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Determine Your Food Truck Menu's Price Points

Your prices are specific, but your price point is the range of prices your menu items fall into. Food trucks are a category of food service operators in which a meal falls into roughly the same range of prices. Price point is actually a marketing term, because everyone has expectations of what price they’re willing to pay for various qualities of products or dining experiences.

Most customers may be willing to pay a dollar for a double cheeseburger at a fast-food joint, but when they get in line at a food truck, they may pay $10 for a specialty double cheeseburger.

The price point describes the point where cost and quality scales intersect for customers. Some people may recognize the value of your $10 burger but can’t afford it, and some would never pay $10 for a cheeseburger, regardless of whether they can afford it.

It’s a way of determining how to set the price of an item, and more importantly, how to develop products for price/quality points where a product doesn’t exit or where you have more customer demand. You may want to develop a $7 cheeseburger that’s still a premium product but is more affordable to the person who can’t afford the $10 burger and doesn’t seem outrageous to the person who won’t buy the $10 burger.

Customers will pay more for quality food, but exactly how much more is something only they can answer.

What does your local market consider a fair price for the food you’re preparing and serving from your food truck? You can’t just throw prices onto your menu without considering what your community is already paying for similar products from competing food trucks.

You must consider what other food truck businesses are charging for the same type of food you’re offering. If you’re going to charge more than your competitor for the same dish, you have to be able to justify your price with added value.

Added value can mean larger portions or more exotic ingredients. Whatever your prices, they must offer value to your customers. If your customers don’t think your food is worth what you’re charging, you won’t have enough business to make money, no matter what your pricing method is. Consumer research points to a number of elements that can add value to a particular menu item or to your entire menu.

These elements include

  • Premium ingredients

  • Appropriate portion sizes or a variety of sizes

  • Perceived freshness

  • Included extras at no charge

  • Uniqueness

  • Select use of natural and organic labels

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