It’s Get To Know Your Customers Day tomorrow.  This official day is occurs on the third Thursday at the beginning of every quarter.  Rather than “celebrating” an official day, we have a feeling that this is more of a daily mantra for food truck owners and operators.

Many of you know your customers already.  You see them at every Abbot Kinney First Fridays in Venice Beach, every Thursday at lunch in front of the Milwaukee County Courthouse, or every Tuesday evening at Heritage Park in Plantation, Florida. They stand in the beating sun and bitter cold to eat your tacos, burgers, grilled cheese, cupcakes and lobster rolls.  You and your staff greet them, share some quick pleasantries and say good-bye until the next time.

get to know your customersWhat do you know about them?  How could you know more about them?  It’s not about knowing their favorite movie, but more so why they choose your food truck over others, what they purchase, how often and their total spend.

Large companies have huge departments of people tracking and studying the purchasing habits of their customers and those of their competitors.  For smaller companies, there is software and different POS systems that are adding those features.  Those are viable options.

We’ve been promoting our partnership with the GiveNetwork in the Fighting Hunger In America Food Truck Initiative.  Now this isn’t a complete customer data tracking system, however, it allows you to know the customers that are actively engaging with your brand’s belief of raising donations for Convoy of Hope and Meals On Wheels to fight hunger.

After a quick registration and small annual fee of $45, at the end of every month you’ll receive a customer list of those that donated using your unique ‘QR Donation Portal.’  Since these are already your customers, you can further engage with them to encourage repeat purchases…and donations.  The goal is, of course, to raise as much funding for these two great non-profit organizations.  All trucks registered by August 30 are entered to win a $500 gas card.

This Initiative actively engages your customers.  Most fund raising efforts require minimal effort on your customers by purchasing something they already planned on buying and donating a portion of the sale.  It’s nice for the customers and affects the truck’s bottom line.

This new and innovative way to engage your customers in actively participating in the donation process builds a sense of community.  Food trucks can offer interesting incentives (not just money or food) to top monthly donors.  Trucks will be able to track what locations have the largest donations.  The marketing communications and donation promotional options are limitless.  We believe this new mobile platform is the tip of the iceberg in the future of the fund-raising industry.

So, get out there and get to know your customers – however you do it.  If you don’t someone else will…