You only have one chance for your food truck’s grand opening. Don’t miss your shot by aiming at the wrong target. Taking the time to ask the right questions and answer before launch is a food truck owner’s way to line up the target before taking your big shot: the opening of your food truck.
Launching a food truck business without doing thorough market research is like taking a shot with a blindfold on.
Many startup food trucks ruin their opportunity to start off on the right foot. This is usually because they don’t know who their customers, competition, and projected sales numbers inside and out. Food truck vendors hit roadblocks they don’t anticipate and don’t have the resources or knowledge to fix.
The best method of gaining this information is to survey your prospective customers. You need to uncover their needs and desires, their pain points, and, perhaps most importantly, what they’re willing to pay.
4 Questions Food Truck Owners Must Answer Before Launch
Will customers wait in line for items on your menu, or will they walk past your truck?
In other words, are your planned menu items something that would be “nice to have” or something customers will “need to have”? Market research will help uncover the most needed aspects of your food truck menu.
How easy is it to order from your truck?
Try to notice customers’ behavior during a menu tasting or soft opening. The key is to get their verbal feedback. Are they lining up at your service window or placing orders the way you imagined, or do they seem frustrated, creating their own workarounds to get what they want? If you see the latter, there’s an opportunity to enhance your menu and ordering system and add value to the customer experience.
Do your customers eat at food trucks or restaurants with similar menus, and how do they compare?
Ask about any menu items and services your customers currently visit, along with those they’ve tried in the past. Remember that your competition is not only those with menu items that are similar to yours, but also those that meet similar needs in the marketplace.
How much would they actually pay for menu items?
You might have the latest and greatest fusion menu in your market, but it won’t get you very far if your pricing isn’t competitive. As the new truck on the block, give customers an easy in with an affordable price, and then let your menu win them over with its creativity, taste, and value.
The Bottom Line
When a food truck launches before nailing down their menu, it is always possible to make menu adjustments on the fly to find a menu that works. However, these changes can be painful for your customers. This is especially true if you pull an item off your menu that they loved.
Do you have any additional questions food truck owners must answer before launch we should have included? Share your thoughts on this topic in the comment section, our food truck forum or social media. Facebook or Twitter.