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Top 10

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You’ve done it; you’ve built your food truck, perfected your menu, gained all of the required licenses and permitting and now it’s time to hit the streets…RIGHT? Wrong! There is one more step you need to take before your truck hits the street.

What is this mystery ingredient? It’s the ingredient we’ve seen numerous food truck operators miss that leaves their grand opening turn out less than expected.

You must build buzz around your food truck by contacting the media, posting press releases, using social media, and taking part in events, awards and other activities to get the word out about your new, mobile food business.

But before you move forward, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Here are 10 things to avoid when starting your food truck PR efforts:

  1. Distribute a press release to hundreds of media members via e-mail. It will go in the trash, and your system will probably crash. Find out who your local newspaper and television food editors and reporters are. These are the people you want to build lasting relationships with.
  2. Send out press releases without adding SEO friendly keywords relating to your food truck business and the community you plan to operate in. You are missing out on a great opportunity to snag more online attention.
  3. Pitch a reporter during a deadline. This is the quickest way for your story to be missed or even ignored.
  4. Say “No comment” to the press. There are better ways to respond to questions. If you aren’t comfortable giving the media an answer immediately, let them know that you get back to them with an answer…and then follow up as soon as you’ve gathered yourself.
  5. Hire a publicist who guarantees placement in all of your local media outlets. Due to the nature of PR, this is a promise that is impossible to keep.
  6. Create your own Website without getting outside feedback. You are too close to the information and risk missing some grammatical errors.
  7. Provide content that is boring and old. Instead, offer valuable information for your local market at all times, and you’ll build long-lasting, customer relationships.
  8. Forget to update your Website on a regular basis. How old is the news and information on your site? If it’s not current, you’ll look outdated and lose business to the competition.
  9. Stop communicating with customers. Outside of face to face conversations at your service window, there are numerous processes to create newsletters, blogs, e-mails, social media, and more, there is no reason you should not talk to customers and get their feedback on a daily basis.
  10. Avoid any public relations or search engine optimization activities because you lack the funds. There are free and inexpensive ways to build buzz around your new mobile food business.

For PR and SEO copyrighting success, take the time to provide value to all of your prospective customers and the media, so your food truck builds positive buzz fast. If you aren’t sure if your work is up to par, have a professional copywriter review it or even write it.

Many food truck owners miss out on the great opportunity that the Internet provides for their mobile food business by making costly blunders with their web sites. Let’s take a look at ten common mistakes frequently encountered at food truck web sites.


Hide and Seek

For some unknown reason, there are food truck sites that hide their contact information. This really is lesson number one when building your website. Have your contact information in very easy places to find. You should also have a special “Contact Us” page with more details including catering, hours and other pertinent information. Hide and seek is a fun game when you are a kid, but not on a website.

What’s on the Menu

Your menu is the number one thing that customers look for at a food truck web site. Are you taking full advantage of posting your menu online? Prices should be included and there should be a printable version of the menu available as well, perhaps in a PDF format. Exceed your web site customer’s expectations by posting the most effective menu presentation possible.

Lack of Photography

Nothing else can convey the brand image of your food truck better on your site than quality photography. There is no reason for your web site not to have a variety of beautiful four-color photographs especially since there are no real size constraints with a website like there are in traditional advertising. Photos of your food, your truck, as well as your people can make a major impact.

Who Works in Your Food Truck?

Time and again, I encounter food truck sites with no evidence that any real people work there. This is amazing to me because your people are your mobile food business. Show them off – because this is an opportunity to differentiate yourself from the other trucks that make your truck special. Who’s in the kitchen, the service window, and who are the owners. Include pictures and bios of as many people as possible.


You’ve got to think of your website much like your business telephone. Your goal may be to answer every call within two rings. Likewise, your goal should be to answer every email inquiry that comes from your site within 24 hours (or sooner). Emails, like phone calls are business leads, and customers taking the time to email are serious about contacting your food truck. Respect this and take advantage of prompt follow-up to win business.

No Email Communication

If your food truck is not using email to communicate with customers, then you are missing out on a big opportunity to promote your business and build a loyal customer base. At minimum, you should have a form on your site for customers to sign up for a newsletter or event information. Follow up with regular, timely emails to your list. This is perhaps where many food trucks stumble, yet this is precisely where the most opportunity exists. Contacting your customers on a regular basis with information that they have requested is one of the smartest marketing moves that you can make.

Happy Mother’s Day

This may be a big event for your food truck with a special menu, music and maybe even flowers. I don’t want to read about it in September though! Your Events or What’s New page needs to be fresh and relevant. This area of your site should be a tool to actively promote your food truck and drive business in, and having old information here is a web site sin.

Design and Brand Disconnect

Upscale food, but low scale graphics and site design. It happens all the time on the web. Your cousin’s friend could build your web site 10 years ago, but not today. Your web site is an extension of your brand.  In simple terms, make sure that your web site creates the correct expectation of the dining experience.

Not For Sale

Your food truck’s web site should sell for you 24/7 with no breaks. Many mobile food business sites make the mistake of solely being a content site – i.e. name, menu, phone number. The best web sites look at their Internet program as an integrated marketing and sales tool. They do things like take sell merchandise, help book catering, and promote gift cards. Is your site selling for you? If not, then you’ve got some work to do.

Now Hiring

Throwing a big bright orange “Now Hiring” sign in your truck’s service window can be a bit tacky for sure. Having an Employment Opportunities section on your website is not tacky in the least. Take advantage of your website to spread the word about what a terrific place your truck is to work by posting open positions with detailed job descriptions. Build an online job application form, and include information of how prospective employees can best submit their information.

If you are looking for strategies to incrementally increase your business, then take a good look at your web site to ensure that you are not committing any of these web site sins. These ten mistakes are all easily avoidable and must be reconciled in order for a food truck to successfully capture business from its Internet efforts.

Food Truck Festival
image credit: twinpeaksfoodtrucks.com

Being part of a local food truck festival is a great way to maintain or attract the interest of existing and potential customers.

A food truck festival can be a venue for all kinds of occasions, including live concerts or shows, stand-up comedy, movie screenings, tastings, holiday parties, fundraisers, tournaments and contests such as bake-offs or eating contests.

However, you must market your event in order for it to be successful.

Top 10 Tips For Food Truck Festival Marketing

food truck festivalUse fliers and posters

Fliers and posters are probably the most popular medium for event marketing. They are very low-cost, and are especially effective when placed on local bulletin boards in college campuses, gas stations and other retail businesses.

You should also place your fliers in brochure stations at hotel lobbies, airports and convention centers.

Form partnerships

If you can partner with another local business or organization to put on a food truck event, you will increase your marketing power and reach a broader audience. Consider co-sponsoring an event with a local charity, company or even a local bar.

Direct market through various technologies

Email, social media, text message and print marketing can all be used to market your event. In your marketing automation messages, consider including a link to an event calendar on your website. You can also use a social networking site like Evite to send customers an invitation to any upcoming events.

Get in the “Events” section

Send a press release to the city newspaper and news station. If you get lucky, they might decide to write an article or broadcast a story about your upcoming food truck event. You should also request to be listed in the “Events” section of the city journal, if possible.

Contact Mobile Cuisine

Mobile Cuisine Magazine offers an event section within our website to advertise food truck events for free. We often serve as a resource for locals looking for upcoming events as well as traveling foodies who may be in your area at the time the event is scheduled. You can submit your event information to admin@mobile-cuisine to have our staff add your event.

Advertise at your food truck

Make sure to promote your upcoming event at your food truck. You can use graphics or posters in addition to handing out fliers to each of your customers when they make it up to your service window. This will keep customers informed of any special happenings.

Target potential customers

Your food truck festival should target the same demographic group that your truck’s concept hopes to attract. Putting on an event can be profitable on its own, but in the end it will be even more profitable if you can get potential future customers to attend.

Once they are exposed to your brand through the event, they will be more likely to return to your food truck for another meal.

Send multiple reminders

Some of your potential event attendees will want to plan ahead, and others will wait until the last minute to plan their night out. About six weeks before the event, you should begin advertising.

A month before the event, you should send direct “mark your calendar” messages to the customers in your database or Twitter list. A day or two before the event, customers in your database should receive another reminder.

Get everyone involved

Use viral marketing tactics. The more employees, customers and friends that you can get directly involved with the planning and implementation of the food truck festival, the more enthusiasm you will build.

Employees and customers who help directly will be more likely to bring their family and friends to the event.

Find an event host

If you can get a local celebrity or someone with good social networking potential to host your event, you can greatly increase the final turnout.

We hope this list of tips helps you in preparing for your next successful food truck festival. If you have any other tips, please share them in the comment section below, Tweet us or share them on our Facebook page.

It was a huge year for the mobile food industry. The industry saw more food truck growth than anyone could predict across the country and throughout the world. Some trucks were able to expand their brand to brick and mortar restaurants, while others were forced to shut their service windows for various reasons. New chefs even hit the scene and made an immediate impact on their local areas. We’re excited for the year ahead but wanted to share once again, our 10 most popular food truck articles of 2011:


1. Writing A Food Truck Business Plan

2. Meatless Monday: Basic Vegetarian Food Pyramid Facts

3. Top 11 Most Influential Food Trucks – 2011

4. Breaking Into The Food Truck Industry – Part 4

5. Breaking Into The Food Truck Industry – Part 3

6. Breaking Into The Food Truck Industry – Part 2

7. Breaking Into The Food Truck Industry – Part 1

8. A Chat With … ‘Great Food Truck Race’ Host Tyler Florence

9. Start-Up Capital For Your Food Truck – Part 1

10. Starting A Food Truck Organization

Honorable Mention:

DYK: Saffron

DYK: Bananas

Anthony Bourdain Shares His Thoughts On Food Trucks


The gourmet food truck industry is still sweeping across the country. Once referred to as roach coaches, within the last 4 years mobile food has made a strong comeback to become the fastest growing trend in the restaurant industry. Broadcasting their whereabouts on Twitter and other networks has replaced the need maintain a brick and mortar business. Aside from the help of social media, it’s their unique options like; Korean Tacos, shredded BBQ Pork on a Waffle, Creme Brulee, and Kobe Beef Sliders, that has been the key to success for these mobile food businesses.

Klout is a San Francisco based company that provides social media analytics that measures a user’s influence across their social network. The analysis is done on data collected from sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Linked In and measures the size of a person’s network, the content created, and how other people interact with that content. Last year, the folks at Klout were interested in finding the most influential food trucks in the industry for 2010.

This year Mobile Cuisine Magazine has continued this tracking and investigated the Klout statistics to see which food truck is the most influential in 2011.

Coming in first this year, just as they did last year, is The Big Gay Ice Cream truck from New York City. Serving soft serve ice cream with a twist, like their ‘Salty Pimp’ which is vanilla ice cream, Dulce de Leche, sea salt, dipped in chocolate. Coming in second this year is a truck from the Midwest serving pizzas which are prepared using the best locally grown produce, zesty spices, finest Wisconsin mozzarella and other seasonal items., Streetza Pizza. In third, and dropping a spot from last years results is, The Grilled Cheese Truck, who offers anything from the traditional american cheese sandwich to a tasty ‘Cheesy Mac and Rib’.

After we analyzed analyzed literally thousands of the nation’s trucks through Klout, once again LA and NYC dominated the list, with a couple surprising results from Las Vegas and Washington DC. So here are the Nation’s top 11 Food Truck Influencers for 2011.

Please note: Due to a technical SNAFU, the Snatch Truck of Indianapolis, IN was left off our initial list due to KLOUT showing them with their owners profile name, not the truck’s name. We have made the correction to the list and extend our congratulations and apologies to them.

#1 Big Gay Ice Cream (Klout score: 73)

New York City, NY @biggayicecream


#2 Streetza Pizza (64)

Milwaukee, WI @streetzapizza


#3 The Grilled Cheese Truck (63)

Los Angeles, CA @grlldcheesetruk


#4 Coolhaus (60)

Los Angeles, CA @COOLHAUS


#4 Fukuburger (60)

Las Vegas, NV @fukuburger


#4 Red Hook Lobster Pound (60)

Washington DC @LobstertruckDC

#7 Grill em All (59)

Los Angeles, CA @GrillEmAllTruck


#7 Kogi BBQ (59)

Los Angeles, CA @kogibbq

#7 Scratch Truck (59)

Indianapolis, IN @ScratchTruck


#7 The Sweets Truck (59)

Los Angeles, CA @TheSweetsTruck


#7 Wafels & Dinges(59)

New York City, NY @waffletruck


Honorable Mentions:

With a Klout score of 58, these trucks just missed the top 10: NY Slice Truck – Indianapolis, IN; Nom Nom Truck – Los Angeles, CA; Korilla BBQ – NYC, NY; King of Pops – Atlanta, GA; Jogasaki Burrito – Los Angeles, CA

Please note that Klout updates their scores daily, so these results will change throughout the year. We arrived at our top 10 based on the Klout scores from 7/18/2010.

Maybe not to the extent that they are flourishing in the United States, but our friends to the North have had a country wide explosion of mobile eateries. CraveOnline has put together their list of the top 10 food trucks North of the border.

Arnprior, Ontario
Wes’s Chips may be located in a somewhat obscure area, but it’s the only food truck in the area (their French fries would beat the competition anyway).

Farrelton, Quebec
Forget fast food burgers – the meaty patties at Kingburger in this small town in Quebec are juicy, hearty and better than the rest.

Halifax, Nova Scotia
If you’re in Halifax then you’ve gotta check out Susie Shortbreads – a cupcake truck. Yep, you read that right: it’s time for ice cream trucks to take a backseat and make room for mini cakes on wheels.

Because this is an area where food trucks aren’t that prevalent, we thought we should also mention The Battered Fish for great fish and chips.

Montreal, Quebec
Downtown Montreal office workers turn out in droves when the Grumman 78 food truck comes around with their tasty variety of lunch options.

Oshawa, Ontario
The Ice Cream Cart in Oshawa just outside of Toronto goes beyond just serving a wide range of ice creams and icy sweet treats – they also sell a variety of popcorn flavours.

Ottawa, Ontario
The Best Fries In Town serves up, well, the best fries in town! Nothing warms a chilly spring day in the capital region like a carton of piping hot freshly cut French fries.

Richmond, British Columbia
Richmond residents are lucky to have the Shoryumen Ramen Truck, with high-end Japanese fare served at ridiculously low prices.

Toronto, Ontario
The Original Bavarian Bratwurst Wagon Co. with hot dogs, burgers, and sausages has been a fixture in big-city Toronto for years – the smell will draw you in from blocks away.

Vancouver, British Columbia
Forget ketchup and mustard – the dogs at Japa Dog in Vancouver are topped with a bevy of creative and tasty condiments and extras.

Victoria, British Columbia
It would only make sense that this seaside town have a delicious seafood truck like Red Fish Blue Fish, with the best (and freshest) seafood in the area.

Find the entire article <here>

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