This article started out to be about how the little guy food truck business can beat the competition and compete with their brick and mortar counterparts. In a recent interview I was asked how a food truck can use customer service to compete when their city is full of aggressive low pricing restaurants.
As I answered, I realized that the business strategies used by a food truck competing against a national chain restaurant are actually sound strategies for any sized business in any industry. Oh, and for the record, my answer did state that customer service is important, but that there is much more for a vendor to consider.
When national chain restaurants come to town, local small businesses (food trucks and Mom and Pop restaurants) typically get nervous.
- How can they compete with their supply driven low prices?
- How will they hold on to their customers?
- Ways they attract new customers?
After all most food trucks don’t have the advertising budget, the inventory, or the buying power of these big restaurant chains. While there is some reality to all of these concerns, ultimately they are really just excuses. Plenty of food trucks have been able to flourish in these same situations.
Beat The Competition With 6 Low Cost Strategies
Now here is the reality of the situation. It doesn’t matter if it is a national chain restaurant or a small restaurant that sells the same style of menu as your food truck. So, what can you do?
Stop Thinking Dollars And Cents
The first strategy to beat the competition is to stop looking at what the competition is selling their food for. A food truck gets caught in the money trap when they sell the same menu style as a competitor and other than price, the customer doesn’t see a compelling reason to do business with one business over the other.
This is where customer service becomes into play. A food truck can distance themselves from the competition with customer service that provides an obviously better overall customer experience.
Sell Something Different
There isn’t much more to add here. Make your menu unique and tasty and the customers will come looking for you.
Do What You Do Best
Why should someone do business with you instead of the competition? Outside of the customer service you hope you are known for and the different menu you have, is there one thing that really separates you from your competition?
Be Active In The Community
For example, some of the local Chicago food trucks attend events and donate a portion of the proceeds to help raise money for charity, sports teams, etc. By the way, this doesn’t have to be strictly a local community. Your market defines the scope of the community, which can be local or even national.
Build An Army
Use your happy customers to help promote your food truck business. Be actively engaged with them through social media, email and any other form of communication that works for you.
Create A Loyalty Program
The last strategy to beat the competition is to consider a formal loyalty program that gives incentives to do more business with you. Or, just deliver amazing customer service that makes the customer feel so special that they wouldn’t consider eating anywhere else.
The Bottom Line
There are dozens of strategies that I could have been mentioned. These six came to mind as no or low cost competitive marketing strategies to use to beat the competition. So, what do you think? We’d love to hear what you have to say. Share your thoughts on this topic in the comment section, our food truck forum or social media. Twitter | Facebook