Want to be part of a popular cultural trend while expanding your business and reaching more customers, without the price tag of opening another storefront?
Consider adding a food truck.
While food trucks come with their own costs and administrative hurdles, they also come with quite a few perks, including visibility and flexibility. Food trucks can give you a presence at major events, introduce your brand to new audiences, and boost your social media impact. Check out these successful bakery food trucks for inspiration:
French artisan baker Lionel Vatinet’s bakery, La Farm, in Cary, North Carolina (outside of Raleigh), sends its bread truck around the metro area with La Farm’s award-winning breads as well as sandwiches. La Farm capitalizes on the compatibility of food trucks and social media: the bread truck has its own Twitter account, @lafarmtruck, with almost a thousand followers. Note: La Farm also offers classes at their bakery.
My Delight Cupcakery’s custom-built food truck is specially outfitted for transporting thousands of cupcakes. The truck launched two years after their brick-and-mortar storefront in Ontario, California, and carries their cupcakes — and their brand — to neighboring cities and events in Southern California.
@MyDelightTruck has over 4,000 followers, and a Twitter feed full of gorgeous photos that would make any Twitter user hungry.
Renee LaLonde didn’t start with a storefront, but with a product, Bacon JAM!. To expand the business she’d begun with Bacon JAM!, she kickstarted her Bakin’ Bakery food truck, using photography and design to tell a compelling story that led to successful funding. The food truck tweets @ReneeLaLonde, but it’s much more active on Instagram, where Renee’s gorgeous photos and welcoming personality — along with her very photogenic dog — pull in dozens of likes apiece and multiple comments from devoted fans.
Foodtruckr talks about Renee’s successful Kickstarter campaign here.
I asked Renee about her experience with the Bakin’ Bakery truck, and here’s what she had to say:
TPO: What’s the best thing your food truck has done for your business?
Renee: Mobility! Rolling around and serving the Denver metro area. It’s given me the ability to share my unique offerings with those that wouldn’t necessarily seek out the food I create. From that mobility I’ve gained a ‘cult-like’ following. A following that motivates me every day to push through and continue doing what I’m doing.
TPO: What’s the single most important thing to know about having a food truck?
Renee: Costs. Mechanical costs. After completing a full year of food truck business I had to take out another loan for a new engine. It’s the unexpected costs that can truly test your will to continue. If it weren’t for my family, friends and devoted customers I would have thrown in the towel this past spring. My goddess am I glad I didn’t. Stay positive, believe in yourself and love what you do. Life is magical and there are so many amazing humans out there. Vulnerability is a positive attribute, embrace it.
There you have it. Thinking of investing in a food truck? Let us know how it goes!