Food truck events offer great opportunities for vendors to connect with customers and make sales. Once you and your team have located an event you would like to attend, make sure it’s not brand new. Start your event operations with an existing event. While new events pop up all of the time, it is more difficult to determine if it will be profitable without any event history.
15 Tips For Vendors Selling At Food Truck Events
Operating a food truck event is not as easy as just reserving a space and operating your food truck street-side. Because of that, we’ve put together 15 tips to help you succeed when selling at food truck events.
Visit Events Beforehand
One of the biggest factors in your success at food truck events is the actual event. You need to find one that fits with what you want to accomplish. And the best way to make that determination is to check it out for yourself.
Every event has its feel and vibe. Some cater music goers, others are set up to allow vendors to operate before a big sporting event and provide kids activities. Talk to other food truck owners who have operated at the event in the past to get a sense of what it is like.
Learn the Rules
Every food truck event has its own set of rules. So you also need to check with organizers to see what types of menu items, tables and selling methods are allowed before you get started.
It is a good idea to choose a small event that doesn’t have a huge vendor fee or one that requires you to invest in a lot of equipment for your first attempt. This allows you to learn the process. Your crew can make some mistakes before they’ll really have a negative impact on your food truck’s reputation.
Do a Dry Run
Before you operate at an actual event, set up your truck at home to make sure everything fits and see if there are any areas where you might be able to improve.
Keep Detailed Checklists
Make a checklist that includes everything you need to bring to food truck events. This will include, everything from the actual products to the things you need to set up your truck and display your food.
Remember the Essentials
Don’t forget things like water and snacks for yourself and your staff members. You’re going to be working hard all day, so you don’t want to be hungry and uncomfortable.
Display the Best Looking Foods
When setting up your truck, the foods on display in the service window or in front of the truck can make a huge difference. Don’t set out a dishes that don’t look edible.
Present Your Team Well
You and your staff are also a big part of how consumers perceive your truck. So don’t show up with messy hair and dirty jeans. Be comfortable but clean and professional so people feel good buying food items from you.
Make Eye-Catching Signage
Use additional signage outside of your truck to attract the eye of food truck event attendees. Just make sure you let them know exactly what they can expect from your menu items.
Clearly Label Prices
Customers don’t want to have to ask you for the price of every item you sell. So put out signs with prices that are clearly marked and easy to read.
Be Friendly and Talkative
When people approach your truck at food truck events, you or your staff need to greet them in a friendly way and make sure they know you’re available to answer any questions. Don’t be pushy, but do engage them in conversation when the opportunity presents itself.
Create a Consistent System
You should also have a set system for things like taking money and packaging sold items. Make sure bags are easily accessible and everyone working at your truck knows the process for accepting payments. That way the customer experience is consistent.
Keep the Line Moving
If people walking by your truck at food truck events see a huge line, they might just pass by without stopping. So try your best to move through the line quickly without pushing customers away.
Create a Flow for Your Food Truck
Part of limiting huge lines at your truck is setting it up in a way that still allows people to order while others are waiting for their food. This all depends on the layout of your truck. Also consider creating some signage to make it clear where people should stand while waiting to order and where to stand when waiting for their purchase.
Advertise Your Catering
Many food truck vendors use catering as an additional revenue stream. Why not advertise this service while at a food truck event? These events are usually filled with people who enjoy food trucks, so if they enjoy what they order, why not give them a chance to use your catering service in the future?
The Bottom Line
Many vendors make most of their money serving lunch on the streets of their area daily, but there are few better ways to bring in a huge flow of cash into your mobile food business than operating at food truck events. Use these tips to plan in advance and be prepared once your service window is open.