Competition in the Food Truck Industry
Competition is essential in the food truck industry. Economic competition takes place in all markets and industries, no matter how friendly. The mobile food industry is one that garners a friendly competition between truck owners.
With that said, competition is competition, and as a prospective business owner, you need to understand how to compete not only with other food trucks in your market but also with brick-and-mortar restaurants that have similar concepts and cuisines.
Webster’s New World College Dictionary (Wiley) defines competition as “rivalry in business, as for customers or markets.” Competition in many sectors of the business world is viewed as a negative, and many brick-and-mortar restaurant owners (wrongly) feel that food trucks hold an unfair competitive advantage over them.
However, this view isn’t shared within the mobile food industry. Instead, competition is often looked at as a good thing for you, your competitors, and, most importantly, your customers. Competition helps with the following:
Preventing you from becoming too confident: You can easily feel relaxed and confident in business if you happen to offer a unique product that’s in high demand, because you don’t have any pressure to improve your food or your service. However, should another truck start selling similar, and possibly even better, menu items than yours, you’ll begin to feel the pressure to perform.
To retain your customers, you’ll have to constantly improve your food and your customer service. You’ll have to work harder to convince your customers to stick with you.
Motivating you to be more creative: When you realize that you’re not the only one selling the food of a particular cuisine, the wise thing to do is to develop better and more distinct products. You’ll think of unique items that will knock your customers’ socks off or, at a minimum, improve on your existing food.
Forcing you to get out of your comfort zone: Perhaps you have a huge customer following and haven’t needed to invest much into the promotion of your company. Competition may require you to work harder in order to remain visible. You can advertise special promotions, make donations to a worthy cause, or get more engaged with your local community.
*Keeping prices reasonable: This result may sound negative to you; however, it isn’t. Consumers are always looking for good value for their money. Although earning lots of money from your products is great, being fair to your customers will make them want to come back again. No one likes to feel ripped off or overcharged.
You may have to consider different ingredients or suppliers to keep your prices low, but your customers will show their appreciation by continually coming back for more.