Business tips

4 ways to help your food truck survive winter.

By Jereme Sanborn on
post image

Running a food truck during the sunny warmth of summer probably appeals to your romantic entrepreneurial tendencies. After all, what could be better than being your own boss and doing what you love while simultaneously being able to remain outdoors and away from the cubicle farm? Now that winter is here, what can you do to keep your truck humming and your attitude positive?

Generate social media buzz.

The cold might not inspire potential customers to stand in line, but a juicy social media-generated deal just might. Hopefully, you have already made a name for yourself on sites like Instagram, Google Business, and YouTube. If you haven’t, don’t wait another minute to tap into the free word-of-mouth advertising these mega-sites offer.

Once you do, incentivize your best customers to make videos about your truck, highlighting their favorite items. Establish an ongoing rapport with social media users by making fun “how-to” cooking videos and talking about your business and food preparation methods. Then come up with time-sensitive deals that will bring the curious as well as the converted to your spot even when the snow is flying. You’ll be amazed at the lengths people will go to satisfy a gastronomical craving.

Make the payment experience as fast as possible.

No one will want to return to your truck in January if that means waiting in a line of people fumbling with cash and credit cards, and taking forever to pay. While you can’t control all aspects of the purchase, you certainly can upgrade your hardware and software to match modern preferences. 

If you don’t have one already, talk to your payment services provider about getting a POS system for food trucks that will streamline and speed up your checkout process. By choosing from the latest smart payment solutions, as well as an industry-leading credit card payment app, you’ll be gaining an important workhorse for your business. You’ll get the inventory, customer relations, and sales reporting features you need to determine what to order and when, and to keep in touch with interested customers via email. 

Diversify your business.

Your outdoor truck might be great in July but impractical in February. To make up for the lag, offer your delicious recipes via catering! This will get you out of the elements, keep the cash flowing, and create ongoing buzz about your food that you can carry with you into the spring, summer, and fall.

Make improvements.

There might be a blizzard brewing, but that shouldn’t stop you from constant innovation. Many food truck owners use the cooler months to spiff up their facilities, try out new food items, and purchase upgraded equipment.

If there is anything about the food business that you realize quickly, it is that the work is cyclical. By learning to take advantage of the money gained during busy times, you can survive those lean months. What’s more, you can use the slower periods to evaluate what is working and what is not, cultivate customer relationships, and lay the groundwork for next summer’s success.