In the past, mobile food businesses got by just fine with excellent service and a smile. In fact, this is how many of today’s big-name restaurants, like McDonalds, started their life. But today there are so many other opportunities to attract customers than just sitting pretty. Here’s how to make the most of your mobile food business.
There’s nothing that works a treat better than buttering up local public servants. For starters, they’re the ones who have the power to shut you down at a moment’s notice. But they’re also a powerful voice in any community.
The mayor, in particular, holds a lot of sway. Mayors are often seen as the representative of the whole town. Getting he or she down to your local joint can be a great marketing tool which could feature in the local paper.
Mobile food outlets have a bit of an image problem. In most western countries they are the place you go to get a bite to eat when you’re drunk. As a result, mobile food vendors get lumped in with a segment of their customers. But whether you use imported pork or local lettuces, make sure that you emphasize the fact that the food is fresh. You don’t have to do this just in writing. Using bright, natural colors, like greens and blues, should do the trick. And they should go some way to any of the ugliness of your facilities and machinery.
Local events can be a little hit and miss. But if you believe that there could be a high turnout on the day, they’re a good way to make a bit of money. Don’t just show up with your van on your own and hope that people will arrive. Either tag alongside another event. Or create your own entertainment. A good place to start is to stage a party or a puppet show for children.
The best way to build a following is to get your food in the mouths of potential clients. And the best way to do that is to offer them samples for free. Supermarkets have been doing this for as long as many of us can remember. As soon as a new product comes along, supermarkets roll out little tasters. And, often, they create a bit of a crowd. You want to do this too, so advertise and give people a real reason to show up. Don’t just give them a little square of pizza. Offer people a whole slice for free. And make sure they’ve got somewhere near your van to eat it. A bit of music probably wouldn’t hurt either.
Mobile apps are the future of the food space. We’ve seen dozens of mobile apps vying to make customer’s lives easier come to market in the last few years. Some give information on the nearest food outlets. Others allow customers to share images of what they’ve just eaten. Foursquare is one of the most important for businesses because it enables peer to peer marketing. Customers will shout out to their friends about their experience with your business. And savvy entrepreneurs find ways to reward this type of behavior.
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