Food trucks tend to be very busy and profitable during the summer. But there are slower periods—and winter is one of these times.
During summer, foot traffic is higher, which means more customers. When it’s cold out, you need to put in extra effort to draw people to your truck.
Do you know what to do when the nights are closing in and sales drop?
Luckily, we do. Ready to find out what kind of holiday marketing you need to do to keep your customer base healthy? Then check out our list of holiday marketing tips and keep on truckin’!
Offer Seasonal Variations of Your Food and Drinks
One surefire way to keep customers hooked is by changing your menu for the holidays. If you’re the only food truck offering that must-have food or drink, customers will come regardless of the weather.
In the UK, food trucks often carry a full roast dinner in a Yorkshire Pudding wrap, complete with gravy, at Christmas. It’s been a huge success over there, and that kind of creative thinking plays just as well this side of the pond.
We’re not only talking about putting pumpkin spice in your coffee, either. Come up with some fun holiday promo ideas, like eggnog lattes, or Christmas-themed burritos. Fit a pizza oven in your truck, and offer holiday-themed topping choices.
Use Ideas Associated with the Holidays in Your Ads
Don’t just stick with the same ads that you use for the rest of the year. Run special holiday ads in your area. Get some photos of your truck in snow, or even add some digital snowflakes to your ad.
Create a cozy atmosphere and get on Google or Facebook Ads and target your local following. Let your customers know where you’re going to be and when, and tell them about your holiday specials.
You should also consider offering coupons. While these bite into your profit margins, creating holiday-themed offers will help attract customers.
You could give customers a two-for-one deal on certain days, letting them share their food with friends and loved ones for free. Market this as promoting seasonal goodwill to all.
Create a Loyalty Program
This is fantastic all year round, but during the holidays, it can really help you out. Give your customers points for every sale, and give them a free dish once they’ve hit a certain number of points.
When customers sign up for the program, ask for their email. When you’ve got a list of customer emails, create a regular newsletter. Promote your new foods, run contests, and offer exclusive discounts.
You could also offer customers access to a VIP event if they hit a certain number of points. Organize a seasonal party a few days before Christmas, invite your most loyal customers, and give them free food. You’ll make a bit of cash from drink sales, but most importantly, you’ll increase customer loyalty.
Your food truck doesn’t have to be out on the sidewalk. Is there a big event coming up, or a wedding? Lots of corporate holiday parties are going on during this time of year. Start offering your services for these celebrations.
During the Christmas season, focus on running holiday campaigns. Let customers know that you can cater to their office Christmas party, or set up shop at a local Christmas market.
Sure, you’ll have to take a day out of your normal business, but you should make just as much profit, if not more.
Everyone is celebrating during this period. Events offer a steady stream of business.
Keep Your Instagram Profile On Point
You shouldn’t upload the same images to Instagram all year round. Keep it friendly, relatable, and most of all, fun.
Looking for holiday marketing ideas for your Instagram? It could be as simple as having your crew dress up in ugly Christmas sweaters. If you’ve got a pet dog, upload a picture of them with some antlers on.
Got special packaging for the holidays? Upload a picture of it when you have the stock. Essentially, get people in the mood for two things: the holidays and your food.
Segment Your Customers
Customer segmentation is a key skill. While you should be using it all year round, it’s especially effective during the holidays.
Facebook and Google both let you segment your customers, and target a certain age group or profession with your messaging.
Think of what is involved in finding, getting to, and ordering from your truck, and who finds it especially tiring. For example, consider targeting older people who are more likely to be grandparents. Park near the hot spots for holiday shopping and encourage them to come by your food truck while they’re out shopping for their grandchildren’s gifts.
Give a Percentage of Profits to Charity
The holidays are a season of giving, and that applies to businesses too. Think of a cause that you’re passionate about.
Maybe you’d like to help homeless people stay warm and fed this winter. Maybe you care profoundly about animals or helping the hungry get some extra food in their bellies.
Take a small percentage of your profits and donate them to charity. This is great for a number of reasons:
- You’ll getting more involved in your community and helping others.
- Customers will prefer buying from you, knowing that you’re helping out the less fortunate.
- Featuring your donations in your holiday marketing will help spread word of mouth about your food truck.
Final Thoughts on Holiday Marketing
Holiday marketing is essential. You want to make sure that your content is relatable and fun. Share in the holiday spirit, and offer additional incentives to get customers to your food truck.
You’ll have to get creative if you want to hit summer customer numbers, but it’s possible!
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For more food truck advice and inspiration, check out the rest of our blog here.