5 Winter Strategies To Grow Your Food Truck Business
A mobile business offers many advantages over a traditional brick and mortar restaurant. In cities with high foot traffic like New York, for example, a food truck is a more cost-effective way to get your dishes into people’s hands across different neighborhoods and boroughs.
However, with all the benefits that food trucks provide, there are also significant challenges that you may face given the outdoor nature of your business. As the winter season approaches, food truck owners should be asking themselves, ‘how do I keep my food truck business running in cold and snowy weather?’ Or to take this question one step further, ‘how do I keep my business thriving during these chillier months?’
Thanks to our experience working directly with hundreds of New York City’s food trucks, we have the answers!
In this blog, we will be your guide to running a food truck during the winter season. Not only will we tackle the ways you should optimize your food truck equipment for the winter, but we will also offer strategies you can implement to actually grow your business during these harsher winter months.
How to Adjust Your Food Truck Business Model For the Winter Season
1. Optimize Your Equipment
Like we mentioned before, optimizing your food truck equipment for the winter months is a sure way to keep business booming. Here are three vital steps:
Invest in Snow Tires
Driving in the snow is a feat— avoid breakdowns by investing in a good set of snow tires. Snow tires make sure that your vehicle doesn’t slip or slide and damage any food. Taking that alone into account, you’ll find that this $100-500 investment really pays off!
Check, Fill, and Replace Fluids
When winter starts, it’s necessary to check, fill, and replace fluids that keep your food truck running. So, remember to check the levels of your fluids regularly to ensure optimal performance of your food truck!
Fluids you need to check include:
- Windshield Wiper Fluid
- Transmission Fluid
- Power Steering Fluid
- Brake Fluid
- Engine Oil
Consider consulting a professional to get a better handle on this. An experienced person ensures a comprehensive analysis of fluids and gives you a peace of mind! Plus, proactivity can be the difference that makes your winter season profitable.
Apply Anti-Freeze in the Water Lines
As far as food truck plumbing, things get more complicated during the cold months— especially at freezing temperatures. Water tanks and lines are susceptible to becoming frozen and causing blocks. To avoid this, pour a non-toxic anti-freeze agent to the fresh water tank and let it drain through all taps.
2. Offer Winter Specials and Deals
A small incentive goes a long way. When you’re asking customers to wait outside in the cold, you should think about offering a winter special to keep people happy and your business profitable during the off-season. A discount, a 2 for 1 deal— whatever it is, your customers will appreciate a reward for their patience.
3. Create a Seasonal Menu
In addition to discounts, creating a seasonal food truck menu can really help you embrace the winter season and drive up sales. Seasonal drinks like pumpkin spice lattés, peppermint tea, or hot chocolate can play into the cold weather in a way that makes you more appealing to passerbyers and potential customers.
4. Find a Regular Stop
Even if you invest in a good snow tires, winter weather can be really unpredictable and challenging. Limit your movement by finding one (or a few) regular, bustling spots where your food truck can park. Being in a more permanent spot can help you gain returning customers because people are more likely to see you on their route home or to work, or they simply know where to find you from word-of-mouth.
Make sure that this location is visible, so that you minimize how much work potential customers have to do to find you!
5. Expand to Catering
Last but not least, you should expand to catering. Forgo the unpredictable nature of running a food truck business alone during this time of the year and shift more towards a guaranteed customer base through profitable, large-scale catering gigs.
How? Well, the most reliable and innovative way of getting business through catering is by becoming a New York Food Truck Association member. The New York Food Truck Association connects hundreds of New York food trucks to different catering events in the area. We take the pressure off both food truck owners and event planners by being the middleman that coordinates the tedious logistics of catering.
By working with us, you’ll have your doors opened to a world of special events in New York City that you may have not been aware of before! If you’re interested, fill out our new member form to get in touch with our team!
Running a food truck business doesn’t come without its challenges, especially in the winter season. This year, don’t settle for a drop in sales, and instead, employ some of the advice we gave you to keep your business booming.
To guarantee an influx of business, become one of our members and join a network of the best food trucks in New York City!
Learn about the history of the New York Food Truck Association. From how we got our start, our vision for the food truck scene, and so much more, get direct insight from a conversation with our President and CEO Ben Goldberg.
Food truck catering is an excellent way to elevate your event. Aside from the conveniency and cost-effectiveness of food trucks, mobile catering gives you the opportunity to choose a food truck design to match your event aesthetic. As a party host, this is a win-win: in addition to feeding your guests gourmet meals, food trucks are a way to decorate at the same time!
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