Ever since the food trucks took a life of its own and began to sprout all over the country, food truck owners have had a difficult time settling in. First, they had to deal with brick and mortar business owners who complained loudly about the loss of income. Then they had to worry about stricter laws and permits including zoning and parking which led to some pretty inventive marketing. Now, the challenge has come full circle with the immense competition among food truck owners for a piece of the market.
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How To Beat Your Food Truck’s Closest Competitor
A food truck today is more challenged than a food truck that operated 5 years ago. This is because of the increasing number of food trucks on the road. Same market, more players suggests tougher competition and higher risk factors.
If you have a food truck and are facing threat from your closest competitors, you might want to try an indirect approach in beating them as the better option on the road. Here are some ways you can boldly address the competition without having to handle any direct confrontation.
Except for marketing and advertising, you should always be on the lookout for ways to lower expenses without affecting quality. For a new business, you need to ask around since you have no Profit and Loss figures yet. Find out who the best suppliers are, the quantities that will give you volume discounts, and where to find quality ingredients at low costs. Typically, this means buying in wet markets instead of supermarkets where the prices are almost always a tad higher.
You could also go over the day’s trends and find out when you can shut down the food truck rather than pay salaries on dead time.
Just don’t be stingy with advertising although be creative so you don’t have to spend so much. Use the Internet and social media to boost sales. Hire a social media marketing professional (even an intern) to drum up interest in your business.
Nothing Beats Outstanding Rapport with Customers
If you want to stand out as a food truck worth visiting and revisiting, you need to work hard on keeping your customers happy. They should be happy to eat your food, happy to wait for their food, and even happier to keep coming back for more. It’s really all about this. How many stories are there of millionaires going back to their roots where they would buy their lunch from a hotdog stand just because that guy selling the hotdogs was nice to them when they were just starting out? You need to be that personable hotdog vendor who everyone loves and can never forget. It’s what build loyalty and a special bond between business owner and customer.
Finally, don’t fear competition even if they are huge successes in the food business. Celebrate all successful food trucks because it legitimizes your existence. Concentrate instead on cooking great food at fair prices and being a wonderful vendor to buy from because that’s what people will remember and recommend. Just avoid stepping over the line and being too friendly or too personal with your customers. Keep it professional, straightforward and respectful.