You are wondering if this is really the best time to start your new food truck business and realise your dream of mobile catering? After all, eating food on the spot is currently prohibited, moreover there are far fewer people working in companies and many have switched to work in home office. And those who like to buy their lunch from the nearest food truck now prefer to bring their food from home. Of course, this has serious consequences for street food sales and business success. But Corona does not only mean financial losses, but also new opportunities! Delivery services and take-away are still possible and create new sales opportunities.
To prevent the coronavirus from spreading, crowds of people are currently prohibited. For the food truck business this means income from the weekend business through catering at events such as company events, festivals, birthdays or weddings is cancelled for the time being. Every postponed event and every cancelled event, like the lucrative street food and food truck events, upset the entire planning.
There is no doubt that the uncertain situation brings with it challenges and worries for the future. The season is ahead, the days are getting warmer – but can business take place as planned? The outlook is not very promising, an end to the pandemic is not yet in sight. But there are plenty of reasons not to bury your head in the sand, but to remain optimistic! All you need now is a change of perspective.
The current crisis situation also gives food truck operators room for creativity and new solution approaches for their culinary offerings. After all, even in these times your customers’ palates want to be spoiled! Although it is no longer permitted to eat on site, it is still permitted to deliver or to take-away food. This creates opportunities for new approaches that deviate from the usual street food concept – with stricter hygiene measures, of course!
Good hand hygiene and rules for coughing and sneezing are now particularly important. It is essential that you find out what hygiene and precautionary measures you must take when handling food.
Food trucks are characterised above all by their flexible application possibilities, and they can be placed almost anywhere. This enables food truck operators to react flexibly to the currently changing situation. Especially in times of crisis, people want to eat something tasty that is comforting. So catering is particularly important in the Corona crisis.
Many businesses have closed their own canteens and cafeterias in order to prevent or at least delay the spread of the coronavirus. Employees now prefer to avoid going to bistros or restaurants at midday. This sounds like an opportunity: set off with your food trailer. Offer companies to sell your food on the company premises. For those employees who can't make it to the home office, this is guaranteed to be a great way to enjoy freshly cooked food during the lunch break!
And for hospital staff, doctors and paramedics, who are currently in a state of emergency and are exposed to increasing stress, you can do something good during the coronavirus season and make freshly cooked food easily accessible. For cargo teams at airports, employees in authorities and offices, who are keeping their positions at their workplaces and are currently under a lot of stress, your food creations on wheels are guaranteed to bring joy as well.
To protect yourself and your customers, it is important to keep the recommended minimum distance of two metres. Although in the past payment was more and more often made by card, contactless payment has become even more important these days. Offer a cash and contactless sale in your food truck.
Enable your customers to place orders by phone and pick them up themselves, pay by PayPal or pay by card on site when the food is picked up. You can set up a pick-up zone in front of your food truck and deposit the food there for your customers. So it is no problem to keep the recommended minimum distance. Make sure that no crowds form in front of your food trailer and that the food is not consumed on site. Nothing can go wrong with an additional note on spacing and hygiene measures!
When customers no longer come to the food truck, the food just comes to the customer! An additional supply offer is another way of bridging the current situation and giving pleasure to risk groups and people in quarantine by enjoying delicious food.
You can present your food truck offer either on your own website or on a delivery service app. A delivery service app has the advantage that much of the organisation is taken off your hands, so you can concentrate on the preparation of the food. If you organise the delivery yourself, you will of course save the commission to the delivery service provider.
If you deliver the food yourself, ask your customers to specify a location during the ordering process so that the delivery remains contactless. Alternatively, you can also leave the food bag in front of the door, ring the bell and keep a distance of two metres. Then the customer takes his food out of the bag. Payment can be made in advance online via PayPal or credit card. There is absolutely no physical contact necessary, the tip can be put into the bag ;-)
Your appearance on the web is especially important at this time. Since you can no longer count on walk-in customers, your food truck business and menu must be found online. Search engine optimisation for your website and an entry of your food truck in Google Places will improve your visibility on the web.
If you are not yet listed in the search engines, now is the time to change your marketing strategy. Now that many people are spending more time at home and on social networks, you can boost your business with Facebook and Instagram. With an ad in the regional weekly newspaper you can reach customers without any affinity to online media.
Food coupons are another efficient way to attract new customers and increase your customer base in the long term. You give people the opportunity to try out your menu without having to pay the full price and at the same time you can empty food stocks that need to be used up.
As you can see, the corona times not only present us with challenges, but also new opportunities to get the food truck business and street food fun rolling!