All American Hotdog Menu
Okay, so you've tweaked your menu to echo the eco-food trend that's taking place across the country. But is all of the hard work that you put into maintaining the same great prices (when possible) with meals that have fewer miles transparent to your customers? If not, it might be time to change up your menu so that your customers can easily detect the more sustainable choices they desire.
But how can you do this? Simply renaming items may detract from the customer loyalty that you've built up, if they assume that you've changed their favorites too much – of if they fear that local foods won't be as tasty. Instead, you may want to indicate eco factors in other ways, such as using emoticons or other symbols. You can also specify which foods are healthy, gluten free, and locally grown in this fashion, as well.
One interesting way to show your customers just how local your ingredients are is to post the number of miles that each dish comes from, with all of its ingredients' miles added up. In this way, your food truck can show its concern for both the local community and the carbon footprint it's leaving behind. Or, if you'd like to do present your mobile food stand's sustainability practices in a less quantitative style to your customer base you can use footprints besides each dish, where the footprint represents a range of miles between where your catering truck is located and the ingredients' origins, and the number of footprints indicates the number of times the dish exceeds the standard range. For example, if a footprint represents 50 miles, a meal with 160 miles would have three footprints next to it.
Furthermore, you can (and should!) also indicate the sustainability practices that pertain to your food trailer's operations – that are in addition to or substitute of locally grown ingredients - obvious in your marketing tools. These tools include your menus, your truck's exterior, your social media sites and your company's website. Your efforts will not only encourage the consumption of more eco-friendly dishes, but it will also raise awareness around your community on the impacts of your business's decisions.
And to start a conversation between your business and the community is the easiest way to get attention both on and offline. Your actions will get people talking – and that's key to the success of any new, entrepreneurial business venture.
We see this ecological food trend taking place at other large food corporations, as well, such as McDonald's and Subway. However, the Sustainability Reports that these fast food restaurants create are not usually at the forefront of their businesses' structures, and therefore make little difference to customers. What you, as a food truck business owner, have the power to do is put this information right in the face and hands of those making the purchase decisions, and use this strategy as a reason that they should choose your food truck over the next eatery a few steps away.