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How to Profit in the Food Truck & Street Food sector

food truck profiting, street food profits

As street food trends continue to peak throughout the UK, research shows that foodies are now prepared to put their money where their mouth is (literally) in order to feed their growing desire for artisan foods. It is no surprise to see a promising growth in mobile catering and food truck start ups!

Although this industry offers affordable entry, flexibility and mobility, many mobile traders go out of business within the first year due to a lack of planning, research and dedication. Trailblazer BBQ have highlighted some do’s and don’ts to take into consideration when starting a food truck or mobile catering business to help ensure you reach success.

Food truck market

There are many reasons why mobile catering is such an appealing industry to enter for entrepreneurs.

Firstly, who doesn’t want to run their own successful business?

Have control over every aspect in your business… Where and when you trade, the marketing strategy you develop & the ability to get creative with menu choices etc.

What people fail to understand is the time and effort that goes into a mobile catering business. Take a booking for 250 people that you need to be on site for 1pm – 3pm many people forget the work that is done beforehand.

Pricing, ordering the foods, preparing ingredients etc. not to mention the time spent clearing up after an event, washing utensils, equipment etc. The hours soon rack up.

You need to ask yourself… Are you prepared to work in all weather conditions?

The mobile catering industry isn’t cut out for everybody! You must have the desire and will to work in all weather conditions. It isn’t enough to only cater throughout the sunny days, you must be out providing a service whatever the weather.

How to make it in the food truck industry (The Dos & Don’ts)

Keep start up costs low

One of the biggest killers in the food truck industry is inadequate capital or lack of fall back funds. Although starting a mobile catering business is much more affordable in comparison to a brick and mortar restaurant, many excited entrepreneurs like to jump the gun as soon as they have enough funds to start trading. What they don’t plan for however is any unexpected circumstances such as mechanical problems or slow starts.

Commercial BBQ/grill finance

As a startup, you’ll want to keep costs to a minimum, however it is important that you have additional funding on hand to cover for any of these unexpected circumstances. If you don’t have a lot of capital raised perhaps finance options may be more suitable for you.

Trailblazer BBQ find finance to be a popular choice. Trailblazer Finance allows traders to have their Trailblazer out on the road from the first monthly instalment meaning they can save their cash for a rainy day and let the high performing Trailblazer pay for itself.

Rapid Return on Investment

If you’re going down the finance route, take into consideration your ability to get a return on your investment. How long will it be before you start seeing profit or how many events/days a week will you be required to work to ensure you are covering any finance or loan costs?

Despite the uncertain financial climate, the Santa Maria street food report found that 64% of street food consumers interviewed said they were happy to spend more than £6 on street food.

We have owners charging €6.95 for a burger on their Trailblazer 600s Grillmaster, that has an output capability of 600 burgers per hour! 600 burgers X €6.95 = €3445 per hour…..not bad!

Commercial outdoor BBQ/grill

Choose your food truck/trailer wisely

You will need to distinguish what type of catering unit will best suit your needs.. some food for thought before you commit to making a purchase.

● The changing perception

Out with the old and in with the new as people now stereotype the term ‘catering van’ as a cheap fast food unit parked in a muddy concert venue or market square, restricted to selling greasy burgers and chips and are therefore attracted by new, unconventional mobile units.

● How much are you willing/can afford to spend?

A survey conducted by Streetzine’ found the average US food truck costs around £63,000. This is a hefty amount to fork out, not to mention the majority of food trucks averaging as little as 10-15 MPG making transportation costs a high unnecessary overhead.

If you restricted to a second hand budget consider the age and milage of the unit. If its a second hand food truck and breaks down, your whole catering business will also be out of action.

‘NCASS’ provide a rough food truck/trailer costing guide, showing what you can expect to spend in relation to your truck/trailer choice. Click here and we will send you a Trailblazer BBQ price list & brochure.

● What food do you plan on serving?

This can be challenging, as a start up you may enter the market then weeks down the road realize through customer feedback that you have mass demand for coffee, burgers, or fried foods. Do you need mass diversity within one unit?

Keep in mind current trends. Although healthy eating is on the increase, dont be afraid to offer the old classics as McCain’s food service 2018 report highlights ‘“people still enjoy indulgent and flavoured packed choices like American BBQ, ‘Dirty’ burgers and topped fries.”

Have you read through the Trailblazer BBQ street food trends report? If not click here and see what current foods and menu offerings are trending to ensure you are offering what customers are demanding!

Trailblazer BBQ Street Food Truck Trailer

● The areas you will be targeting

As many UK street food meccas and trading spots are in tight, narrow courtyards with access limitations you may want to consider maneuverability and size when selecting a unit.

Consider pitch fees, will you be charged accordingly depending on the size of your unit and the space you are occupying?

Read here how ‘Feast’ got their trading location updated due to their Trailblazers small footprint and eye catching slick design.

towable bbq ready for street food

● How many people do you plan to serve each day?

In order to succeed, you need customers! Therefore you will want to be serving as many customers as possible. In order to keep customers happy you will need to have high output capabilities to keep things running smooth and efficient.

Where to trade

Are you going to have a prime location, multiple locations, focus on private events or try to secure trading pitches at large festivals and markets?

Mixing up your services is a great way to increase revenue, experience and overall satisfaction as you are trying new things. Trailblazer BBQ owners have found great success through targeting a combination of each. Due to the diversity of cooking Trailblazer offers you can go from selling burgers at a local sporting event as a quick and easy money generator to cooking for the most discerning guests at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open…. Now you can!

‘Street Dots is a brilliant app that allows traders to secure different trading locations throughout the UK on a daily basis. Consumers can then access the app to find where you will be located that specific day. This is a great way of securing different trading locations at an affordable price.

‘Food Trucks is another great platform for securing street food trading pitches throughout the UK. In fact, just recently I caught up with a Trailblazer BBQ trader who made £600 profit over a two hour period through a trading post he secured through Food Trucks. So definitely a route worth researching!

Private events and corporate parties are beneficial as you can pre plan and forecast. We have numerous Trailblazer owners who solely focus on offering private services as this way they know exactly what they are expecting at each event, and they can plan in terms of resources, staff and time needed.

We go into more depth on where to trade in our location & event targeting’ article.

Stand out from competition

As a street food trader, you have one chance to impress each customer. If the customer has a bad experience it is unlikely they will return due to countless alternative choices.

Think of the saying ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover.’ This saying would never have been created if it wasn’t human nature to automatically judge things by their first appearance. Focus on creating theatre to draw customers to you, an intriguing name to encourage “mentions” through written media with an artisan and cohesive menu to draw customers back for more!

As people ‘eat with their eyes’, a great way to create theatre is through open grill cooking. Sear large chunks of marinated meats over Trailblazers impressive open grill, letting the fats drip onto a bed of scorching hot charcoal to really entice the crowd!

Trailblazer 600s grillmaster

Trailblazer BBQ commercial grill

Use your food truck as a mobile marketing billboard

Use your food truck/trailer to promote your logo, services, contact information and social profiles as this will act as a free marketing billboard when travelling to and from trading locations.

Dots Kart Food Trailer Marketing

Trailblazer BBQ food trailer branding

Get social

Many people are under the impression that once you have your truck/trailer ready to trade, you simply pull up to a location and people will just flock to you.

Unfortunately this is not the case! You may be a wizard in the kitchen but who is going to buy your great food if no one knows you exist?

In todays society, you can market, manage, converse and sell your catering business through the use of social media platforms, for virtually no cost at all. Therefore making it a sin to neglect!

Facebook provides a cost free opportunity to present visual and creative content to your audience, keep up to date with current trends, gain customer feedback or reviews and most importantly engage and get to know your followers.

Boasting over 1.37 billion daily users, Facebook is a platform you can’t afford not to be using so you may need to skill up if you are not yet familiar with it.

Facebook also offers paid promotion opportunities that let you target people with specific interests, buying behaviours and location demographics. This is a perfect opportunity to run tailored campaigns to specific audiences. For example you may be running a new health focused menu, so you may wish to target people in your location, that have an interest in street food and health & fitness.

Instagram is currently the fastest growing social media site of 2019. 2018 saw a 33% increase of restaurants utilising Instagram as their platform of choice to market their catering business!

Create Insta-perfect menu offerings to encourage millenial customers to snap and share pictures of your food to their followers. This is a great way to increase reach and brand awareness. For a more detailed focus on utilising social media within your mobile catering business please read Trailblazers social media guide here

Get to know your audience

The company that knows its customer is the company that wins!’

The key to attracting new and retaining existing customers is by offering what they want, it’s no secret. So take the time to get to know your audience, focus on what they do and don’t like and research current eating habits and trends.

For example…..
Santa Maria’s ‘What’s Next for Street Food’ report found that millennials are at the front of the queue for street food.

“Our research shows that consumers, especially millennials, have embraced street food as part of their everyday routines, and what’s more they’re happy to pay extra for it.” Eimear Owens

Therefore provide offerings that will appeal to millenials! This generation can be simply defined using two words: technology and food and for that reason technology is becoming mainstream!

Technology improvements such as Apple Pay and contactless debit cards means people now refrain from carrying loose change. People want the ability to use their mobile, PC or tablet to order food ahead of collection, removing the need for them to queue in line or pay. They simply just walk up and collect.

McCain foodservice ‘Whats Hot’ 2018 revealed that 40% of 25-37 year olds prefer ordering food on their phones to table service, whilst 67% will spend more on their phones than when ordering in person.

Get in touch

The food truck business has changed incredibly over the past few years, becoming one of the hottest new businesses. If this is something that interests you and you are ready to start making money then please get in touch. We will be more than happy to explain the unique and unmatched benefits and opportunities that Trailblazer BBQ can bring to your business or new business idea. We can even offer you the opportunity to make use of our outdoor demo area so you can see for yourself!. In the meantime have a read throughout our customer testimonials and case studies and hear first hand how Trailblazer is financially benefiting them throughout a wide range of industries.

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Trailblazer BBQ Ltd,
6 Ballyoran Lane,
Dundonald,
Belfast
BT16 1XJ
Northern Ireland

Phone: +44 28 9057 9000
Email: [email protected]
Web: TrailblazerBBQ.com

Trailblazer BBQ commercial grill & food truck trailer

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Mobile Catering Profiting Tips Through Processes and Procedures

event catering, commercial charcoal BBQ

As with any business, the success and survival of your mobile catering business relies heavily through maximising profitability!

We’re going to help you do that.

Therefore, throughout previous articles we have focused on mobile catering profiting tips. Such as, how to maximise profits when starting a mobile catering business, that marketing matters and the importance of selecting popular menu choices.

This time we take a look at the importance of having processes & procedures in place to improve efficiency. Leading to higher mobile catering profits & happier customers!

process to profits

THINK: What happens when you’ve done the hard part in attracting customers to your business and created hype but have no structure or system in place to deal with the positive spike in demand?

REMEMBER: A customer is prepared to stand in line waiting to be served for approx. 5 minutes before looking for alternatives.

Put yourself in a customers position. You have spent money on purchasing a ticket to attend an event, only to spend half the time standing h’angrily in a standstill queue waiting to be served….not good!

THEREFORE: It’s vital to have a structured and efficient process in place to ensure consumer waiting times are kept to a minimum. After all, time is money!

Don’t get confused, long queues are a good problem to have! It shows that your food is a popular choice and will likely create extra hype and demand.

The problem only occurs when there is no process in place to deal with the demand. leading to long queues, lengthy waiting times and an overall hinderance in your mobile catering profiting ability!

Beat the QUEUES

A few key factors to consider when trying to achieve optimum efficiency and improve mobile catering profiting….

>High Output Capabilities
>Effective Technology Systems
>Productive/Adequate Staffing

1) High Output / Machine Capabilities

First things first, big consumer demand will mean big output capabilities are needed! Keep this in mind when selecting your choice of catering unit and cooking appliances.

If you’re aiming to cater for large groups at festivals or big events then a small gas BBQ isn’t going to be very rewarding for you.

You’ll want something of a manageable footprint, thats easily manoeuvrable however has high cooking output capabilities and theatrical presence.

This is exactly what we have based our 1200 Festival on

Capable of grilling up to 1200 burgers per hour the 1200 Festival is the ultimate commercial BBQ/Grill for large group catering. The abundance of accessories such as Prep & Store conversion kit give this machine huge diversity of cooking & flexibility of use from event to event.

Why not use Trailblazers theatrical presence to your advantage and entertain waiting customers over some live fire cooking.

2) Tech Up

Keep up to date with technology advancements and see how they’re shaping customer expectations and buying habits. The implementation of technology can have a direct effect on your mobile catering businesses profiting ability!

A perfect example of this would be the significant shift in consumer spending patterns.

Cash is no longer king!

As debit cards now offer contactless payment methods, along with the likes of Apple Pay it’s no surprise to see research showing that over half the UK population are no longer choosing to pay with cash.

Do you offer card or contactless payment options?

cashless payment for street food

Cashless payment systems will not only be in favour for the consumers convenience however will benefit you as a business owner through faster paying processes, reduced cash handling and the ability to analyse average customer spend and peak trading periods through transaction history.

Cashless payment provider systopia claim to have helped reduce their customers queue times by an average of 58 seconds per person. That’s almost 1 hour saved per every 60 customers served!

Go mobile!

The move to mobile is not just a technical fad. It’s the progression to become more efficient, convenient, responsive & contactable. Can you afford not to incorporate this into your catering business?

Spend the time and ensure your website is mobile friendly and regularly updated.

Create a mobile app for your catering business. This process may sound intimidating, tricky and costly however in actual fact it’s relatively simple and here are just a few key reasons why you should have your own app!

Location based marketing

The UK takeaway and food delivery market is expected to boom to an astounding £11.2 billion over the next five years.

Take full advantage of this growth and use your app to send notifications to those in the nearby area. Lure them towards your set up through special offers and the convenience of easy, in-app ordering.

Better customer service & loyalty

Online ordering with secure payment will improve customer experience as the process of click and collect is much quicker than over the phone payments or cash handling. Offer weekly special deals to those who order through the app to encourage repeat business.

According to Food Tech Connect, 98% of 18 to 34 year-olds who’ve paid a bill via mobile would like to do so again. But beyond simply paying, 35% like to place their orders on smartphone or tablet, and 40% actually prefer a mobile payment over other options, especially for restaurants offering quicker service.

Powerful Analytics

An app will provide powerful reporting tools. Use there to make informed decisions about your menu, promotions, loyalty programmes and peak periods.

3) Hire & pay right!

Every mobile caterer is aware of the frustration and stress caused by staffing problems and their high turnover.

Advertising, hiring & training can be a costly process, however remember; the people working for your business have the ability to make or break your brand in the palm of their hands.

Try and seek motivated candidates that care about what they do, rather than just the financial return to them. If you then pay them a little extra, then they are invested in your business.

Use the data analytics from your mobile systems and app to highlight and peak trading periods & learn any bottle necks. Perhaps it’s time to hire another chef?

mobile catering profiting

Although our flagship Trailblazer 600s Grillmaster is designed to be manageable by a single individual and many of our customers do so. For optimum efficiency throughout a high ticketed event we would recommend having one chef, a cash handler and food prep assistant.

3 sets of hands working in a systematic process will help ensure you reach Trailblazers immense output capabilities, in turn providing customers with great tasting, authentic charcoaled foods with minimum wait!

Keen to learn more?

Having effective processes & procedures in place is vital to the sustainability of your catering business so ensure you have implications in place to deal with any spikes in demand. If you would like any further Trailblazer BBQ mobile catering profiting tips or help with beating the queues please get in touch by filling the form below.

You may also wish to read our Customer Success Stories and learn how other mobile caterers are profiting with Trailblazer BBQ!

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Top tips for marketing a street food or food truck business

Are you wanting to stand out from the competition, offer your products and services to a wide range of potential customers and Trailblaze your street food catering business to mass profits and continual growth?

Then ask yourself this…..

Are you successfully marketing your food truck business online?

social media marketing, food truck trailer

Of course it’s no secret that great tasting food served with a friendly smile is a vital factor for success in the food truck catering industry. However, if no one knows where, when or what you are selling then what’s the point?

According to ‘The Food People’ people searching the internet for good food using their mobile or tablet have nearly a 90% conversion rate…..

Online Marketing Matters

In today’s digital age you can manage, market and sell your street food business’ brand online for virtually no cost. There’s really no excuse for not being pro active when marketing your street food business or food truck set up.

As a growing business we are coming to the realisation that having an online presence is no longer just desirable however is now an essential part of the business. Therefore we are now going through a massive learning curve as we try to (slowly but surely) up our game and become more prominent throughout Trailblazer BBQs social media and online accounts.

There is no doubt that we still have a long way to go, however we have picked up a few hints and tips along the way that you may find beneficial in helping you up your marketing game

‘Get social’

Social media pages let you share exciting news, menu updates and captivating media to a wide and varied audience. As a street food business you can also claim a Google My Business Page completely free of charge, giving a great opportunity to capitalise on. Especially as According to Google, 97% of consumers use the web to search for local businesses.

As the name implies, ‘social’ media success is built through sharing relevant and exciting content, conversing and connecting with your audience. It’s a great way of staying connected to your followers and community, promoting new business features or services, sharing special discounts or offers and informing people of where you will be located each day.

 

Social Media Marketing
Trailblazers Google My Business page allows us to publish news posts, photographs, opening time, directions & contact details.

Picking your platforms

The number of social media platforms available this day in age can be overwhelming. It’s better to be predominant across a coupe of platforms rather than half hearted across the lot so take time and choose wisely what platforms are best suited for your needs.

social media marketing small business
The graph showing Facebook, Instagram & Snapchat to be the major networking apps throughout the UK.

We recommend that a business claims their brand’s name/domain across all social media accounts. Even if they are not intending on using them just yet. Doing this allows the business to have a strong and consistent handle across all social media platforms.

Take Trailblazer for example. The last thing we would want would be to be trading on Facebook as Trailblazer BBQ however having to opt of Trailblazer Grills on Instagram because the username Trailblazer BBQ is already occupied. This is likely to cause confusion as to what the brand is actually called etc. This could be a higher risk if your catering business has a popular/usual trading name.

Facebook

With over 2.5 million small business pages and 1.25 billion monthly users Facebook is a great platform for connecting with your target audience.

Social media marketing matters
(Give our Facebook page a like!)

For startups that may be strapped for cash, Facebook enables them to publish thier brand’s story and key messages that directly reach their market segments without having to pay for expensive PR & advertising.

With over 8 billion average daily views and 100 million hours of video watched every day, Facebook has become a top player in the social media video landscape. Why not show off a new menu offering through an engaging video. Create hype and highlight how you prep, cook and serve the new menu offering.

Facebook paid promotion opportunities let you target people with specific interests, ages, buying behaviours and location demographics. This is a great way of narrowing down your audience and putting your marketing in front of those who matter.

social media marketing matters
Facebook paid promotion offers the ability to target potential customers who are within a set distance to your business.

For example if a business is running a new health focused menu, they may wish to target people in their location, that have an interest in street food and health & fitness.

Some Facebook best practice pointers

Don’t create a personal profile for your business

Using a personal profile instead of a proper Facebook business page will mean you lose out on the analytics reporting tools, paid promotion opportunities and content creation tools. Use Facebook’s business analytics to show when followers are most active (i.e. the best time to post,) popular posts worth boosting & how many people are engaging with your posts.

Add a CTA (call to action) button

Ensure you add a CTA button to your business profile. This can be a button to ‘Buy Now’ ‘Call Now’ ‘Visit Website’ etc. and ultimately means a potential customer can find out more at the touch of a button.

Social Media Marketing Matters

Post Photos

Images attract attention and have pretty much become a requirement of any online presence. After all, it’s 40X more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content.

Invest time in taking quality photography. Set aside some time and tidy your setup. Ensure your Trailblazer BBQ or mobile catering unit is clean and looking superior. Keep an eye out for our blog on taking professional quality photography for more guidance and pointers on this matter.

Taking nice in situ shots of your catering business is a great way to attract peoples attention online.

Monitor & respond to comments on your page

Ignoring your customers can make them feel unimportant and can ultimately be detrimental to your business. Use your Facebook as a customer service centre as it’s a great platform to ask for feedback, reviews and gain customer research.

By addressing negative reviews and showing appreciation for positive ones will not only help your business create a transparent and friendly persona online. You may also use any negative reviews as an opportunity to learn about your business and to turn naysayers into brand advocates.

Instagram

In 2018 a increase of 33% more restaurants named Instagram as being their social platform of choice compared to 2017 and we are not surprised as to why!

As people now seem to have less time, yet higher expectations we find many consumers arrive at a street food stall already aware of what they are going to order. Not because they have looked at the menu but because they have already spent several minutes stalking on Instagram.

Street Food BBQ Marketing, marketing a mobile catering business
Some insta-perfect foods snapped & uploaded by consumers and food venders.

According to research by Zizzi. 18-35-year-olds spend five whole days a year browsing food images on Instagram and 30% would avoid a restaurant if their Instagram presence was weak! That this statistic into consideration when marketing a mobile catering business and designate time and effort to creating insta-perfect menu offerings.

Some Instagram best practice pointers

Create inst-perfect food to encourage customers to snap & share across their personal profile.

The food industry is increasingly revolving around our photo-sharing social media accounts, e.g. Instagram.

It’s believed that over 69% of millennials now take a picture of their food before eating it! Focus on making your food offerings look striking and interesting to encourage people to show it of to their friends and followers and ultimately market your offerings for you via their personal Instagram accounts.

The Food People suggests that coloured foods such as black breads, blue lattes and purple cheesecakes are just the start of what is to come throughout 2018/19.

Try Instagram stories

Instagram stories are discoverable which means that they can be seen even by people who don’t follow you.

Stories also give the opportunity to ask your follows a poll. This is a great way of getting instant feedback from those who matter. This is a great research tool when, for example adding a new item to your menu.

Instagram marketing matters
Instagram polls are a great way of getting instant feedback from your followers.

Expand your post reach with the use of trending #hashtags

Extend post reach through the strategic use of hashtags. From research we have found 7 hashtags per post seems to the recommended amount.

Try trendjacking. Jump on hot topics that are already trending on social media. This is a great way to increase exposure for your posts, especially if you have a clever take on the topic!

Keep videos below 60 seconds & think no sound

Videos play automatically and can be up to 60 seconds long. Ensure you are highlighting your message within this time so no vital information is being cut from the post. Use vertical videos for stories and horizontal videos for your actual newsfeed.

Since users have to tap the video for audio to play, any audio before the person taps won’t be heard. It sounds obvious, but you might consider starting off the video with an introduction that doesn’t need audio. When and if the user taps for audio, they won’t have missed much.

Use your website

Some traders that we speak to underestimate the use of a business website and therefore neglect spending any time or resource in setting or maintaining an attractive and responsive website.

We however feel a website to be a vital aspect of your catering business. It can act as a central hub to display your customer testimonials, provide key info such as opening hours, pricing, service offerings and any photographs or case studies of previous jobs carried out.

Social media marketing, marketing a mobile catering business

If you don’t have one yet, don’t panic. These days you can create a great-looking website at a low cost. A quick Google search for ‘website builder’ is a good place to start. We would recommend WordPress.

Spend some time on writing interesting blogs that are targeting keywords related to your industry. Think about keywords that potential customers may be searching before knowing about your business. Blogs are also a great way of showcasing the personality of your business. Use them to tell people about the companies daily problems, highlights along with key beliefs and core values. (Another great way of forming a strong brand and letting the customer see who is behind the brand.)

Mobiles now account for more than 72% of all browsing so make sure your site is mobile friendly.

If you would like any help or guidance with any aspect of marketing a mobile catering business feel free to give us a call. We have customers who operate across a wealth of sectors within the hospitality and catering industry and we would be more than happy to help provide some food for thought. Read our Customer Case Studies here 

If you have any tips or pointers of best practise with regards to marketing a mobile catering business then please get in touch. We would love to share them to other traders. 

Email – [email protected]trailblazerbbq.com

Telephone – 028 90 57 9000

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Location Catering and Event Targeting with Trailblazer BBQ

event catering, commercial BBQ

Interested in starting an outside catering business or toying with the idea of adding a mobile catering division or even moving away from your static business and going mobile?

With over 2.6bn people consuming street food daily, a 2.3% increase in quick service food stations and food purchases topping consumer spend throughout UK festivals at 35% it’s no shock to see the outside mobile catering industry grow in popularity and consumer demand.

However before you jump the gun and start profiting on this rewarding industry, ask yourself… ‘Where am I going to cater?’

Location, Location, Location 

Location catering & event targeting is an important aspect within your planning stages. It’s vital to get your positioning right for viability, visibility, footfall and the right customer. So whether you’re an experienced mobile caterer or not, the key to success is through research and planning.

Put it like this, if you plan to sail to the southern tip of Africa without a map, well good luck getting there! 

But with a Trailblazer and mobile catering business that great adventure could just be down the road! 

Set some time aside to plan and get an idea of where and what events you are planning on targeting.

  • What locations are you going to trade at?
  • What type of events you will be targeting.
  • The type of customers you will be targeting?
  • The type of food to be serving
  • Public or private catering?

‘On Tour’

We suggest taking your mobile catering business ‘on tour’ to try your hand at different catering opportunities and locations. Follow the footfall throughout peak trading periods. This will not only maximise profit opportunities but will also give a real idea for what works best in terms of seasonality, revenue and customer base.

Live the spot!

Spend time and list all the trading opportunities, catering locations and planned events close to your area. Drive around the city and scout different trading locations.

Think of this process being like a field biologist studying the feeding habits and trends of humans.

Sit with a notebook and live the spot, watching for: –

  • Footfall densities
  • What side of the street do people walk on / does the sun shine.
  • Area surroundings (Office buildings, apartments etc.)
  • Brick and mortar / food truck competitions.

Formulate your findings into a list and run through each opportunity, listing the type of customer that is likely to attend, any pitch fees, nearby competition, busiest time of day etc.

Having a clear and concise plan will give you a fair idea of what to expect throughout different events and can act as a platform to weigh out the pros and cons of the different opportunities to help ensure you are making a viable choice.

Flexibility with Trailblazer BBQ

There are established and successful Trailblazer BBQ owners whom operate across a wide variation of industries and sectors. Take these sectors into consideration when planning the areas and types of trade you will be targeting!

· Street food markets
· Farmer markets
· Music festivals/concerts
· Private / corporate parties
· Local sporting grounds & Civ
· Weddings
· Beer gardens
· Church gatherings
· Hotel & restaurant grounds

Have a read through some of our customer success stories here 

Festival/ Event catering

Last year (2017) an estimated 1,000 large festivals took place throughout the UK. This being six times as many as in 2004 and research shows food and drink as being the biggest outlay.

Insurance company ‘Bobatoo’ found 35% of the overall consumers spend throughout a festival being on food & beverages.

Why not introduce Trailblazer BBQ to a festival or private function and watch it become one of the headline acts!

With so many revellers to feed it makes perfect sense to introduce your mobile catering service throughout local events.

Catering location with Trailblazer BBQ street food
A Lebanon luxurious restaurant making the most of their beautiful gardens with their Trailblazer BBQ. An affordable yet highly profitable means of extending a locations catering services or facilities.

Gather Info

Before putting your money where your mouth is and agreeing to the pitch fees set by an event organiser make sure to gather as much information as you can.

  • The number of attendees that are expected?
  • How many traders will be at the event and what will they be offering?
  • The amount of people are likely to spend money on food?
  • Where is your pitch located?
Trailblazer BBQ attracting a massive crowd at an outdoor cinema screening. Long queues are a great problem to have. The problem is having a poor system in place, preventing the queue from moving efficiently.

If you are in the wrong location you could spend your night watching people walk past your pitch already with food in their hand.

Ask to see a site map outlining the pitch you are being offered. Make sure to highlight that you don’t require a large pitch due to Trailblazer being compact and ultimately you can access areas where larger units wouldn’t be able to.

And last but not least, always ensure to get a written contract to ensure the organiser stays true to their word.

Private events & weddings

 

Trailblazer bbq at wedding
Let Trailblazer BBQ become the star of the show

Advertise your services and appeal to the wedding sector, private events and corporate parties.

One of the great advantages of private bookings is the ability to pre plan and set a fixed fee for the event.

This not only lets you forecast how much you will be earning that day however also lets you plan ahead in terms of resources needed, staffing requirements and in turn will help keep wastage to a minimum.

Millennial weddings

The rise in millennial and modernised weddings brings a decline of the traditional 3-course set menu wedding meals. Couples are now focusing on casual, festival styled dining, food trailers and prosecco vans.

Couples are growing on the idea of presenting platters of delicious foods for the whole table to devoir into and discuss, in turn providing a ‘true’ food experience for their guests. Think sizzling BBQ buffets.

Create excitement amongst guests and demonstrate live cooking over a naked flame to the hungry, wide-eyed party. Let the bride and groom pose for photographs beside the roaring Trailblazer. Cook high quality produce, in a theatrical and healthy manner, anywhere at anytime.

 

Street food Trading / Location Catering

According to ‘The Food People’ an estimated 2.5bn people worldwide now consume street food, each day!

Grab this trend by the teeth and offer artisan, indulgent dishes through theatrical cooking experiences at an affordable price. Check Trailblazer BBQs 2018 street food trends to get an idea of the street food trends predicted throughout 2018. (link)

catering location, Street food with Trailblazer BBQ
Feast positioning their Trailblazer BBQ at the forefront to entice hungry passersby through theatrical open flame grilling.

You may want to focus selling your produce on street markets, car parks, by the roadside or in an area adjoining to a shop. There are many different opportunities associated to street food trading however before doing so it’s a good idea to do some research concerning legislation. NCASS offer great guidance and support on street food trading legislations.

Secure trading pitches through ‘Street Dots!‘

Street Dots is a brilliant app that allows traders to secure different trading locations throughout the UK on a daily basis. Consumers can then access the app to find where you will be located that specific day. This is a great way of securing different trading locations at an affordable price.

Remember, as people perceive street food as restaurant quality but less expensive it’s important your offerings ooze with quality. Focus on a limited menu offering with unbeatable quality. Another great idea is to find a niche and stick to it, utilising it as a USP.

Partner with local businesses and build working relations

Building relationships with other local businesses is a great way to trailblaze your way to substantial growth!

Trailblazer’s compact footprint will allow you as a trader to access even the tightest of office courtyards, along with immense output capabilities giving the ability to cater for a large office at any one time. This provides a perfect opportunity to approach local offices and businesses and introduce your offerings.

Deliver menus: Print copies of your menu and deliver them to local offices and businesses. Tempt business employees with lunchtime specialties, meal deals or perhaps offer them free delivery services for bulk purchases.

Offer corporate catering services: Corporate events are a regular occurrence in businesses and more often than not require catering services. Make sure to highlight that with your Trailblazers mobility, cooking diversity and self-sufficiency you can ‘Hook It ‘N’ Cook It’ and cater for large groups, anywhere, anytime!

We hope this article is of value to you as a mobile caterer. Try your hand throughout different industries and sectors until you get a real feel for what works best for your business is terms of working hours, profitability, target customers, seasonality etc.

Wether you are a new start up or existing business owner, If you would like more information on how Trailblazer BBQ could significantly grow your business and open opportunities that were not previously possible please get in touch.

Where else could you you start an outdoor catering business for less than £5,000?

Just give us a call on 028 90 57 9000

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