A food truck's menu board is one of the easiest ways to entice customers. There are plenty of ways to design a menu board for a food truck but only so many will actually yield results.
If you're having a little trouble narrowing down the options, then we've got some great design tips and explanations of the different ways you can go with your food truck menu board.
Here are the best practices for creating a delectable food truck menu board.
1. Feature Your Best Items
Your best items are what your customers are going to order most frequently. It is always best to showcase these items in the most visible of locations. Usually, this is either at the top or in the middle of the menu. You could also consider putting your best items in a feature section, which is slightly larger than the rest of the menu board, making it near impossible to miss.
2. Think Outside the Box
Finding new ways to change up your menu is always exciting for customers. Sometimes all it takes is a few different ingredients or an additional sauce for wings or a burger. Doing so allows you to diversify the menu. After making these changes, highlight them on the menu with big bold lettering reading Just Added or Featuring Our New and fill in the blanks accordingly.
3. Have Realistic Expectations
Your food truck may be the best at a couple of things, but you shouldn't try to be the best at everything. The best food trucks are highly specialized when it comes down to it and feature only a few home-run hitters. If you keep it simple, you'll be able to focus on the best-selling items and ensure people keep coming back for more.
4. Keep It Updated
Make sure that the dishes on your menu are what you're currently serving to your customers. Running out of items or specific ingredients can be a big pain point for food truck goers. Also, updating your food truck menu board keeps the business interesting and allows you to incorporate seasonal vegetables or holiday-themed elements.
5. Keep Visuals Relevant
Don't focus too much on creating visuals that don't have anything to do with your brand. The best visuals are photos of the food your truck is serving in the most appetizing way possible. Keep visuals simple and clean, and put the focus on the food.
One of the most critical and often overlooked steps is proofreading. A typo is a sign of a lack of detail that speaks volumes about the products, and customers will be thrown off by insufficient attention to detail.
7. Don't Over Complicate
When writing a menu for a food truck, keep it simple. People want to know what they're getting without being bombarded with information. Only include the essential points about your items on the menu without overcomplicating them.
8. Menu Board Color
Your food truck menu board's color should be congruent with the type of food you serve and the overall theme. Creating a flow from start to finish in the customer's journey, providing a memorable and better experience. Finding the right colors to keep things smooth can go a long way.
9. Pay Attention to Font
Your fonts need to be straightforward and easy to read. Stay away from super complicated fonts that confuse and distract customers. People generally don't like to work too hard when ordering their food, so keep it nice and neat and simple. Beyond anything else, the menu needs to be readable.
10. Ask for Feedback
Asking for feedback with an open mind can give you the information you didn't previously know and could drastically improve your business. If something bothers customers, you're going to want to know about it.
You can do so with surveys, or simply asking customers and have a conversation with them. Customers appreciate being listened to. You may create some lifelong regulars by showing that you care.
11. Consider Using Numbers
Some food trucks can benefit from using numbered lists for the food. This is especially helpful if the food is difficult to pronounce.
12. Label Allergens
Many people have dietary restrictions, and you can save a lot of hassle by grouping items into specific categories or labeling them when necessary. By labeling gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, or spicy items, you can avoid customer confusion and time spent explaining things to every second customer.
13. Vary Price Offerings
With any food truck, customers of all walks are going to be stopping by. Some can afford the deluxe burger with a nice healthy salad on the side, while others want something a little more budget-friendly. Having options for all types of people can broaden your customer base.
14. Upgrade Price to Match Inflation
As the price of goods goes up, so must yours. Many food trucks are afraid to raise their prices because they might lose customers. If it is a small increase, most customers are not going to mind or even notice. It is most important to keep the business alive and profitable.
Now that you're familiar with some of the best tips for how to make your menus board stand out, knowing which type is best for your food truck is the next step.
Long-Term Menu Boards
A long-term menu board is one that isn't going to change for a long time. Usually, this will be the large board you use to promote your most popular items, or what your food truck is known for.
A long-term menu board would say the name of your truck and what you do. For example, "Dad's Grilled Cheese Truck." It clearly states what you do and who you are, leaving nothing to the imagination. Nobody is coming to Dad's Grilled Cheese Truck, expecting to eat butter chicken.
The critical thing to remember with long term menu boards is that you're likely never going to change them unless you're rebranding or changing the concept altogether.
Changeable menu boards are an excellent option for a truck that has a menu that is frequently updated. Seasonality is a huge thing these days, and being able to meet that demand is powerful for a small local business.
Changeable boards come in a variety of sizes and types. Some of them are digital and display on a menu screen. Others use plastic lettering that can be placed and removed, or you could use a chalkboard if you're able to write the menu neatly.
Changeable menu boards offer less rigidity in the menu and will allow you to adjust prices, specials and keep up to date with trends and try new things.
Printed Menu Boards
Printed menus are reasonably common with food trucks because they are a cost-effective and straightforward way to display the menu. They are best for food trucks that don't change menu options daily but can still be a reasonable option for those who change seasonally.
Once your food truck has an excellent menu design and a laminator, it can be easy to keep the menu clear and compelling. It also doesn't cost much to print new menus. Printed menus and interchangeable menu boards are the most common and easiest to use for food trucks. As long as the design and fonts are clear and visually appealing, you can't go wrong.