The to go option for restaurants has been gaining momentum over the years. Curbside pickup has become a popular way to drive their food business growth. Could curbside pickup become a new revenue stream for food trucks vendors? We don’t see why not.

The concept is simple and easy to build into a food truck business model:

  • Customer calls in an order
  • Drives to the food truck
  • Parks outside truck
  • Runner brings the order to the car

Today’s consumer loves this model because they don’t have to get out of the car, and vendors should like it because it increases sales without or raising prices. If you’re considering adding a curbside pickup service to your food truck options, follow these tips for success.

RELATED: Revenue Streams Don’t Have To End At Your Service Window

The Best Way To Add Curbside Pickup To Your Food Truck

  • Find good locations. When scheduling your food truck spots, make sure that there are a few parking spaces near your truck for curbside pickup. This will ensure your customers have convenient places to park and that your staff can easily find them.
  • Advertise. Let your existing customers know about your curbside pickup service. This should be done at your service window, website and promoted through your social media channels.
  • Staff properly.  Just like your service window, service is important to generating repeat curbside business.  Make sure that your curbside service doesn’t negatively affect your walk-up customers. It’s best to dedicate specific staff members to handle curbside orders, watch for curbside arrivals and deliver food to their cars. Vendors will need to train employees to note the make, model and color of customers’ cars when taking orders.
  • Don’t go cheap on packaging. Vendors need to spend a more on quality carryout containers to make sure hot foods stay hot, cold foods stay cold, and liquids stay in containers. This small act will help preserve the customer experience all the way home.
  • Develop an efficient pickup system. If you want to build a strong repeat curbside pickup base, you cannot make customers get out of their car. Direct your curbside staff to carry cash to make change. They should be able to take credit card payments with a secure, wireless credit card terminal or a mobile payment app on a smart phone or tablet.
  • Know what you are getting into. Gain an understanding of the current curbside experience. Determine what is needed, and where. Observe the entire process from the customer’s point of view. Study what customers do as the go through the process. How do they behave? What do they look at? What issues or problems do they have? Conducting customer research will help you develop a great curbside experience.

The Bottom Line

Success of a curbside pickup service starts with a through audit of your existing food truck service. Understand if you have the resources to start or if you need to invest into your mobile food business to get your curbside service up and running. When you add curbside pickup service to your food truck, you’ve added a new revenue source but also a new level of complexity to manage. The right technology and strategy will help you keep control of your delivery operation and make it more profitable.

Do you have a curbside pickup option for your customers? What other tips do you have for vendors considering starting? Share your thoughts on this topic in the comment section or social media. Facebook | Twitter