A common question I hear from vendors the most is how much money they should spend on their food truck marketing budget. Honestly, many of them seem surprised by my answer. Probably because it isn’t cheap. What they don’t realize is that marketing is vital to your food truck’s success.
No one will track down your food truck if no one knows you’re there. And the more customers you want at your service window, the more marketing you have to do. That’s just the way it works.
Spending Amounts For Your Food Truck Marketing Budget
There are several factors to consider when planning your food truck marketing budget. I’ll break them up into three common food truck categories. Your marketing budget should be a percentage of your gross annual revenue, so the first step is to calculate your gross annual revenue. If you’re a new food truck or your revenue fluctuates a lot, you need to reassess every couple of months.
New Food Truck
Startup food trucks need do more marketing than anyone else. Of course your cash flow is tight, but if you don’t get customers to your truck, it will be difficult to change that without marketing. Think of the money you spend on marketing as an investment.
Percentage of Revenue: 25 percent.
You only get a to be a new food truck once, so make sure not to mess this up. If you have a lot of competition in your market, you should consider spending closer to 30 percent of your gross revenue on marketing.
Established and Growing
When you are have an established food truck, you can ease up on the gas, but don’t stop. Marketing is simply a part of any growing mobile food business.
Percentage of Revenue: 15 percent.
As an established food truck, you have two factors to think about. Competition and your food truck’s profit margin. The higher your profit margin, the more you can spend on your marketing.
Slow or Declining Revenues
When your food truck revenues are slow or headed in the wrong direction, you need to give your marketing budget a boost.
Percentage: 5 percent more than what you’re currently spending.
When food truck vendors need to cut expenses, the marketing budget is usually first on the list. Don’t make this mistake! The way you spend your food truck marketing budget is just as important as how much you’re spending. If you’re not seeing the results you planned for, don’t immediately change your budget. First, figure out which marketing tactic is getting you the best return on investment, and then spend more of your budget there.
The Bottom Line
Please remember that these are not fast and hard rules for food truck marketing budgets. Use these suggestions a guide. Every food truck business is different. Marketing ultimately depends on how fast and how big you want to grow your mobile food empire. Without a marketing budget you will only get so far, after that you will start to stall when it comes to growth.