John Armstrong is Director and Co-Owner of branding specialists Custom Planet. Here, he shares his tips for setting up a food truck or van — and making it stand out.
As street food is so on-trend, now is a great time to try and make it big as a mobile caterer. However, because it’s so popular, the industry is also extremely competitive. That means you have to work at gaining the attention of your customers before you can win them over with the quality of your product.
Below, I’ll be telling you how to make people fall in love with your brand before they’ve even taken a bite.
Create a logo
You want your logo to be balanced: unique enough to stand out, but sensible enough to communicate what it is your business does. Rather than packing too much into it, try a cleaner design that uses colour to express what you do. Don’t be afraid to hire a professional designer, as your logo will be used on all of your business cards, social media, uniforms, and marketing materials. So, it’s worth spending the time to get it right.
Demonstrate your values
You want passers-by to be able to understand what your business is at a glance, and not just what you’re selling. So, what are you particularly proud of? If you use local ingredients, include that in your branding. If sustainability is important to you, communicate that too. Even if you just think your food is the tastiest, that’s something worth shouting about.
Use marketing materials
Before an event, you’ll need to prepare even basic leaflets or brochures to so that you can get your name out there. Then, anyone looking to book you will have your information to hand. To save money, you could use your menus to communicate your story, your products, and what you can do. Just remember to include your booking information at the end.
Offer promotional products
The problem with catering businesses is that, once they’ve eaten, your customers have nothing to take home with them afterwards. This means that there’s nothing tangible for their friends and family to see as evidence for their positive experience with your company. Try to think of promotional products you can print with your logo to give as free gifts with purchases, or as prizes for giveaways. For example, a coffee truck might offer mugs and travel cups their customers can use every day, or packs of mints they can carry in their bag and offer to their friends and co-workers.
Use branded staff uniforms
It can make a huge difference to have all your staff wear t-shirts or polos embroidered or printed with your logo. This uniform can help make your business look more professional, and people will know who to approach if they have any questions. As a nice bonus, you can start to sell your tops to your customers once your brand gains a reputation.
These are some of the key areas you should focus on if you want to improve your branding and increase footfall. By implementing these, your mobile catering business can stand out from the crowd at your next event.