Low sales is the biggest food truck problem we are asked to help fix for our clients. Unfortunately, in almost every case, sales aren’t the problem…something else is.
Have the lines at your food truck service window gotten shorter or less frequent over the last year, or for that matter in the last month? Has your truck really never had the amount of sales you expected? These are very common issues we hear about from new food truck owners.
The first step in trying to turn these trucks around is to get them to understand that low sales are a symptom, not a problem. Some will say that we’re just using semantics, but the difference we explain, between labeling a low or sliding sales as a problem versus a symptom is a critical distinction.
When sales are viewed as the problem, vendors often automatically assume the solution is to spend more time and/or spend money on the marketing of their food truck. While marketing will always be an important part of generating sales for mobile food vendors, a change in marketing is almost never the cure for poor sales totals.
Sure, if your sales are at levels that are too low or have been dropping, a different marketing approach might help. In more cases than not, the problem usually has more to do with what you’re doing or not doing in your food truck every day and how you’re customers perceive your mobile food business.
Everything in our lives is causal, this includes our businesses. If your sales are low you need to understand what’s causing it before you take any action. The best place to begin is to objectively look at what’s going on in your food truck business and at your local market.
Ask Yourself These Questions To Help Determine Your Food Truck Problem:
- How’s is the quality of the food you serve? Is it consistent? Is this your opinion or the opinion of your customers?
- Is your service window staff friendly and responsive?
- Are you meeting your customer’s expectations? How do you know?
- How does your food truck’s value proposition and the experience a customer receive at your truck compare to what they get at competing food trucks and restaurants in your area?
- What are your customers saying about your mobile food business? Check out the comments on sites such as Yelp and other sites where diners can leave reviews of your food truck.
Taking the time to ask these questions and provide honest answers, (even if you have to do a little research to find them) will help you consider and identify factors that you may be totally missing when you assume you have a sales problem.
The decisions you make when running a food truck always need to be intellectual, not emotional. If your sales have soured or have never reached your sales forecast, don’t immediately look at additional or different marketing strategies to try and fix the problem. This could actually make the problem worse.