If you’re planning to open a new food truck, throwing a grand opening event is one of the best ways to introduce yourself to your local market and welcome guests who will hopefully become regular guests. A successful grand opening can be an indicator of how your food truck will fare.
8 Tips To Make Your Food Truck Grand Opening Event A Success
Make sure to start planning your grand opening at least three months (if not longer) and set a date. You will need to account for holidays or upcoming local events, and schedule your grand opening accordingly to ensure you’ll get a great turnout.
Soft Opening First
Consider planning your food truck grand opening event for a couple of weeks after your food truck actually opens its service window to give you and your staff time to work out any kinks, establish a solid process, and even account for any feedback you get from your first customers.
Include Media Invitation
Send out invitations two weeks in advance, and be sure to include traditional and online media and local influencers such as popular food bloggers who have large local audiences. Seeing or hearing popular hosts enjoying a meal at your truck works well for getting the word out about your truck.
Promote Your Grand Opening
It may a bit too early to start with paid advertising, but if your marketing budget is large enough, a mix of paid and social media advertising work best. Set up a booth at a local community event or market where you can greet members of the community, hand out samples of your best dishes and spread the word about your new food truck.
A Grand Opening Can Be Longer Than One Day
Rather than a one-day event, a grand opening week might be more appropriate. This would enable you to target different potential audiences on different days (media, online followers, a two-for-one date night, etc.).
Involve The Community
Don’t underestimate the power of offering a free breakfast or lunch to your city or town council. This can be a great way to introduce your food truck to some of the people who hold the political future of your truck. Also, consider donating a portion of your grand opening profits to a local charity for additional positive press.
Get A Lot Of Photos
Hiring a student photographer can provide you with a lot of high-quality photos (hire a professional if your budget can handle it) to use on your social media channels and on your website. This will free you and your staff from playing photographer (you’ll be busy enough).
Put Your Ear To The Ground
Review any newspaper coverage, social media channels, or Yelp reviews of your food truck so you can share and respond to comments in a timely fashion. The more positive feedback spreads through word of mouth, the better. If there are any negative comments, you need to be able to address them promptly. This will show that you care about your customers.
Be Sure To Follow Up
If you (hint, hint) collect guest email addresses or contact information to follow up with. Make sure your first email goes out shortly after the event; ideally within a few days. If they’re still thinking about how great your signature dish tasted or how cool your truck looked, it won’t be hard to entice them to come back for more.