Now that you have a food truck, it’s time to start thinking about how you can expand your mobile business beyond street vending. Festivals and local fairs are a natural fit for food truck vendors, and once you’re bitten by the festival bug, you may decide to kiss food street sales goodbye for good.
Get Your Food Truck a Festival Spot
Canada has an array of festivals, including ones that celebrate music, film, comedy, and folk traditions. Most festivals have some kind of food vending action going on, but they may not offer space for your food truck. Since you’re new to the festival circuit, securing a spot at a Canadian food truck festival is a great way to introduce people to your mobile culinary delights.
An organization called Canadian Food Truck Festivals arranges annual foodie festivals in several cities, including Toronto, Burlington, and Pickering. These festivals are a great way to expose throngs of hungry festival-goers to your food and get them hooked, and they help raise funds for the SickKids charity. Competition is probably stiff for the 40 or so spots, so the earlier you contact event organizers, the better.
Let event organizers know you’re interested in participating, and tell them what type of food you sell. Organizers want menu variety, and this may play a role in your acceptance or denial. If spots are available, find out as much as possible about location, and ask if they require a food vendor fee. Consider whatever fee you have to pay a worthwhile investment in exchange for broader exposure for your business.
Some Events Are Better Than Others
As you ponder which fairs and festivals to attend, it’s best to be choosy about which ones are worth the time and effort. Generally, the more people attending an event, the more money you make. Get into the habit of evaluating each festival based on attendance, number of food transactions you expect to make, and cost of goods.
Spread the Word
Once you know you’re going to a festival, use your social media accounts to blast the news out to the world. This is exciting stuff, and you want people to know that they can get their hands on your scrumptious fast food while having a great time at the event. Start mentioning your participation at least 30 days in advance, and post something about it each day, as well as the day of the event, to draw crowds. Posting pics of captivating items on your flexible menu is sure to get people drooling.
Get Repeat Customers
You’re at the festival, and people are loving your food. There’s just one problem. While many of these customers may remember your food, few will remember the name of your business. What can you do to make your truck easy to remember?
If you want people to look for your food truck the next time they visit that same event, make it easy by adding your cool logo to paper serving plates, paper wrappers, cups, and free menus. Create buzz by giving away a fun, inexpensive branded item to the first 10 people who buy one of your specials.
Bringing your food truck to festivals and fairs is a sure-fire way to expose new customers to your delicious food. A good branding strategy keeps them coming back for more.