Driving Success with Print: Essential Print Marketing Materials for Food Trucks and Pods
Food trucks have become a culinary phenomenon, and setting up food truck pods, where several culinary vendors congregate in one location, is a trend that has been growing in popularity, as we’ve seen here in Portland. While the quality of the food is paramount, effective marketing is the secret ingredient that drives success in this competitive industry. Food truck owners and food pod operators should consider some essential print materials to maximize their reach and create a memorable brand image.
Large Format Materials
Whether it’s roaming, catering an event, or permanently parked in a pod, vehicle wraps are like a billboard for your food truck. These eye-catching, full-color graphics are a critical investment for food truck owners. Your brand's name, logo, and menu items should be prominently displayed. A well-designed vehicle wrap not only attracts hungry customers but also reinforces your brand identity.
EMCO has done vehicle wraps for years in its oversized warehouse that can accommodate any sized food truck.
The process varies from client to client, depending on whether print-ready art is provided or you come with your story and we design in-house. A recent client, Briskets & Gravy (see photo captions), provided the graphics for all four sides of their trucks, then EMCO’s software split the artwork into sections for printing and installation.
The printing press used for vehicle wraps is the HP Latex 365 CMYK+ LC, LM, optimized for instant curing. From start to finish, prep, printing, and applying the large vinyl graphics on a 16-foot trailer takes only three days. Our HP uses rolls up to 64 inches wide, ideal for printing high-quality, durable outdoor and indoor environmental graphics such as vehicle wraps, banners, signage, and more.
Signs and Banners
A distinctive sign is the face of your food truck or pod. Whether it's an exterior sign for the truck or banners for the pod area, it should be visible, easy to read, and aligned with your branding. Clear, concise signage helps potential customers quickly understand what's on offer and draws them in. Be sure to include a “selfie” area to encourage patrons to share your location with their network on social media and tag your account so others can find you!
Menu boards are the heart and soul of your food truck. They should be not only easy to read but also enticing. Large, high-resolution images of your dishes can make a significant impact. Consider boards that allow for flexibility for menu changes and specials.
Customized food liners can add a professional touch when serving up your food. They can be designed to feature your logo and branding, making each food delivery a piece of your brand experience.
Take advantage of the opportunity to provide customers with takeaway menus. These pocket-sized print materials are perfect for customers who want to remember your truck's name, check out your offerings later, or share your information with friends. They serve as a reminder of your business long after the meal is over.
While food trucks and pods thrive on foot traffic, remember the power of a well-timed promotional mailing. These can be distributed to local residences or businesses to announce your presence or promote special events. Highlight menu items, mouthwatering images of your dishes, and a coupon alongside a compelling call to action. And don’t forget a QR code to drive website and social channel traffic.
Postcards can serve as miniature advertisements that people can pick up at your truck or pod. They should be visually appealing and provide essential information, such as your location, hours of operation, and contact details. Encourage repeat visits and engagement by adding loyalty program details, discounts, and social media specials. A postcard mailing campaign is low-cost and highly effective at building and maintaining customer relationships.
Not only is it a fun promotional item, but stickers also serve as a walking advertisement for your brand. Create stickers with your logo and branding, and offer them to customers as a memorable keepsake. They can be placed on your TO GO bags and boxes and be a fun giveaway to decorate the laptops, water bottles, and phone cases of those who like your branding, expanding your reach.
Apparel and Giveaways
Create a sense of unity among your staff and offer your devoted fans the chance to show their support with branded apparel. T-shirts, aprons, and hats can become walking advertisements and contribute to a more professional appearance.
Giveaways add a fun and memorable element to your customer interactions. Branded items like keychains, magnets, or tote bags can used as a token of appreciation for their patronage at events such as grand openings or offered for sale and act as another source of revenue. Not only do these items delight your customers, but they also ensure your brand stays in their thoughts.
The Combined Power of Quality and Consistency
The success of these print materials hinges on their quality. Vibrant, high-resolution images and professional-grade printing create a positive impression, while low-quality materials can deter customers. Consistency is key in brand building. All your print materials should feature the same branding elements, whether on your truck, at the pod, or in your customers' hands. This ensures a unified and memorable brand image.
Effective print marketing materials are essential for food truck owners and pod operators looking to stand out in a competitive market. Large format materials, on-site materials, off-site marketing collateral, apparel, and giveaways all play a role in creating a solid brand image and driving customer engagement.
Working with a reputable commercial printer can ensure that your print materials are of the highest quality, professionally produced, and consistent. In the process, you’ll make a lasting impression on your audience and keep them returning for more delicious experiences.