Food Vending Trailers – Beginner's Guide to the Mobile Food Industry

June 30, 2017

Set Your Mobile Business up for Success with Look’s Mobile Food Trailers

The mobile food industry is growing exponentially, and for food and business entrepreneurs, it is a great time to embark on the journey and invest in starting a mobile food business. Mobile food trailers are rising in popularity, because they represent a local, fresh, authentic, all-in-one convenient dining experience. Research indicates that food-vending trailers are not just a fad, but a viable market segment with significant competitive advantages relative to quick serve, fast food and take-out food vendors. Food vending businesses are reaping rewards and success from the healthy eating movement nation-wide, and the growing revenue potential indicates that patrons do enjoy the experience, speed, and convenience—while still being willing to pay more for the quality over the fast-food competition. While there are always risks associated with launching a new small business, mobile food businesses have tapped into powerful consumer trends and forfeit overhead risks associated with brick and mortar restaurants. 

Before you embark on taking your custom-built food trailer out on the road, we’re serving up a beginners’ guide to the mobile food industry. Taking advantage of the opportunities to test new products in real-time with daily menus, social media, and geolocation tools, mobile food business owners can broadcast new food concepts, while being easily found in unique and often changing locations. These trends, coupled with low costs and a flexible business model, will continue to drive food trailers to success. Start or improve your mobile food business with Look Trailer’s fully customizable food vending trailers and these practical beginner tips. 

Select Your Niche Cuisine

It isn’t very sustainable or efficient to offer more than 8-10 regular menu items, in which case, many consumers typically have an expectation that mobile food trailers are each cooking up one specific cuisine. To start, find a need for a food that a specific group of consumers wants, but can’t necessarily get at a big chain restaurant or other food truck. As a beginner, it may be impossible initially to compete with other established competitors, so find out where other mobile food trailers aren’t setting up shop yet and make your footprint. There are a number of different niches in which your business might be able to fit, so be honest about the cuisine you’re passionate about. Begin by asking yourself some basic questions about the local area in which you anticipate working:

  • What food is already available and what types of food are missing?
  • What are people willing to spend on a meal, a drink or a handmade treat?
  • What ethnicities are present?
  • What is the competition doing?
  • What are customers looking for from mobile food vendors?

Experience as a consumer in this market is valuable.  Answering these questions might come easier once you step into the shoes of your potential customers to determine what people in your community want, and what they’re willing to pay for it. Seek to become a source of focused interest in your community, knowing that your food trailer doesn’t need to appeal to large masses in order to build a strong customer base. The look of your food trailer and the cuisine offered just need to stand out from the rest.

Build an Online Following

Quality, unique cuisine and service with a smile are still very important, but if no one knows you’re serving, you’re leaving it up to chance that they even find you. Having an online presence even as a mobile, in-person business establishment can broaden your customer base. Promoting your food trailer business online will inform people in your own area, where you are and what you’re cooking. If your food vending trailer caters events, your website and social channels are the perfect places to let people know. A robust branding and marketing plan may not be necessary to market your business well, but you’ll want to identify some top methods for attracting customers and promoting your business. Start by identifying marketing strategies you can use to spread the word and attract a loyal following. 

  • Social Media is an essential tool for a mobile food business to succeed - Twitter, Instagram, Foursquare, and Facebook are necessary marketing tools for mobile food entrepreneurs to stay in touch with their customers and fans. Twitter specifically has become a favorite of mobile food vendors. Continually updating your fan following on your location schedule, menu updates, and savory food images will ensure your following keeps you in mind when their mouths start watering for some unique, local cuisine.

  • Giveaways are one tried and true means of building a following, as well as hype for a product or promotion. Consider giveaways announced online and via social channels as a means of generating a crowd and developing a following of enthusiasts that will also rave about your business and food.

  • Contests can engage users, both online as well as from your food trailer. Create a contest for someone to name your latest menu item. Prizes can be simple enough to convince fans to participate. Make a big deal about the drawing of the winner so fans will be on hand and purchasing your food while the contest takes place.

Select the Perfect Trailer for Food Sales 

Look Trailer’s fully custom-built food trailers can be personalized from top-to-bottom. They come fully equipped with standard features and upgradable options to perfectly suit your mobile food business look and cuisine needs. These cargo trailers can easily provide the load capacity for heavy equipment, with a payload capacity of 1,575- to 5,030-lbs. Thanks to the experienced engineers at Look Trailers, you’ll rest assured your food vending trailer is ready for busy days, long summer nights, and cross-country travel. Consider some of the available custom options that can be added to your food trailer: 

  • Additional concession windows to engage with customers and provide efficiency with an order window and a separate food-serving window.

  • Add ladder racks to store essential equipment when not in use.

  • Include a 15” radial spare tire and carrier to ensure a safe arrival at your destination.

  • Nine color options: from indigo blue to a striking victory red, make your business stand out from the crowd.

Look’s flat top food vending trailers can be transformed to fit almost any mobile food business’ need. Select from our mobile food trailer options and customize your trailer to best suit your business. 

If you’re ready to get your mobile food trailer on the road, choose one of these customizable vending trailers to help you gain attention and rack up the sales. Visit a nearby Look Trailer dealer and start representing the right way.