11 Yummy Food Truck Marketing Strategies to Get More Clients

Food trucks have grown into a multi-billion dollar restaurant niche since 2014. Not only is the industry growing, but the demand for food trucks is growing as well. So much so that millennials are widely considered the "food truck generation," with 47% having eaten from a food truck at some point.

To sum it all up, if you own a food truck, you're in a position to create a successful business and feed hundreds of customers waiting to be served. Start with these 11 yummy food truck marketing strategies to get more clients!


1. Join Food Festivals

Food Festival can be your food truck's first debut, whether it's local or regional. Think of it as a pop-up shop for your food, with customers coming and going. People go to these festivals intending to buy and try new foods so you don't have to work too hard to attract customers to your booth or truck.

To make the most of your food festival experience, offer a new item on your menu and get feedback from customers before you make it official. Festival attendants make great guinea pigs and live feedback on their thoughts, or you can see through purchases if this item was a hit or a miss with the crowd.

Festivals are also known to be a must-attend for food influencers and bloggers, not to mention other local food trucks and restaurants in your area, giving you the opportunity to network and future partnerships.

Check out April Maguire's guide on how to promote your business at community events and festivals.

2. Host a Food Giveaway

At Wishpond, we can attest to the power of giveaways; on the outside, it's a fun and easy way for customers to win prizes. But on the back end, you're collecting leads, increasing social media followers, website traffic, and growing your brand's awareness.

Food influencers like Terri Fry have been using giveaways in their social media and marketing strategies to consistently boost followers and online presence. And so can you.

When you're planning your food truck giveaway here are a few key features you should consider:

1. Eyes on the Prize: The value of your prize plays into the quality of participants you'll have and the number of people you'll attract. So you'll have to think big and creative. If your prize is small, you'll get overlooked by other brands offering bigger prizes.

For holidays like Valentine's Day, try to partner with brands to create the ultimate foodie's dinner date.

2. Clear Guidelines: Don't assume that contestants can read between the lines. Write detailed and clear instructions on how to enter and what the winner can expect. If you leave room for assumptions, you open your brand up to angry participants or, worse, legal action.

3. Choose the Right Platform: Determine the goal of your giveaway to help determine the right platform and tools to reach it. If you want for Instagram followers, then you'll need to host your giveaway on Instagram and ask participants to follow your page to enter.

Need help with your next contest ?

Book a free call to learn Wishpond can offer you the tools to create high converting Facebook contest today.

Giveaway & Contest Guides

I've also listed our best giveaway and contest guides for you to use if you'd like to get more acquainted with a contest or need some creative giveaway ideas before you start.

3. Offer Catering & Delivery Services

For this marketing tip, you'll have to offer catering or delivery services for your customers. Restaurant Dive found that consumer delivery industry will grow by more than 18% in 2023

People are growing to expect food brands to offer delivery or be listed on food delivery apps like UberEats or DoorDash. Signing up for, and offering, delivery opens your business to those around the community who may not be willing to make the journey to your food truck each day.

You should also consider offering catering to company's in your area or events to expose your food truck's customer base.

4. Partner with Local Business

Earlier, we spoke about networking with other businesses. There is strength in numbers, and the more business you partner with, the more your food truck exposure will grow.

Feel free to partner with businesses in or outside of the food industry.

Swap discount flyers with a local business so that when a customer visits your business, they're encouraged to try another their service. You're combining your customer base and foot traffic to share and bring each other new customers. Or You can partner with other businesses to host or sponsor an event surrounding your food truck.

5. Create Life-Size Menus or Displays

Instead of waiting for customers to go up to your food truck to ask what’s on the menu, grab their attention with an eye-catching life-size menu or food display.

This marketing tip helps to differentiate you from your competitors while showcasing your best sellers. A clearly displayed menu allows customers to choose and consider what food items they'd like to buy before they reach the counter. This can help you take and make orders quickly as well as grab the attention of anyone passing by your truck.

A food truck menu should always match your brands aesthetic, If you're not sure what your food truck menu should look like here are
of the eight food truck menu ideas and some costs less than $5 to make.

6. Hand Out Free Samples & Discounts

Once a month, give out free samples of your best sellers or new food inventions. But you're not just giving away free food. Free samples allow you to:

  • Introduce your product to new audiences unfamiliar with your brand.
  • Foster relationships and inspire loyalty with existing customers.
  • Expand shoppers' knowledge about the food you offer.

Now there's a wrong and right way to offer samples.

The right way is to have a goal in mind while making notes (even mentally) on the kind of feedback you'll be getting. You want to make sure that your samples are big enough for them to savor the food and have an opinion but small enough that you're rationing on a budget.

Come with an open mind, you already love your food, but you're not the one buying it. Never force your own opinions on the people taking your samples, or try to defend yourself. Sampling is an open case study that allows you to step back and hear what the customers think.

7. Work with Food Bloggers

No matter the industry, influencer marketing should be apart of your marketing strategy.

Drive traffic by paying or offering a free meal to a prominent food blogger or influencer in your local area. After all, they can influence a follower's buying decisions with their trusted expertise. People trust people to point in the right direction when it comes to products and food.

Find influencers that you think would be a good fit for your brand and do an influencer outreach. Most influencers with large followings are established and have worked with brands before, which means instead of free food, they'd most likely want to be paid instead.

8. Take a Road Trip & Host a Food Truck Tour

Take a trip across your community, state, or country, and share your fantastic food with new people. This marketing trick works well if you have a strong social media strategy behind you.

You want to make sure that your followers and new customers know when and where so they can plan to visit your truck ahead of time.

9. Use Social Media Ads to Promote Your Food

You can use social media ads on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube to promote your food truck.

We always hear success stories about social media ads on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Having a successful ad is much more than writing a caption, setting a budget, and hitting "publish" — it's about knowing your audience and crafting the perfect ad for them.

For instance, Tropicana got a 45% return on ad spends, plus 58% more sales volume compared to their other social media platforms. Their ads stayed focused on awareness of their new #MadeToGo Tropicana bottles.

Tropicana doubled its Instagram and Facebook budget to more closely replicate its typical TV spend, running a series of short video ads designed to motivate in-store sales over the next three months. It did just that.

Tropicana decided to use video for their ads, which is always a good investment because videos get 21.2% more interactions compared to images. They also used witty and fun captions that connected well with their audience.

If you're a beginner with social media ads, don't worry, I've got a few step-by-step guides to dip your toe in the world of social media ads:

10. Add Additional Entertainment at Your Food Truck

Add live or additional entertainment to your food truck. Find local musicians or performance artists with a following in your area. Take things a set further and host a weekly or monthly open mic for artists, poets, and performance artists to show off their skills while your customers get their fill of your food.

11. Get Listed on Food Review Sites & Local Papers

There are three things you should always plaster online and offline; this includes reviews, your brand story, and discounts. I'll explain why below:

1. Brand Story: Everyone loves a great story, so make sure people get the chance to hear it. Brand storytelling is such an essential click here to learn more about what brand storytelling is & how to do it (With examples!)

2. Reviews: Online reviews influence the purchase decisions of nearly all (93%) consumers while virtually the same proportion (92.4%) of corporate buyers will likely purchase a product or service if they read a trusted review about it. Offline word of mouth reviews holds the most weight for potential customers. Listen to what people are saying about your brand.

3. Discounts: Customers are always looking for good deals, and food is no exception. But offering discounts isn't about losing money but building loyalty and attracting new customers. It's proven that you can offer discounts and specials while still making a profit.

Summary

The food industry can be competitive. You'll need to double down on your online marketing to increase your brand awareness and encourage a better flow of customers to your food truck.

Wishpond offers marketing solutions suited to your business needs, regardless of your industry or niche.

Ready to start marketing your food truck?

Book a free call to learn how our team of marketing experts can help you create successful marketing campaigns and solutions today.

Here's a quick recap of these 11 yummy food truck marketing strategies to get more clients:

  1. Join Food Festivals
  2. Host a Food Giveaway
  3. Offer Catering & Delivery Services
  4. Partner with Local Business
  5. Create Life-Size Menus or Displays
  6. Hand Out Free Samples & Discounts
  7. Work with Food Bloggers and Influencers
  8. Take a Road Trip & Host a Food Truck Tour
  9. Use Social Media Ads to Promote Your Food
  10. Add Additional Entertainment at Your Food Truck
  11. Get Listed on Food Review Sites & Local Papers

Written by Victoria Taylor

Victoria is a Marketing Generalist at Wishpond specializing in all things digital marketing and social media marketing. In love with blogging and Taco Tuesdays. Follow her on Twitter @vicknwsbest.