3 Ways Food Trucks Can Book More Catering Gigs
Nov. 08, 2017 | 4
Few restaurateurs can relate to a food truck owner. Setting up a single location and drawing return crowds, while providing consistently great service and food—these are the basics for brick and mortar dining establishments. But the unique nature of a food truck requires different ways of doing business, and with it, a unique set of challenges.
Among applying for parking permits and standing out in a highly competitive arena of the food industry, food truck operators must also contend with their mobility and its limitations.
- Food trucks do not have the space for bulk inventory—when ingredients run out, items are 86’d.
- Notifying people of one’s whereabouts takes up considerable energy—if customers cannot find you, then there are no sales.
- Food trucks cannot operate for extended periods of time like restaurants, forcing food truck owners to meet sales goals within a limited timeframe.
Even so, these drawbacks are offset by the opportunities a food truck’s mobility affords. In fact, when it comes to making a profit, your mobility is your best asset.
Navigating bustling streets and happening corners is just one way to make money. But how about booking catering gigs? Music festivals, weddings, and corporate events are profitable opportunities for food truck operators. With a reliable Food Truck POS, you have the luxury of putting your food truck in front of new customers in different neighborhoods every day.
Below, we show you why you need to add catering to the mix, and how to book more gigs for your food truck.
Reasons Why Food Trucks Should Take on Catering Events
Every food truck operator should be looking into catering. Here are four reasons why booking gigs can be lucrative:
Catering Events is an Excellent Promotion
First and foremost, catering gigs bring excellent exposure to your food truck. At an event, your name is out there in front of—potentially hundreds of—new faces, and their social followings, family, and friends.
Gigs Are Another Source of Income
Events are an additional stream of income to add to your usual stops. While it’s important to follow your routine food-truck stops as scheduled, be flexible enough to add a gig or event into the mix.
Lavu Pro Tip: If you have a lucrative time reoccurring every week, then stick to it. Events should be increasing your revenue, not taking away from it.
Opportunity for Feedback
Every restaurant, bar, and food truck can suffer from one common problem: smugness. Being complacent in the food industry is an open invitation for failure. To be a success, remain on your toes and look for ways to improve.
There’s no better way to break the binds of self-satisfaction than with customer feedback. Events will bring you in front of new faces and expectations—take advantage of this and get feedback from attendees. You might discover that different menu items work for different areas, your prices are too high, or any other number of issues. Take the feedback you get during an event and use it to improve!
Break the Monotony
Working in a food truck can be monotonous---break the tedium by booking gigs and events in new places for new customers.
How Food Trucks Can Book More Events
You’re ready to book your food truck—now how do you find events? Here are three ways to book new catering gigs for your food truck:
1. Update Your Website
If you haven’t noticed, websites are the models of the Internet. The more compelling one looks, the more interest it garners. Keeping a clean and polished website is important—we cannot emphasize this enough. Your website is a mirror of your business—if it looks a mess, you can be sure that a potential client will think your food truck is the same.
Visitors might have had zero interaction with your actual business, and will be judging your capabilities by your website. Interested parties might receive recommendations, find your name in a web search, or be led to your site by a magazine article. Don’t let your site scare off customers. It’s worth investing in an update to attract more customers.
2. Have Eye-Catching Photos of Your Menu Online
The next best thing to tasting your food? Eye-catching photos! If you don’t have some already posted, hire a photographer (or even a social-media-savvy teenager would do!) to take mouth-watering photos of your menu items, and post them to your website. Keep an updated version of your menu online, and to boost interest in your catering abilities, suggest a menu with special dishes. To round out your site’s gallery, upload one or two photos per event category to show how versatile and accessible your menu is for different crowds.
Lavu Pro Tip: Don’t add menu prices. Prices distract viewers from the quality of the food and your experience. Without prices, you also have the flexibility to maneuver costs depending on the event.
Opening a food truck requires more than just making great food. As the owner, you are responsible for spreading your truck’s name throughout the community. Get out there and meet event professionals and other business owners. While business owners might have large companies—or can recommend you to their peers, event professionals help produce special events. Music concerts, political fundraisers, and corporate galas are just a few examples of the types of gigs an event professional would need a food truck for.
If you’re not sure where to start, first join your local department of commerce, then, visit the buzziest happy hours in the area. Don’t be shy when introducing yourself and your food truck.
Know Your Guidelines
What are your guidelines for booking an event? Knowing the answers to the following questions will help you to make the most of every event opportunity:
- What’s the minimum order for driving your “restaurant” to a location?
- Is this event in between meals? An event between 1 PM and 4 PM could monopolize your day and make it impossible to serve lunch and dinner. If that’s the case, make sure the event’s sales would make up for missing mealtimes.
- How many other food trucks are coming? You want to know if it’s worthwhile to attend an event.
Stay ahead of the competition and build an alternate source of revenue by catering special events with your food truck. Not sure if you can handle the demands? Check out these must-have technologies for food trucks.
Nov. 08, 2017 | BY Emma Alois