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Good to Go: Lessons Learned From the Food-Truck Craze

Posted on 06/06/14
Food TruckNo matter where you live or have traveled, you have probably run into a food truck on the street. Highly mobile and eccentric, food trucks have been around for several decades - but recently, they have become the latest craze.

Perhaps the most famous food truck, the Kogi Korean BBQ taco truck in Los Angeles draws massive crowds to taste its delectable fusion cuisine. All over the country, hundreds of other options abound, encompassing virtually every culture, from Cantonese dim sum to Texas barbecue.

In short, food trucks are wildly popular right now, and their unique business model points to the reason. No matter what type of business you have, you can learn several lessons from the advent of the food truck.

Here are ways food trucks effectively create a name for themselves:

  1. Generate excitement. What could be more thrilling than strolling along and suddenly coming across an establishment that is selling something you want - or suddenly realize you want?
  2. Create an aura of exclusivity. Some food trucks, including Kogi, let their Twitter or Facebook followers know where they are headed before they get there. Those who get the message feel as though they are in a special club for people who are "in the know."
  3. Focus on quality over venue. Food trucks boast remarkably low start-up costs, because their owners aren't investing hundreds of thousands of dollars into brick-and-mortar locations. Instead, they pour their talents and resources into their product.
  4. Keep it simple. Because of their small size, food trucks can offer a limited selection of items, and you'd better believe that whatever they serve is the best of their best. The lesson for your business is: do what you do best, and only expand offerings when your budget, staffing, and expertise allow it.
  5. Create a unique customer experience. Whether by painting their trucks garish colors, offering ostentatious food presentations, or flaunting big personalities, each food truck has its own characteristics that make it memorable.
  6. Meet customers where they are. Kamikaze businesses don't have to serve food, but they do need to take advantage of opportunities to get out into their communities.

Considering their recent explosive emergence onto the food service scene, food trucks offer a myriad of lessons regarding what it takes to market a business effectively. When crafting your next marketing campaign, think about how you can use your company's unique and compelling qualities to achieve the same level of grassroots success.

Author: Robert Stillman CEO

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