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Post: Who is the Target Market for a Food Truck?



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Thinking about starting a food truck business? One of the most important steps in writing a food truck business plan is to know your target customer. Regardless of the type of food you will serve, your food truck business is likely to have a certain target customer.

It takes time to create a profit when you start a food truck business. After you’ve considered the start-up costs, you’ll also need to consider any permits, licensing, and regular operating costs. Factor in the cost of gasoline, insurance, and maintenance for your truck.

There are about 36,000 food truck businesses in the U.S. and that number is growing. However, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for new and unique food trucks to enter the market. To reach your food truck business goals, you’ve got to take the right steps. 

It’s crucial to the success of your food truck business to market your business to the right type of customer. You’ll want to design a menu, create a website, and consider how you might collaborate with the community to find customers.

But who exactly is your customer? Who is most likely to eat from a food truck? Here are some examples of the people that are most likely to eat from a food truck. These individuals represent your target customer or your target market.

Middle-Class Millennials

Millennials represent a huge segment of those likely to stop by your food truck. Not only are they highly likely to try food from your new food truck, but their usage of social media is another not-so-secret ingredient that can help a food truck succeed.

Because food truck businesses don’t have a fixed brick-and-mortar presence, they need a strong marketing strategy. A quality website is a must. A well-planned marketing strategy is essential for a food truck to reach its full potential. Without a quality website and social media plan, a food truck business won’t reach its maximum profit as quickly as possible. Food truck businesses rely on positive buzz to draw new customers. This builds trust that a food truck is clean and safe to eat from and that it provides quality food.

Millennial customers can play a huge part in this. As a generation that is extremely comfortable using social media, they may often freely share with their friends any positive experiences they have with a food truck. This is easily done through social media channels. Food truck businesses can set up an environment for this through a Yelp page, photos shared on Facebook, news on Twitter, and Instagram stories.

Festival Attendees

If you visit your state’s, county, or city’s tourism website, you’ll see the events that bring tourists to your area. Among these events are bound to be festivals of some kind.

You’ll want to reach as many people as possible with your food truck, so don’t limit yourself to just the local area. However, you won’t want to overlook any type of event. Begin first with the local community and any events that locals are likely to attend.

Consider events that your local town is likely to have in the summer, such as 4th of July fireworks or parades. Investigate how you might serve your food at concerts, historical celebrations, and other events likely to draw large crowds.

These festivals are perfect for your food truck to increase familiarity in the community. And, even if you’re just getting your name out there, it can be the perfect opportunity. Hungry festival-goers may take a chance on your food truck if other lines are longer. This allows you to serve up something great and win over new customers.

In order to make the festival experience a positive one, ensure that your prices are clearly posted and that your service is fast. 


Busy Professionals in Large Metropolitan Areas

Think of the busiest areas in town that get the most traffic. Where can you place your food truck where busy professionals can take advantage of what you offer? Think of the busiest professionals in your city. Who is likely to need a fast meal when they’re hungry? 

Everyone at work on a lunch break needs a service that is fast and accurate. Keep this in mind as you’re preparing the menu. Think about things like how you will give out condiments on the go, and how you will make it easy for customers to walk away with their items (cup holders and bags are useful).

Ultimately, location matters. If you can place your food truck in a spot that is close to many different office buildings, you may be able to draw repeat customers. This could include hospitals, banks, retail shops, hotels, and other places.


Foodies (People Who Love Unique Food Experiences)

Foodies are food enthusiasts. They find pleasure in food, and they enjoy experiencing it and learning about it. This is similar to the way a wine connoisseur will learn about wine, what foods it pairs well with, and the various aspects of wine. Foodies vary in their seriousness about learning about food. Some may take classes, watch TV shows about preparing food, or even travel to different food festivals.

Foodies are part of the target market for a food truck business because they’re open to new experiences. Their enthusiasm and love of food will also help create repeat business if you can create a high-quality experience.

Your food truck can appeal to foodies by offering a unique, diverse, and evolving menu. Focus on locally sourced, seasonal ingredients to provide fresh, flavorful dishes that cater to health-conscious consumers. Also, experiment with unexpected flavor pairings or ethnic fusion. 

You can also engage with customers through a chalkboard menu and cooking demo. This will help reveal the craftsmanship and passion behind your cooking. Prioritize presentation; visually appealing food is key in an Instagram-driven culture.

Here are a few other ways to appeal to foodies:

  • Offer vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options.
  • Ensure your branding and aesthetics reflect your culinary ethos.
  • Use social media to connect with foodies by sharing behind-the-scenes moments and upcoming menu items.
  • Run special promotions or food tastings to keep your offerings fresh and exciting. 


Part of creating a business plan for a successful food truck business is identifying a target market. This target market will provide you with an idea of who your prospective customers will be. Millennials, festival goers, and busy professionals are just some of the possible customers your new food truck business will serve.


Erin Shelby on Twitter
Erin Shelby

Team Writer: Erin Shelby is a writer and blogger based in Ohio. Follow her on Twitter @ByErinShelby

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