One of the key steps in building a successful food truck business is developing an effective menu. Always remember that your food truck menu design is a direct reflection of your food truck. Your menu is what will attract new customers and keep existing customers coming back. When designing your menu, careful considerations should be paid to the item descriptions, layout and colors.

Here are some simple steps to help you design an effective menu for your new food truck.

Food Truck Menu Design Tips

Before Your Design Your Food Truck Menu

Check out your direct and indirect competition. Investigate their websites and study their menus to see the average price range for their menu items. Also, look for similarities and differences between your initial menu design and theirs. Ask yourself these questions:

  • How will my food truck menu be different from the competition? If you can’t answer this question, stop right here. You need to decide what will separate your food from all of the competition. This must be the driving force behind your food truck menu design.
  • Which of my menu items are similar to my competitors? Not everything on your menu has to be 100% original. Look at how many food trucks or restaurants offer a hamburger or cheeseburger. You can offer similar items, but yours should have a special twist to make it your own.
  • Does my menu pricing match my competitors? If you charge $12.00 for your hamburger and the competition charges $10.00 or less, you’d better be adding something to yours to justify the price.

Designing Your Food Truck Menu Layout

Now that you’ve studied the competition and written up your food truck menu, you need to create the perfect food truck menu design. This may sound easy, but if you want to create an effective menu design you need to do more than just printing out a list of your menu items from a word processing program. Colors, fonts and borders are all integral parts of a strong food truck menu design.

Colors and Fonts

Your menu font and color scheme should reflect your food truck theme. For example, if you are opening a Mexican themed taco truck, vibrant colors such as red, turquoise, purple and green would be good choices for your menu. These same colors would look out of place on the menu for a pizza. The same goes for the font you use. Even if you hand write your menu every day, the font you use needs to match the theme you plan for your food truck. The other issue you need to avoid is using a font that is too small or is hard to read.

Menu Sections

Look at menus from most food service business and you will see that they are typically arranged sequentially. The average arrangement follows this script: appetizers, soups & salad, main entrees, desserts and beverages. It is important to have each section clearly identified, by using bold headings, boxes or borders. Also consider highlighting your menu special with a star or other symbol. This will draw a customers attention to the dishes you want them to buy.

Menu Item Descriptions

The way you describe your menu items should make a customer’s mouth water. Don’t be afraid to explain what is in a dish. You can use ethnic names if they are appropriate. This will add a bit of flair to the description.

Incorporating geography or local history into a menu item name is also a way to make your food truck menu unique. Consider the differences between using Maine Lobster Roll, Carolina BBQ Ribs or Georgia Peach Pie instead of Lobster Roll, BBQ Ribs or Peach Pie. Just be careful not to make your menu item descriptions too long. If customers have more questions, your staff should be able to give further information about a dish.

The Bottom Line

Your food truck menu design can be a challenge but at the same time a lot of fun. The most important factors to consider with menu design are item prices, descriptions, layout and colors. Put these food truck menu design tips together to help draw eaters to your food truck’s service window. Develop your menu with the idea that your menu can and will bring consumers back for over and over, if it is designed properly.

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