Getting the first 1000 customers will not guarantee a food truck’s success, but it will you give you a chance to get some feedback from your local market and even better, it will help pay some bills.
As a starting food truck, your biggest challenge is to get customers on board and getting the first 1000 customers to your service window always takes the most work. You’re still learning what works while building up repeatable processes.
Here are five tips on how to reach your first 1000 customers:
Set up a subscriber list
A subscriber list is a great way to build early buzz as people always want to be first in line for a new food truck. This works extremely well from a website or Facebook page.
Let people know about your launch date and get them to sign up to receive newsletter updates the closer your grand opening gets. Promise your subscribers to a pre-grand opening visit to the truck. Not only will this build up buzz about your truck, but it will give you an idea of how many people you can expect at this soft opening to make sure your staff is ready to impress.
Suspense is an excellent way to build excitement before your food truck grand opening. Create a drip feed of information about your truck and your menu. This will make people curious and want to know more, especially if you reveal the details a little bit at a time.
Use your personal network
Traditional word of mouth is always a great way to get new customers on board. Tell your family, friends and other food truck owners about your truck and ask them to spread the word. Don’t be shy; there’s nothing wrong with asking for a favor especially when launching your truck, especially if they can bring in 50 or so sales.
Get bloggers on board
Many local food and food truck bloggers have huge audiences in your local market. An even better fact is that their readers trust them. Reach out to bloggers and ask them to review your truck. You can drive huge numbers of new customers this way. Online reviews can often keep on driving sales for years, as people track them down in search results. Even small blogs can often drive hundreds of sales over time, particularly when the review is thoughtful and well written.
Target local online publications
Just like bloggers, your local online newspapers can help you reach a huge new audience. Pick one or two relevant publications and reach out to them with a press release. Spend time selling them on your menu and your story. You could even offer them something like exclusive coverage of your truck’s launch.
A great tip is to follow local journalists on Twitter for a while and get a sense of the type of content they write. Then you’ll find clever ways to connect your food truck to a theme that interests them.
The Bottom Line
We hope these tips help new food trucks reach the goal of their first 1000 customers. If you are an existing food truck owner we’d love to hear any additional thoughts you have on attracting the first 1000 customers for new food trucks. Share your thoughts on this topic in the comment section, our food truck forum or social media. Facebook | Twitter