Get Inspired Jerry Lieveld 5 Apr 2016
Food truck owners: it’s time to freshen up your mobile presence as the season of outdoor food festivals is about to begin. Start now and stay ahead of the competition in a billion-dollar industry.
Why does a food truck, or any other mobile food business, needs to be present on the customers smartphone? You just ride to the occasion, unpack your food and start selling, right? Why invest in a mobile website or even an app when you have social media? After all, if you attend a food festival you see dozens of hungry foodies swarm towards you. Sorry folks, that was the case in the early days, when hipsters beards were binge selling their Black Angus burgers.
The mobile food business has evolved into a billion-dollar industry. According to a modest estimate of Mobile Cuisine food truck revenue reached $1.2 billion in 2015, but Food and Wine says another study claims food trucks already reached $1.5 billion in 2012.
No matter which revenue figures you believe, the mobile food business has become big business. If you want to survive in this competitive market, mobile marketing and communication is a matter of urgency.
Fact: food trucks that move to various locations, make more money. And there is a 1 in 13 chance that the customer’s favorite food vendor will not come to its regular spot. How do people know where you are? Sure social media work fine. But how about having all your social in one place, beautifully designed in your own style? Without the competition and distraction of other tweets, posts and video’s or even ads you can’t control.
With a mobile app, you can show your vending locations of today/this week/this month on a map. Customers use their smartphone to find your location. In fact, the built in navigation leads the way.
If there´s any business that should have a smartphone presence it´s the mobile food business.
A mobile presence means maximum branding. Customers just want your food? Some do, but most want a story with it. Can you tell something about your ingredients? Are they organic? Regional? Homemade? Fair Trade? People want to know, so explain how you work. You could use an app or a website, as long as it’s perfectly readable on a mobile device. The smartphone is where you meet your customers when they’re not around. Show what you do, tell how you work, give some great recipes people can try at home.
What new recipe is the taste of this season? Think consumer input: which ingredients do your customers like? What recipe would they love to see on the menu? Let them make suggestions. Choose one, the winner gets a freebie. Or a discount. Strengthen the ties with your customers by bringing your tasty experience to their smartphones.
A steady base of returning customers is a key in maintaining your business. Pamper your loyal fans with coupons and gifts. Do anything to keep them happy. If you choose to have an app, you could include a customer loyalty program that rewards returning customers. The savings program is completely smartphone based for customers and owners. And it´s free to add to your app.
Website for starters and small businesses
Are you a starter with a limited budget? Or a small business? Then a mobile website could meet your needs.
AppMachine’s website builder Impress.ly lets you build a website that behaves like an app on smartphones and automatically expands for bigger screens. Use Impress.ly and you’ll get a professional and affordable website that almost builds itself. It just takes a couple of minutes. Impress.ly integrates your social media and even offers online shopping features.
Native apps for serious mobile marketing
Do you want to take mobile marketing to the next level? Go for a native app. Apps give you numerous mobile marketing tools, including a smartphone customers savings program. With a native app you can send push messages by location. Send every app users within a mile/kilometer a special offer for lunch. Or let customers order in advance with preferred pick up date and time and various payment methods. Interested in selling online? Read the article about the benefits of our Check Out block
Read how Dutch food writer Monica Abdoel made an app for food truck festivals as a dynamic version of her book.