If you have a mobile business and you want it to continue attracting new customers, it may be time for a food truck menu change. You may have popular dishes that you know that you know are profitable. However, you probably have other dishes may not sell well, add extra cost, or create complexity in your food truck operations. These are the menu items that should be on the chopping block.
Or maybe you don’t have a food business yet, but are starting a food truck and seeking advice on creating a profitable menu.
Regardless, here’s what to think about when designing your menu. These 5 insider tricks will help you stay ahead of food truck competitors and keep your street food trending.
1. Make Your Menu Seasonal
Fresher ingredients taste better. By using local, seasonal ingredients, you can connect with your community, build relationships with local suppliers, and improve the quality of your food. Keeping things seasonal also means observing holidays which is great for marketing. For example you can promote your special Halloween menu item weeks in advance to build hype.
2. Upsell Beverages, Sides and Dessert
“Would you like fries with that?” For many restaurants, including food trucks, main dishes aren’t that profitable. Instead they make most of their money upselling beverages, sides and drinks.
At the very least, you should consider offering cold sodas. If it’s hot out, customers might be willing to pay $2.00 for a cold, canned soda you bought for 25 cents. Similarly, people might be willing to pay $7.00 for a freshly squeezed lemonade or side of fries that cost pennies, but take a little extra time to make from scratch. Pre-prepped dessert items like cookies or brownies are an easy upsell and can be very profitable.
3. Offer Something Deep-Fried
Love it or hate it, the fact is Americans eat a lot of fried food. Not only is fried food a strong seller, it’s fast and cheap to produce.
Do a fun twist on a crowd favorite like loaded fries, chicken tenders, tater tots, or donuts. Deep fried foods like pakora or empanadas can also make less familiar cuisines more approachable.
4. Add a Familiar Dish to Your Menu
It’s great to experiment and keep up with the latest trends, but try to have one classic dish on your menu. Kids or customers who are not adventurous eaters should have a “safe” choice that they can order. Try putting your twist on a common and beloved food item like a burger, hotdog, fries, pizza, or taco. Even just giving an unfamiliar item a more familiar name (think how Taco Bell did it with their “Mexican Pizza“) can help.
5. Rotate Food Truck Menu Specials
Finally, some customers are adventurous. For them. add a rotating special to mix things up. This is a great way to test the potential of new menu items. It also keeps your regular customers excited and coming back for more.
Remember, if a new item performs better than an item from your regular menu, don’t be afraid to swap it out! In this way, you can continually maximize the profitability of your food truck menu.
If you are starting a food truck business, contact Firefly at (323) 524-0078. We manufacture the world’s best custom food trucks for customers all over America from our facility in Los Angeles. We are a one-stop shop to design, build, wrap and repair your mobile business.