If guests have a hard time coming to you, then you need to go to them.
As a restaurateur, in this day and age, not only do you have to compete with other storefronts, but now you have to compete for share of stomach with the food trucks. Food truck popularity has skyrocketed in the past five years, allowing newcomers to enter the space with very little capital and with great speed and agility.
It is time to join the food truck bandwagon! Spend some time reallocating marketing budgets and efforts. Spend some time researching local food truck parks and maps and most importantly find a food truck that suits your brand’s identity. If your restaurant already has a few top selling items then you are one step closer to offering your customers menu items they already love in a more trendy and hip way.
Potential guests have more choice that ever in what and where they eat, and food trucks provide that critical element of convenience as well as scarcity that can give them an edge over the more traditional restaurant visit.
Never fear though, as smart marketers have already been leaning in to this cultural phenomenon – after all, if you can’t beat them, join them. Adding a food truck to your restaurant marketing arsenal is a great option on several fronts.
First, it is a walking advertisement for your restaurant’s brand, allowing you to reach guests that you might not normally access. Strategically place food trucks in locations that are just far enough from your retail location – if it’s wildly successful, you may have just pinpointed a new location for expansion.
Second, leveraging this incremental touchpoint with your guests can lead to increases in purchase frequency from the same guests as they might visit your food truck for lunch and then your retail location for dinner – increasing their LTV overall.
Lastly, food trucks give you permission to experiment as the dynamics are just different enough. Play with exclusive menu items that make sense for ‘eating-on-the-go’ and use them as teasers to entice guests to visit your retail location to get the real deal.
Food trucks do not have to be the enemy of the physical location. Just as restaurants have added to-go options for their guests, food trucks are another avenue for staying close to the hearts and stomachs of your loyalists. Same food, same brand, just a different location every day.