Tags Posts tagged with "Word of Mouth"

Word of Mouth

word of mouth

Word of mouth marketing will always be the best form of promotion any mobile food industry operator can expect to achieve. For this reason, the staff at Mobile Cuisine Magazine has decided that we needed to look at the two most commonly used forms of word of mouth marketing; on and offline word of mouth.

Today, in part 1 of this series will look at the oldest and most reliable form of word of mouth marketing that almost everyone is accustomed to, we will be referring to this as “offline” word of mouth.

To start things off let’s ask you some questions to get you started thinking about creating word of mouth recommendations for your mobile business.

Why should anyone talk about your food truck or cart in a positive way?

Do customers talk about your mobile eatery if your food was good?

Do they talk about your business if your service was good?

In most cases the vast majority of people do not spread good things about a food establishment if the customer receives the type of food and service they expect.

Do customers talk about tell others if your food or your service was bad?

When customers receive poor quality food or bad service, this is when many people make sure to let others know about the issues that they have had with a particular food truck or other variation of street food vendor.

Now that we have established that a business owner is unlikely to get positive word of mouth with good service and food, yet very likely to get negative word of mouth for poor service or food, we can conclude that positive word of mouth is much harder to achieve and negative word of mouth is almost an absolute given.

The big question many will have is, why the difference? It is rather simple if you spend any time thinking about it. It is in our human nature to hold onto anger longer than pleasure. We tend to discuss the reasons we are upset far more than why we might be happy about something. Being frustrated or upset by a situation will burn deeply into our memory and we will tend to overreact.

In these cases, the food truck business the primary loser. Yes, the customer may have felt slighted, but ultimately, the business will take the brunt of their frustration in the long run. It often doesn’t take more than a small incident to create bad feelings, particularly when your customer has had a bad day already. You and your customer service staff must be aware of what our customers are seeking. Be understanding and alert as awareness and intuitiveness are key ingredients in customer service. Great customer service comes from paying attention and sensing the moods of everyone that steps up to your truck.

Turning around a situation is well within the bounds of well trained and understanding staff, so all is not lost.

How to create powerful word of mouth is a whole study in itself, but the basics are common sense and logical.

Very often just providing good service or food is not enough to encourage word of mouth recommendations; after all, these things are expected. There needs to be additional reasons for wanting to bring up the subject of where you ate last night and how good it was. Obvious examples are special occasions, such as Valentine’s Day. This could trigger conversations like, “What did you do last night?”…”Oh, we went to <insert your food truck name here>, wonderful food, really fast and friendly, you should definitely try it sometime.”

Although a nice comment, even this type of statement may not attract someone to follow their friend or acquaintance’s recommendation. For word of mouth to be effective it has to have some passion and excitement in it. That means your customer has to have been excited by what they experienced. This, in turn, means that your customer will want to instigate a conversation, rather than just respond to a question they may never be asked.

Hopefully this will make sense to you. Try to remember the last time you were wowed enough by a product or service to start a conversation about it. Very often these situations are few and far between.

How are you going to create sufficient excitement so that your customers want to tell the world? If your customer service is full of passion, that carries over to your customers and can be infectious. Without the passion in your service, how do you expect your customers to get excited? So that’s your starting point, customer service that is full of passion and fire.

Next, ignite the fires of passion in your customer, get them involved and encourage them to join the party. It is much easier to get parties of four or more people to get into the mood. Couples are different, they may well be in their own world. Individuals need more personal attention. Therefore it makes more sense and it is much easier to encourage parties of four or more to become your advocates.

With a little encouragement you should be able to create some word of mouth activity from at least 1 or 2 of the party. Ask if you can take some photos of them in the party spirit. Tell them you would like to place the photos on your customer wall board as well as your blog. (You will need their permission to do this) Offer to email copies of the photos to each of them, so that they can share them with their friends.

For individuals and couples, give them a couple of your business cards each and ask them to pass the cards to a friend or colleague who would appreciate your kind of hospitality, food and service.  Incidentally, we recommend a specially printed card for this purpose. It is very rare for a restaurateur to do this and they really are missing an out on an opportunity.

Manage and meet customer expectations all the time. How do you do this? Back up your brand’s claim or promise each time. A good example is:

  • Maintain your price range within the level your buyers expect, if you need to increase prices make sure you communicate this to them with a little justification of why you need to do so.

Customer service is the framework where loyalty and trust is built on. This is where your company can really stand out in a different way from your competition. Quality customer service is simply going out of your way to please the customer. It is that extra effort, one sincere action, the personal touch that ultimately affects buyers choice to keep remembering you and recommending you.

In part 2 we will be discussing how to utilize the power of word of mouth online; we call this word of mouse.

Keep an eye out for part 2 to be published within the next week. In the meantime if you would like to share how you encourage word of mouth, go ahead and let us know via the comments button below.

Part 2

Word-of-mouth marketing used to be about one happy customer recommending a business to a friend. In the age of social media, a single happy customer can reach thousands of other potential customers, so how can you increase your chances of that happening?


It’s not enough to just have a Facebook page for your food truck, you have to know how to use it. 40 percent of Facebook users who become fans of a page do so to take advantage of a discount or promotion, so offer a healthy discount on a popular menu item to get people to your service window.

Contests are another way to win new fans and engage your followers. As a food truck owner, ask fans to submit photos of the last meal they ordered from your truck with a review, with the winner receiving a gift card toward their next visit. If you run a contest, be sure to review Facebook rules and host your promotion through a third-party app.

A recent development on Facebook lets you select which of your fans see your status updates, so take advantage of this feature to send out targeted messages to fans based upon their age, location and interests, among other things.

A passive Facebook presence won’t get you very far, but a little effort can make your Food Truck’s Facebook page a popular destination, and in turn generate sales.


It is well known that word of mouth is the best form of advertising a business owner can receive. A walking talking advocate or two can do wonders for your mobile eatery’s promotion.

In part 1 of this series, we discussed the idea of sending your customers an email with photos of them, enjoying themselves with their friends at your truck. Why do this you may ask? First, it’s a nice thing to do, providing a little extra something that most other restaurants don’t provide.

Second, it puts your business back in their mind. Once they have received the photos they will, more than likely, want to share them with their friends. They can do this by forwarding the email onwards, or, more likely these days, post the photo to their Facebook page and tag themselves and any of their other friends that are included in the photo.

All of a sudden, you have a free advertisement from one of your customers’ Facebook page, being seen by all their friends. Most of their friends will probably fall into the same demographic category as themselves. Therefore, you have just reached your perfect target audience, with a personal recommendation to visit your food truck, where they are guaranteed good food, good service and a good time.

This is a great way to reach prospective new customers. If you can do this with just 1 or 2 customers a day, think of the total number of people viewing personal recommendations for your business each and every week. This is excellent promotion and a great way to introduce your brand.

When it comes to “word of mouse” (online word of mouth), the potential is much higher than word of mouth, simply because the numbers are much bigger and it stays online much longer. Creating advocates and promoters for your food truck or cart is often as simple as encouraging customers to mention your establishment when talking about food.

If you have Twitter followers and Facebook fans that have enjoyed visits to your truck, they are very likely to be talking about you to their friends online. Social Media is the opportunity for your message to be relayed to tens of thousands of local potential customers.

As part of your social media promotion put some great content onto your Facebook page and on your blog. Link the content to Twitter updates so as to attract more people to read about you. Give recipes, cooking advice and tips to your community. Post video of your food in preparation and presentation. Have a section for your customers to post their photos of themselves at one of the many venues you visit.

Every now and then make an offer, just for your Facebook fans. Be random, around once every 3 or 4 weeks encourage your customers to introduce someone new and enjoy a complimentary meal. The aim is to invite people to join you during your slower times, not during your busy periods.

When you send out your email newsletter (which should be regularly delivered every month) add links to your Twitter, Facebook and blog. Also have a “share this” button, so that your customers can post your newsletter to their own Social Media sites, or email their friends. Getting your messages to go “viral” is great for building your following. Do not forget to ensure you have buttons to sign up to your newsletter, offers or VIP lists.

To create truly “viral” content for your community to share with their friends, you have to be different. No one wants to share or receive mundane stuff. So how can you make it interesting enough to be shareable?

Two things are particularly important. First it has to be unique, truly different from your competition’s offerings. It could be a similar idea but it must have a different spin on it or a twist in the tail. Second it must be fun. This could be the use of humor or simply just great enjoyment for the reader or viewer. It should make them laugh out loud (lol) or at the very least, break into a smile.

Video is the best form of shareable content. Make it entertaining, make it fun and make it short, something between 30 seconds and 2 minutes. It does not have to be a feature length film to be memorable. The advantage of video is that you can embed your website or blog URL on it, so that your food truck is associated with the content and becomes a permanent piece of your business promotion.

Now that you have a deeper insight into word of mouth and word of mouse marketing, it is time to get started. Do something now! Write down some ideas, talk to your team and ask for their input and ideas. Get started straight away, it won’t be perfect, but that doesn’t matter, learn as your go, the important thing is to do something now and have fun.

Feel free to scroll down and share your ideas on the comments below and even post your video link for others to see and enjoy.


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