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New Food Trucks

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EricW //

It's a very rare day that goes by that we do not add at least one new listing on for a food truck that is hitting the road for the first time. 

And, I've been fortunate enough to actually meet many food truckers on their first, or one of their first, few days. Actually anytime I visit a food truck it's a pretty fine experience for me!  

However, last week I had an excellent and fun experience. I was the very first paying customer on the very first official day for O'Crepe, a new food truck in Providence, specializing in sweet and savory crepes. As someone who really enjoys supporting the food truck industry, it is always especially good to catch up with food trucks that have recently hit the road. And, in this case of O'Crepe, it felt additionally helpful and satisfying to list them on as well as provide them with the tools to let potential new customers know where they will be Serving Now, and also to be their very first first paying customer!

That all got me thinking. Since food trucks are obviously mobile it's much more difficult for them to draw attention to their grand openings and to celebrate their being new, and open for business!  For any stationary business, of course, when they open the doors for the first time, there's usually a period of time of construction that passersby can see, or it's easy to notice a new business that opens up in a previously empty space. There's that pre-opening "process" and then, naturally, there can be the fanfare of the opening itself.  As we know, one of the most appealing things about food trucks is that they are mobile, but there is no way for a customer to distinguish and know the difference between a food truck that is pulling up to a location for the very first time or if it's a food truck that has, shall we say, been around the block a few times!  

In thinking about it, I've come up with some suggestions for new food trucks 

Before you open your window to paying customers do some test runs. Have friends and family over for a night or two in your driveway to test your point of sale equipment and your ticket time (the amount of time it takes from when the order is placed until it is handed through the window to the customer). Perhaps, take your new show on the road to a local park and give away a few meals to get some feedback, and to get some real, hands on experience of going through the process of pulling up, setting up and opening the window. Then, when you're ready for your first real service open loud and proud! Have balloons; write it all on a chalkboard and/or print and distribute flyers. 

Let your customers share in the excitement and joy of your first lunch service, first day, and first week. Of course when you're ready, there's nothing wrong with planning an official grand opening event!