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Marketing Plan

pieces of a food truck marketing plan

Over the past few months, we’ve discusses a lot about various ways to market your food truck and if done right the result will be getting more customer. But if you’re a new food truck that’s just getting started with marketing, it’s useful to think about how all of the various pieces of a food truck marketing plan fit together. This will help you to create a marketing plan that will effectively let people know about your restaurant on wheels.

Here are five essential pieces of a food truck marketing plan:
Build a website

These days, creating a website on your own is fairly straightforward, and can be done without any programming skills. Services like Squarespace (paid) and WordPress (free) offer complete restaurant and food truck website templates that you can very easily update and customize to fit your needs.

Both services will help to ensure that you’ve got all of the vital information that people need to make their dining plans. However, be sure to double-check that your website includes your food truck details:

  • Address and phone number
  • Online restaurant reservation widget/link
  • Menu
  • Hours of operation
Set up your social media accounts

Even if you aren’t open yet, go ahead and set up business pages for your food truck on Facebook, Yelp, and Twitter.

Facebook is a great place to share progress on your food truck’s construction, menu design, and more. It’s also an effective channel for building excitement among potential diners before your grand opening. Having a Facebook Page is particularly important after your truck’s wrap is completed, since people walking by will be looking for more information on what type of cuisine and dishes you’ll be serving.

Use your menu as a marketing tool

In one of our previous blog posts, we shared some tips on how to design a compelling food truck menu. Now it’s time to use that menu to drive diners to your food truck’s service window.

In the days leading up to your mobile food business opening, share your menu, along with photos of your food, on your website and social media profiles.

An effective way to further increase your marketing reach is to share these posts with local food blogs. Additionally, depending on the size of your city, offering an exclusive, sneak peak of your menu to a prominent blog or newspaper can go a long way in generating even more buzz.

Develop a press plan

There are two options when it comes to managing your food truck’s publicity. You can either manage the press on your own, or you can hire a public relations agency that focuses on the food service industry. Each of these options has its pros and cons. For example, managing the press on your own is less costly, but requires more of your time.

Regardless of whether or not you choose to manage your food truck’s publicity on your own, there are a few key press channels that you should make sure to cover.

  • Food blogs
  • Personal food bloggers
  • Newspaper announcements
Find a cause to support

As you think about your marketing plan, consider adding cause related marketing if you haven’t already. One of the most common complaints about food trucks is that they swoop in and take business from restaurants that by location alone are part of these communities.

The best way to help mitigate these charges is to become part of the community as well. Not only will joining local causes help you grow your mobile food business but it will develop a stronger tie to the communities you serve in for years to come.

Now that you know how the different pieces of a food truck marketing plan fit together, it’s time to get started.

Cause marketing

Here’s a question for the food truck owners out there. How many times a week does somebody reach out to your mobile food business and ask for donations? Once…twice…ten times a month?

Food truck owners I have spoken with about this topic seemed annoyed with all of these people asking for donations of food, time and money. Yes, it can be a hassle, yes it can cost you money, but have you considered the upside this can bring to your food truck business? It’s what you do with this opportunity that can have a significant impact for your business.

Unfortunately, most organizations just want a cash donation with nothing in return for you or your business. Most proactive food truck vendors have included cause marketing in their own marketing plan based around this type of opportunity.

Why Cause Marketing?

Including cause marketing into an existing marketing plan usually involves their food truck and one day events that help them blend into the fabric of the communities their food truck serves.

Here are some facts to consider:

  • 76% of American consumers have taken part in at least one cause related marketing campaign in the last year.
  • 77% of women and 64% of men consider a company’s reputation for supporting causes when making a purchase.
  • 89% of Americans are likely to switch brands to one associated with a cause, given comparable price.

These are some compelling reasons to involve your mobile bistro with a cause as part of your food truck’s overall marketing plan.

So is cause marketing profitable for your mobile food business? Consider the top three goals any food truck vendor should have:

  • Gain more customers
  • Get customers to spend more
  • Have customers come back.

Based on the statistics above, cause marketing hits all three of these targets. It also lessens the need for you to start discount or Groupon-like programs which can severely erode your profit margins.

As you think about your marketing plan, consider adding cause marketing. One of the most common complaints about food trucks is that they swoop in and swoop out of towns on a daily basis. They are accused of taking business from restaurants that by location alone are part of these communities.

The best way to help mitigate these charges is to become part of the community as well. Not only will adding cause marketing into your overall marketing plan help you grow your mobile food business but it will develop a stronger tie to the communities you serve in for years to come.

What organizations have you included in your food truck’s cause marketing plan? Share them with other food truckers though our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Your food truck may have a great menu or excellent service but your mobile food business won’t grow unless people know you’re out there. That requires marketing; online, mobile, on Google, Facebook, direct mail or even printed flyers on doorstep. But where do you begin?

It all starts with a marketing plan. A marketing plan for your food truck is s a written strategy to help achieve your goals and spread the word about your mobile kitchen on wheels.

Here are three apps food truck owners can use to help you figure out your needs, understand your competition and develop a cost-effective marketing strategy: 

Marketing Plan PremierMarketing Plan Premier

This comprehensive iPad app is both a fill-in-the-blank tool and a mini-marketing text book. Marketing Plan Premier relies heavily on the idea that all good businesses provide a solution to a consumer problem. The initial steps involve defining that problem and how your food truck solves it.

From there, the app helps you analyze your competitors, determine your target market and come up with a price. Finally, the app briefly runs you through options for advertising.

Once you fill in all the blanks, Marketing Plan Premier inserts your answers into a pre-written multi-page, executive summary. You can export the finished Word document by email or through Dropbox.

Price: $9.99

Marketing Plan AppMarketing Plan App

If you don’t need a lot of guidance, Marketing Plan App can get you similar results in less time. The app is available for iOS and Android, and it’s formatted to work with the smaller, mobile phone screen.

This app can help you craft everything from your Vision Statement and market analysis, to helping you determine your marketing budget. After you fill in the blanks, save the document as a PDF or Word doc, then email to export or print straight from your device.

Price: $9.99 for iOS, $7.99 for Android. 


This marketing plan app comes from a very unusual source: the government of Australia. MarketMyBiz is an app for the iPad or Android tablets. It isn’t as wide-ranging as Marketing Plan App, but the navigation structure is intuitive and you won’t get bogged down in boxes as you move from page to page.

This app also includes a section that helps you discover your weaknesses and helps you create a plan to address each one.

When you’re finished, MarketMyBiz compiles your answers into one, simple report that you can print from the tablet or email as a PDF.

Price: Free

Do you know of any other apps designed for solving marketing plans solutions? If so, please share them in the comment section below.

tip of the day

For food truck owners, an effective marketing plan is crucial. Culinary entrepreneurs need to determine who’s going to buy their product and how to let those customers know that you have what they want. In today’s tip of the day, we provide you with a quick guide to setting up a marketing plan for your food truck business:

List your options. Brainstorm all the possible ways you can make customers aware of your food truck business and what your truck has to offer. Get ideas from customers, suppliers, other food truck owners, books, magazines, and Web sites (like this one).

Think like a customer. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. What does the customer want to see from your mobile food business?

Scrutinize the competition. What makes competing food trucks or fast casual restaurant successful? What are their marketing strategies, and how can you improve on them? Where do your competitors fail to satisfy customers? (Make that part of your niche.)

Analyze your options and rank them. Scratch options that don’t meet your customers’ needs or are not feasible at this time. Rank your choices and start writing your plan.


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