Lesson 6: Food Trucks

A food truck may seem like a big investment, but it can also give you the mobility you need to reach a bigger audience for your creations. It’s a big step, but hopefully, this lesson will give you food for thought.



Food Trucks


Marketing and advertising a food truck is a little different than a Cottage Food operation or food booth. Your location is mobile, and customers no longer have the luxury of you delivering their orders.

As such, it’s important that you keep your current customers up-to-date on where you will be next. This includes the hundreds of prospective customers who see your rolling billboard – your truck – on the highway.


We’ve covered websites in other sections and even have a Web Academy dedicated to the subject of creating an affordable, effective website. So we won’t spend too much time here on the technical issues.

Suffice it to say that a schedule of appearances on your website is one of the best strategies you can have for building and keeping a customer base. If someone visits your site and sees the last update was May 3, 2023, they may falsely assume you’ve gone out of business instead of being woefully behind on website updates.

Social Media

Social media is by far the easiest and lowest-cost way to build a fan base. You can let followers know what you’re up to, the new products you’re rolling out, and where your truck will be in the days and weeks to come. Social media is only as valuable as your attention to it. You need to post regularly and make sure the dates and times are accurate. No one wants to show up at a place you’re supposed to be selling, only to find an empty space.

You can also build interest and relationships by soliciting reviews, creating polls and asking customers to post photos and feedback. You can also introduce loyalty programs and giveaways on your social media platforms. While you’re at it, remind customers to share your page, posts and #hashtags with their family and friends.

Which social media platforms should you focus on? Here are some possibilities:

Yelp: This is the de facto hangout for food businesses. Your Yelp page can feature customer reviews, photos, menus and pricing.

Facebook: A great choice to build relationships, post your schedule of appearances, create special events and respond to customer questions.

‘X’: Keeping up with all the Tweets can be very time-consuming, but it is a place to build brand awareness and connect. The challenge is getting through all the noise on ‘X’ and finding a way to stand out without becoming controversial.

Instagram: Think of it as Visual Facebook. Instagram allows you to build rapport with customers, repost their photos, gain attention from influencers and create short videos that can be shared.

TikTok: If you like to shoot and share videos, TikTok is the place for you. Share videos of meal prep, events, setting up the food truck and tips on ordering.

 You’ve probably noticed that the platforms are skewed toward a younger demographic. This is intentional. Middle-class Millennials are the primary target audience for food trucks. According to research, 43% of all food truck spending is made by 25 to 44-year-olds, and 20% comes from those under 25.

What is this demographic looking for?

      • They want a quick and delicious meal option and the ability to order ahead.
      • Small Business Support. They want to support small and local businesses rather than spending their money at national chains.
      • New foods. They want to sample cuisines and flavorings without committing to a sit-down experience that may be costly and not that delicious.
      • Discovering the latest food finds offers these customers prestige with their peers who see them as influencers.
      • Food trucks offer customers to share a sense of community. It is as much a social experience as it is a culinary one.


In most communities, parking areas are designated for food trucks. You can’t just pull into an empty spot and a street and start selling. But as long as you follow local guidelines and laws and have the proper permits, shoot for high-traffic areas near businesses, college campuses, medical centers, public parks or special events. This will increase foot traffic past and bring in customers who happen to be passing by.


Make sure that your menu items are readable. Write in big letters and use high-contrast or neon colors. Chalkboards are an excellent choice (except when it’s raining), but so are whiteboards and dayglow pens. Keep it simple, and be sure to include the price. No one wants to spend time in line only to find that you’re asking more for the item they want than they are willing to pay.


If you have the correct permits, think about catering. Company retreats or parties, weddings, conferences, wineries and breweries all offer you a chance to introduce your business to new audiences. Concerts in the park, outdoor movie nights, museums and farmer’s markets are other potential venues.

Food Truck Events

Some communities have special food truck events where residents can listen to music and choose items from several food trucks in attendance. Just be sure that you aren’t the fourth food truck selling pizza. Before you sign on, see who else will be there.

Food Truck Apps

Your target audience is probably already using a food truck app. There are dozens to choose from, and it may take some experimenting to figure out which one draws the most business to your operation. As you interact with customers, ask them how they found you and keep an informal list of responses.

Most major cities have their own food truck apps, but if you are in suburban or rural areas, you may have to check out several apps to see how their listings work or go the old-fashioned route and focus on your website and social media presence.


Food Biz Academy

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Academy Staff