Anyone familiar with food trucks knows that up north where the weather turns cold in winter, most trucks close. From about November to April food trucks avoid frigid temperatures and snow. However, these months do not need to be wasted for your business. Down season is a great time to focus on improving your business ideas, menu and branding.
If you are looking to get involved in the quickly growing food truck industry, this is also a great time to purchase a used truck, or trailer. While there are a number of factors to consider when investing in such a large purchase, one of the largest factors to consider is the food truck seasons in your area.
On and Off Seasons can strongly affect the price of used food trucks for sale. They can also cause a large dip in your income which can be a hard hit for many truck owners. So, what can you do to take full advantage of the off season? Keep reading
In most areas of the United States food trucks can be found serving up delicious food from spring through early fall. With the winter being the down period, most owners use the time to make repairs or upgrades to their trucks and trailers. Some owners however, decide with the season coming to a close that their food truck is no longer their dream.
A huge number of used food trucks can be found around the time the temperatures drop and sales decline (between October and May). Not only will there be an increase in number of available vehicles, but it is very likely you can find a very good deal on a used truck that may only be a few years old. Some owners may decide to sell their food trucks and move onto other ventures. These sellers may be more willing to haggle with you, allowing you to find the most reasonably priced truck to fit your vision.
Purchasing your food truck during the off season allows you the time to revamp the old décor or interior machinery to fit your business. No two food trucks are the same and it is likely that you will need to remodel. However, when you see a food truck for sale do not instantly assume that the changes needed are too much to take on. So long as you have an indoor garage to work in you can have anywhere from 3-6 months to work on it even if you buy in the winter. This gives time to not rush things and ensure your brand, menu, and employees are in order. You want to have your mobile eatery ready at the very start of the season around May so be sure to bring the projects to a close around April.
The Fall and spring are great times to explore a new addition or two to the menu. In the fall, farmer’s fields are full of squash like butternut and pumpkin, and orchards are brimming with apples. Perhaps you could offer a squash bisque or an apple crisp to hungry patrons.
Adding these new items will add a new sense of excitement for your regulars, and pull in new customers with something unique. While many ingredients can be found year-round, planning your menu around seasonal items from Morton’s Traditional Taste for example, can actually keep your costs down while potentially raising profits.
So, it’s late November and there is no way you can bear one more day on your food truck watching your customers grow icicles on their noses as they wait for food. Instead of just calling it quits and waiting until April to re-open for business, you could construct a way to move your delicious food indoors. Offering catering services at weddings and other such get togethers are great ways to maintain a stream of income throughout the year..
Event catering can help you maintain your income throughout the year. If you are stationed in or near a city, chances are the local businesses already recognize your truck and your name. By offering your services for hire you can gain more exposure and come into contact with people who have not yet experienced what your brand has to offer.
Even though your truck may not be on the roads, you need to keep your company’s image in the customer’s mind. Social Media and word of mouth are crucial in food truck marketing. Weekly posts and promotions can keep customers excited for the upcoming season.
Weekly posting may seem counterintuitive during the off season but even a picture of your food or a list of what items will be available in the spring are enough to keep them interested in what you have to offer. Social media can help generate a buzz around your company, and help you reach more potential customers in the long run.
The cold winter months don’t have to be all downtime. Use this time to make improvements to your truck, plan new menu items, unify your branding and get ready to hit the road and bring joy to hungry customers in spring.