Any food truck owner can tell you that you not only need to find new customers, but you need to increase sales to your current customers. Or, in other words, you need them to come back regularly, bring back their friends and family and to spread the word that you serve the Best <insert your food truck cuisine> in Town. One of the best ways to accomplish this task is to use an old marketing strategy used by restaurants for decades, bounce back promotions.

Food truck bounce back promotions are great at getting first time customers to come back to your truck a second time. Since the customer knows that they will receive a reward the next time they track you down. Once you’ve gotten customers to visit your food truck more than once or twice, you’ll want to take the next step in marketing…loyalty programs. We’ll discuss this in a future article.

Now let’s bounce back to bounce backs.

Types Of Bounce Back Promotions

Bounce back promotions can be, time specific, product specific, free item with purchase or BOGO (buy one, get one).

Time Specific

This bounce back “bounces” customers from busy hours to off peak hours. Offer a discount or reward during your slowest hours or shifts.

Product Specific

A product specific discount is more effective than a general discount. It encourages customers to purchase one of your food truck menu items they might not try otherwise, and the more menu items a customer tries and loves, the more reasons they have to become a regular.

Free Item

Offering new customers a free treat with their next purchase is often irresistible. One example of an enticing bounce back would be to offer a free side dish with the purchase of an entree.

Buy One Get One (BOGO)

This promotion is especially effective on customers that have visited your food truck alone. It often entices them to bring a friend next time. It can also be a good way to get couples back to your service window.

RELATED: Creative And Inexpensive Food Truck Marketing Ideas

Guidelines For Bounce Back Promotions

To ensure that your bounce back promotion is effective, you need to make sure it will bring the customer to your service window soon. The incentive should seem urgent. Here are a few guidelines for implementing a bounce back marketing:

Make them expire

Customers consistently forget about their coupons or special offers. Making the bounce back a “limited time only” deal gets them back in line before they forget.

Limit the requirements

It is probably not a good incentive to offer something of low value with the purchase of several high value items. “Free drink with the purchase of two entrees” isn’t as desirable as “Free dessert with purchase of an entree.

Offer different deals

Unless you are offering a time specific bounce back, offer your lunch customers deals on lunch and your late night customers deals on late night meals. You could also spin your promotions to customers in even more specific ways, such as offering a free kids meal with the purchase of two adult orders.

RELATED: Smart Tips For Marketing Your Food Truck Toward Success

The Bottom Line

Remember that bounce back promotions need to be one-time offers, so do not be afraid to use them. The more incentives you can give them to return, the better the opportunity for creating a loyal food truck customer.

Have you run a food truck bounce back promotion for your mobile food business? We’d love to hear your results. Feel free to share them in the comment section, our food truck forum or social media.  Twitter | Facebook