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.
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.