Today’s article covers one of the most unused sources for building long term customer loyalty for food trucks but should be one of the most obvious: kids’ meals.
After all, around 45 percent of American families include children, who are typically picky eaters. In most cases, parents with kids have limited dining options. They can eat fast food or you can go to one of a handful of local restaurants. It’s not a great choice for the consumer. Why not help them out by providing a kid’s meal on your food truck?
Kids’ meals found at local diners or fast food restaurants are typically unhealthy, and uninspired. Hot dogs, macaroni and cheese (not the scratch made kind), and chicken nuggets are generally the available options. What if your food truck offered an imaginative kids’ menu that is as flavorful and inspired as your regular menu?
Kids’ Meals Need To Look Good
You will definitely want your serving style to be attractive to the parents as well as the child. If you do it right, this is the type of thing that parents tell their friends about, upload images to Instagram, and come back for.
Use smaller servings and fresh, colorful ingredients. This is where those beautiful purple potatoes, that bright orange cauliflower, and the red and white striped beets absolutely shine. Use small cookie cutters to turn steamed sweet potato slices into fun shapes.
Make Nutrition and Flavor A Priority
Don’t settle for less quality on your kids’ menu just because kids are eating it. If you do your take on chicken nuggets be sure they are made by you or your staff with a unique breading and truck made dipping sauces. Create scaled down versions of your most popular menu items and then brainstorm how to make them look fun when the kids dig in.
Don’t leave the foods bland, either. A little seasoning plus the appropriate herbs are just as delicious to a six year old as a thirty year old hipster.
Toys Are Optional
Depending on the amount of space you have on your truck, you may consider whether or not to give small toys away with the kids’ meals. It is really up to you. It is nice to have a kid’s menu that can be colored that is presented with a crayon or two but anything else is probably not going to make a big difference in your food truck’s marketing success.
If you do decide to provide toys get good ones. If you can find a local toy manufacture, consider having a small version of your truck created. I can’t tell you how much the kids love the mini food truck we had created for the promotion of “Running a Food Truck for Dummies.”
Kids Eat Free
Think about offering free food for kids during certain hours. This is a great idea that can increase your line pretty quickly. Choose some of your off-hours for the free meals and use it to pump up business during those times. For example, offering a kids eat free option from 4:30 – 6:00 will get families to track your truck down when you normally wouldn’t be serving many people.
Generally children can no longer eat for free after the age of 12, although in some places it is 10. You’ll want to have a rule that the items must be ordered off of the kid’s menu, and maybe only one free child’s meal per paying adult.
There are numerous ways to build up your food truck business with small guests; it just takes a little forethought and planning.