WHAT TO KNOW WHEN STARTING A FOOD TRAILER: Part 2/6 - Knowing your COMPETITION
When starting a food trailer business, it's important to understand your local competition. Knowing who your competitors are, what they offer, and how they operate can help you make informed decisions about your own business strategy and set yourself apart from the competition.
WHAT FOOD TRUCKS ARE IN THE AREA?
The first step in understanding your local competition is identifying who they are. Research the food trailers and carts that operate in your area and take note of their menus, prices, and locations. Look for patterns in the types of food they serve, the price points they offer, and the areas they tend to park in. This information will help you identify gaps in the market that you can fill with your own unique offerings.
WHAT'S IN A MENU?
Next, it's important to study your competitors' menus. Look for what types of food they serve, how they prepare it, and the quality of the ingredients they use. By studying your competitors' menus, you can identify popular items that you could offer a unique spin on or areas where you can offer a different type of cuisine. For example, if most of the food trucks in your area serve Mexican food, you may consider offering a different type of cuisine, such as Korean or Indian, to stand out from the competition.
THE PRICE IS RIGHT
It's also important to pay attention to your competitors' pricing strategies. Look for patterns in the prices they charge and the portions they offer. This will give you an idea of the price range your customers are willing to pay and how you can position your own prices to be competitive. It's important to note that pricing isn't just about being the cheapest option, but rather finding the right balance between quality, portion size, and price.
WHAT'S THE NORM?
In addition to studying your competitors' menus and pricing, it's important to understand their operational strategies. Look for patterns in the areas they park in, the hours they operate, and the marketing channels they use to reach customers. By understanding your competitors' operational strategies, you can identify areas where you can differentiate yourself. For example, if most of the food trucks in your area operate during the lunch rush, you may consider operating during different hours to capture a different customer base.
WHAT'S YOUR BRAND?
Another important aspect to consider is your competitors' branding and marketing strategies. Look for patterns in their visual identity, social media presence, and overall messaging. This will give you an idea of the types of messages that resonate with your local audience and how you can differentiate yourself through branding and marketing. For example, if most of the food trucks in your area have a fun and playful brand image, you may consider positioning yourself as a more upscale or health-conscious option to appeal to a different segment of the market.
KNOW THY CUSTOMER
Lastly, it's important to gather feedback from your customers about your competition. Ask your customers about their experiences with other food trucks and trailers in the area, and use this feedback to inform your own business strategy. Pay attention to complaints or areas where customers feel like the competition is lacking, and use this information to position your own offerings as a solution.
In conclusion, understanding your local competition is a crucial step in starting a food trailer business. By identifying who your competitors are, studying their menus, pricing, and operational strategies, and understanding their branding and marketing, you can make informed decisions about your own food cart business strategy and differentiate yourself from the competition. Additionally, gathering feedback from your customers about your competitor's mobile business can help you identify areas where you can improve your own offerings and better serve your target market. With a clear understanding of your local competition, you can position yourself for success in the competitive world of food trailers.