WHAT TO KNOW WHEN STARTING A FOOD TRAILER: Part 1/6 - Knowing your Customers
When starting a food trailer business, one of the most important considerations is understanding your target market, AKA your customer base.
Your target market is the group of people that you plan to sell your food to, so naturally its important to understand who these people are, what age group, what income bracket, what options do they seem to like in the area, etc. Are we serving a high income neighborhood, but with low cost expectations? are we serving a neighborhood who has never tried al pastor before? Are the customers you plan to serve from a generation that likes more traditional food, or perhaps a young crowd who is more concerned with the latest trend to post on Instagram.
Here are a few foundational questions that every food truck, or mobile food cart owner should be asking;
WHO ARE THEY?
The first step in understanding your target market is identifying who they are.
Are they mainly young professionals?
Are they families with young children?
Are they tourists visiting your city?
Knowing the demographics of your food cart's target market, such as age, income, and occupation, can help you make important decisions, such as what types of food to serve, where to park your food trailer, and how to market your mobile business.
WHAT FOOD DO THEY ENJOY?
Once you have a clear understanding of who your target market is, it's essential to know what type of food they typically enjoy.
Are they looking for quick, casual meals or are they looking for more upscale options?
Are they looking for healthy options or are they looking for indulgent treats?
Knowing what type of food your target market is looking for will help you make decisions about what to serve on your menu and how to price your menu items for your food trailer.
Location is also an important aspect of understanding your target market for any mobile business.
Where are your customers most likely to be found?
Are they mainly in a busy downtown area or are they more likely to be found in residential areas?
Knowing where your target market can be found will help you decide where to park your food trailer and will help you reach them more effectively through marketing.
CUSTOMER PROBLEM SOLVER
It's also important to know what your target market's pain points are, or the problems they are looking to solve when they are choosing to eat at your food trailer.
Are they looking for a quick, convenient meal?
Are they looking for something different and unique?
Knowing what problem your target market is trying to solve will help you create a menu and marketing strategy that addresses their needs.
LOCAL CUSTOMER TRENDS
In addition to understanding your target market, it's also important to keep an eye on trends in the food industry.
Are there certain types of food or cuisines that are becoming more popular nearby?
Are there any new food trends emerging locally?
Keeping an eye on industry trends will help you stay competitive and ensure that your menu and marketing strategy stay relevant.
Lastly, it's important to gather feedback from your customers and use it to improve your business. Ask for feedback from your customers through surveys, social media, or in person. Use this feedback to make changes to your menu, pricing, or marketing strategy that will better serve your target market.
In conclusion, understanding your target market is a crucial step in starting a food trailer business.
By identifying your target market, understanding what type of food they enjoy, knowing where they can be found, and keeping an eye on industry trends, you can make informed decisions that will help your business succeed.
Additionally, gathering feedback from your customers and using it to improve your business is important to stay relevant and meet the needs of your target market. With a clear understanding of your target market, you can create a menu and marketing strategy that will attract and retain customers, ultimately leading to the success of your food trailer business.
If you sit down and focus for a brief moment, learning the ins and outs of your customer base, many questions will come to mind that can help better pin point your customers, and as a byproduct better serve them, which is a key to your food trailer's success.