Food trucks are all the rage right now. But with this positive, has also come a large number of food truck competitors. You’d be hard-pressed to find a major metro area without a these popular nomadic restaurants.

Some have written off the mobile food industry’s success as a fad, but the industry has steadily gained popularity across the US. According to Emergent Research, food trucks will generate roughly $2.7 billion in revenue by 2017. That will be a fourfold increase from 2012! Although food trucks only make up 1% of restaurant sales, growth is in sight.

With that being said, the mere fact of owning a food truck does not guarantee success. Creativity is one of the most important keys to success, but marketing yourself in a big city can be challenging. Food trucks are popular and often times you’ll notice several food trucks grouped together offering a variety of options. But how can a single food truck, or a certain location of several food trucks, stand out from the others? Well, there is a simple, viable option. What is it?

Beat Your Food Truck Competitors With Phone Charging Stations

Yes, cell phone charging stations. Charging stations provide customers with a new, unique experience that offers several benefits to any business. Let’s see what the benefits of providing a phone charging station can bring to your food truck.

  • Keep Customers at Your Food Truck. Every business loves its regular customers. They are loyal, they frequently buy your products, and they tell their friends about your business. A relationship is formed. As this relationship builds, the loyal customers often stay for longer periods of time, buying more from you. If a food truck provided a cell phone charging station for its customers, it will help build that relationship a bit quicker. Not everyone will become brand loyal, but it’ll be easier to keep customers at your food truck for a longer period of time. Customers could charge their phones while they wait for their food and while they eat. If they have an unreasonably low battery, they may stay for a good period of time – perhaps tempted to order more.
  • Build Brand Awareness. A great big logo and design plastered on the side of a food truck is great, but keep in mind there are additional ways to build brand awareness. Some businesses, such as Kwikboost, offer custom phone charging stations that provide additional offerings for self-promotion. The design could include your specials, your menu, your daily schedule, a QR code linking customers to a coupon off their next order, etc. There are tons of possibilities and creating a custom design will encourage people to use the charging station.
  • Promote Social Interaction. Create a place where people can socialize with one another. You could put a charging station on the side of your truck, or provide a table with integrated charging stations. This will attract multiple groups of people to one location. It’s also great for city newcomers–they could use the station and have an easy conversation starter with a fellow customer.
  • Generate Buzz in the Community. Promotion is difficult. Some food trucks struggle to obtain natural media and PR coverage in comparison to others.  An easy way to build hype and attract local attention is by providing a unique service that no one else offers. A phone charging station is just that. Offering eight people the ability to charge their phones, while they eat in a popular public area, is a great way to get local coverage.
  • Share the Cost of the Station(s) or Stand out Among a Group. A group of food trucks could all pitch in together and provide charging stations collectively. This will help bring more foot traffic to their area, but not call attention to one individual truck. Rather, it will benefit the group. But if this isn’t an option, or not everyone agrees to it, one specific truck could offer a charging station, giving them the opportunity to stand out from the group. This a great way to entice those indecisive customers to your food truck as opposed to the neighboring competition.

RELATED: Competitive Analysis: Checking On Your Food Truck Competition

The Bottom Line

The key to success in the mobile food industry is beating your food truck competitors. The easiest way to do this is through positive differentiation. You may serve great food, and provide magnificent customer service but my of your competitors do as well. Providing things such as a phone charging station could be the thing that shows you understand the consumers that visit your truck and keep them coming back.

To continue this discussion on seperating yourself from your food truck competitors, share your thoughts in the comment section or on social media. Facebook | Twitter