer given to a customer after a recent sale to encourage them to revisit soon, or “bounce back” to your mobile food business. Bouncebacks can be a straight discount, time-specific, product-specific, free item with purchase or BOGO (buy one, get one). You can give a greater discount for the customer returning during off-peak hours (20% off Lunch or 10% off Dinner) … only use generic discounts with first time customers, not repeat customers, since you don’t want to create a perception of lower value offerings.
  • VIP Party: Throw a private party with free food (and drinks?) for a selection of your most loyal and long-standing customers … even better, let them bring a plus 1. You’ll be amazed at how much buzz this can create for your truck.

Miscellaneous

Think outside the box for unusual ways places to further market to your customers.

  • Charity Fundraiser: Chose 1 day to promote that 10% of All Sales will be donated to a local charity … send out a press release to the local papers and television stations about the event.
  • Contests: Everyone loves a contest … be it competitions, games, giveaways, raffles … whatever you can dream up.
  • Holiday Parties: Let customers know that they can rent your catering services for their holiday parties.
  • Customer Receipt: Print, or even hand write a special discount on the receipt redeemable on the customer’s next visit to your service window.
  • Walk Away Order Boxes: If you use generic, non-branded boxes, write down the date of the meal (customer convenience), what’s in the box, and your food truck’s name.

As a final note for you to remember: when marketing your food truck, it’s important to make sure that a consistent “personality” is presented to your target audience. All of these marketing ideas should be tailored to fit the concept of your food truck to keep the differentiation of your truck from other food trucks and restaurants in your area.

2 185

Since our inception Mobile Cuisine has been providing articles covering the Meatless Monday craze which is spreading around the world. Some have asked us why, and we tell them that it is a program that not only opens the menus for food trucks to entice many more customers in their area, but it also helps a food truck owner help its customers as well as the planet.

MM Food Truck

For some new food truck owners serving vegetarians and vegans healthy meatless items off their truck can be a challenge. With that in mind, the USDA has provided a list of ideas to help people who are unfamiliar with a healthy vegan diet. These ideas are perfect for anyone who is transitioning or thinking about transitioning some menu items to individuals with plant-based diets.

Tips from the USDA on how to serve a healthy vegetarian or vegan menu:

Build vegetarian menu items around protein sources that are naturally low in fat, such as beans, lentils, and rice. Don’t overload them with high-fat cheeses to replace the meat.

Calcium-fortified soymilk provides calcium in amounts similar to milk. It is usually low in fat and does not contain cholesterol.

Many foods that typically contain meat or poultry can be made vegetarian. This can increase vegetable intake and cut saturated fat and cholesterol intake. Consider:

  • pasta primavera or pasta with marinara or pesto sauce
  • veggie pizza
  • vegetable lasagna
  • tofu-vegetable stir fry
  • vegetable lo mein
  • vegetable kabobs
  • bean burritos or tacos

A variety of vegetarian products look (and may taste) like their non-vegetarian counterparts, but are usually lower in saturated fat and contain no cholesterol.

  • For breakfast items use or create soy-based sausage patties or links.
  • Rather than hamburgers, use veggie burgers. These are typically made with soy beans, vegetables, and/or rice.
  • Add vegetarian meat substitutes to soups and stews to boost protein without adding saturated fat or cholesterol. These include tempeh (cultured soybeans with a chewy texture), tofu, or wheat gluten (seitan).
  • For barbecues, try veggie burgers, soy hot dogs, marinated tofu or tempeh, and veggie kabobs.
  • Make bean burgers, lentil burgers, or pita halves with falafel (spicy ground chick pea patties).
  • Offer soy options (texturized vegetable protein) as a substitute for meat, and soy cheese as a substitute for regular cheese.

Accommodate vegetarians by modifying existing menu items by substituting meatless sauces, omitting meat from stir-fries, and adding vegetables or pasta in place of meat.

If you offer Asian or Indian cuisine you have the ability to offer a varied selection of vegetarian dishes.

If you haven’t already please do your part today and join the Meatless Monday movement? Signing up is fast and easy! Follow them on Twitter.

We at Mobile Cuisine Magazine look forward to sharing Meatless Monday with our readers!

 

300x250_MyrickFoodTruck_StaticV2
Give-Network-Ad 2