There is nothing like looking out your window to find some fresh laid snow outside. But these scenes of winter wonderlands do not bring a smile to some faces, those being food truck owners. Three out of four seasons food trucks thrive especially during the summer when they are barely able to meet demand, but once the cold comes around the market becomes a desolate tundra. Winter is a scary time for food truck owners frequently there business goes down by at least 50%. For some food trucks it can even break their business and cause them to shut down. It’s not hard to imagine why business declines so much during the cold season…it’s cold and people want to stay inside safe and warm. Especially once the holidays come to a close many customers are trying to regain financial traction after dishing out cash on gifts or holiday travel, or maybe trying to eat less or healthier after a few weeks of turkey and sweets. There are endless reasons to why food trucks take a major hit during the winter but entrepreneur.com’s writer Kate Taylor gives food trucks some advice for making it through the slow season.
- Consider doing catering at parties
- During these chilly months there are plenty of parties to be had…just inside. Food truck owners can look into catering the numerous holiday and winter parties that take place.. Reaching out to local businesses, schools, and offices helps get your name out there while providing some business during these slow months.
- Create a winter menu
- Many food trucks tailor their menus around the warmer climates something that may not be desired as much when a frost has been laid. Taking the time to make some changes to offer healthy dishes, warm and hearty meals, or a nice hot specialty drink is a great way to keep your customers engaged and something they might find worth waiting outside for.
- Develop Partnerships
- When it’s cold outside that doesn’t mean everyone is abstaining from eating, you just need to find a way to feed them inside. Taylor recommends creating partnerships with local offices, seeking out sports tournaments, conventions, etc.
- Build a strong customer base
- This does not mean try to rally up as many people as possible, this step really speaks to your customer service you provide at your truck. Building a customer base that not only likes your food but you and your employees as well will help them forget the climate conditions and have them out at your truck just to see your smiling face. Creating a personal connection with your customers can be a saving grace during these chilly times.
- Happy employees = happy customers
- Not only do you need to look out for your business during the winter but also your employees. This is a hard time for everyone, for most people getting up to go to work in the morning is hard enough, let alone when it is in freezing temperatures. Make sure your truck provides adequate heat for your employees and come up with solutions to keep morale up.
- Move around!
- Use this time to cover more ground in your city. Move to malls where all the big sales are happening, winter markets, ice skating rinks, etc. In addition, keep everyone posted online. Make sure your regulars aren’t confused as to where you’ve gone if you switched up your schedule. Provide customers your location on any ordering services you may be listed on or social media, or both.
- Build your social media following
- Lots of people are stuck inside, which creates all types of boredom. But many will be online whether it be working from home or browsing out of boredom, take this time to build your social media and presence so new people find you and old customers don’t forget you.
Find Kate Taylors full article here.