What Is the Target Market for Food Trucks?
Before you park your food truck and serve your first meal, you need a business plan. The blueprint tells you where, when, and how you’ll serve food. The business plan should also include your biggest ally: a target audience.
If you’re wondering how to define your food truck’s target market, you’re not alone. Every food truck operator needs to find the right people for their menu. Here’s how Truckster suggests incorporating a target audience into your business plan.
Consider Your Menu
Your menu sets the tone for your food truck. It reflects your core competencies and culinary mission. If you establish a gourmet hotdog and brats operation, you’ll attract plenty of foodies and businesspeople. The menu may turn off everyday Americans who expect to pay $2 for a hotdog and vegetarians and vegans who want meat-free alternatives.
The composition of your menu says a lot about your audience. Some items, like pizza and pasta, have universal appeal, so your desired customers can span across all generations, income levels, and backgrounds. If you have a truck that serves niche food, like vegan or Venezuelan dishes, you’re homing in on a smaller but arguably more passionate crowd. Read our blog on How Many Items Should be on a Food Truck Menu to learn more about good practices for perfecting your menu.
Determine the Target Demographic
Determining your target demographic involves coming up with a semblance of your average customer. That means gauging their tastes, spending habits, and the unique selling points that attract them. Some of the categories you’ll use to build your average customer include:
- Interests and lifestyle
- Job status
- Marital status
- Size of household
These factors can inform your business choices and even the food you serve. You may look at the information and find potential customers because no one is serving that food nearby. For instance, if there’s a sizeable Venezuelan population in your town but no Venezuelan vendors, you have a golden opportunity.
Don’t forget to factor your geographic location into business decisions. Selling hot cocoa won’t fare well in warm climates like Phoenix and Houston. Similarly, chilled gazpacho doesn’t have a great chance of success in northern cities like Minneapolis or Boston.
Some questions to ask yourself when identifying a target market include:
- How many people are in your potential market?
- How many competitors are in your local market? How many serve similar food?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses compared to competitors?
- What are your pricing and gross margin targets?
- What’s your plan for attracting more customers after opening?
- Have you done a soft open? What were the results?
- What sources are you using to calculate your target market?
Leverage Social Media
Social media can make or break a food truck. Harnessing the connective power of Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms gives you intimate access to legions of loyal followers. If you haven’t already created accounts on all the major social media sites, you should.
Each platform comes with advertising resources that let you tailor your ads to your desired consumers. If your average customer is an affluent, college-educated man in his 40s, you can customize your content to people like that. The pinpoint accuracy lets you get the most out of your advertising dollars when targeting your ideal audience.
Have a Plan and a Target
A successful food truck understands its target market. It delivers one-of-a-kind food that people can’t find anywhere else. The key to bridging opportunities and getting results is a detailed business plan that outlines who you’ll target and how.
Do you want to connect with more customers? Do you want to expand your digital presence and develop more catering leads? Download the Truckster Vendor App and start building a better business today.
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