How To Beat Your Food Truck’s Closest Competitor

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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.

Lower Expenses

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.

Your Food Truck Guide To Negative Feedback

Handling negative feedback can be a volatile situation if your employees are not careful.  At the same time, there is a certain way to approach customers whom you would like to get feedback. Just like multinationals have their SOP (Standard Operating Procedures) food trucks should also have a manual on how to handle customers and all kinds of feedback.

The advantages of soliciting feedback does not just include getting the insights of customers on how they like or don’t your food. It’s an aggressive way to put customers off guard. Studies show that great service can often compensate for mistakes made in cooking or lack of ingredients. For example, if your food truck runs out of onions for your sandwiches, getting your employees to suggest alternatives and putting on a show that they care about the people they are serving can turn a potential negative feedback into something less devastating. It will also leave the door open for another visit and possibly lead to a new loyal customer.

How To Ask For Feedback

When designing your customer feedback guide, think about the employees who face the customers. Can they do what you want them to do? Are they approachable, friendly, presentable, and neat? Depending on what your answer is, choose the right approach from the following list:

  • Have cue cards prepared for your employees to read
  • Use social media and get people to send in comments on a Twitter account
  • Have the standard survey form/comment cards available for those who would like to rate the service and food
  • Have an onsite web camera where you can monitor what your customers really say
  • Be around at peak times so you can talk to your customer face-to-face


What To Do With Feedback

Use feedback to improve your business. The best ways to do this are:

  • By answering tweets on Twiiter or posts on Facebook
  • Getting to know your customers by name and letting them know you appreciate the time they took to send in some feedback and what you plan to do about it
  • Giving every comment some consideration. Not all of them will make sense or be right but over time, you will see a trend and then you should act on it

Finally, if you plan on responding to feedback, do it within 2 days or 48 hours. Your response should always be mature (not petty), thankful, and sincere.