What Food Truck Owners Need to Know about Competitors

By Richard Myrick

Keeping tabs on your competition is a great strategy for your growing food truck business. By continually monitoring your competitors, you get to know their good and bad behaviors and anticipate what they may be likely to do next, which helps your business gain a competitive advantage over them. Using this data, you can plan a business strategy that helps you keep your current customers and win (not steal) customers away from competitors.

Before you can identify what your competitive advantage is, you need to obtain answers to the following questions:

  • Who are my top three direct competitors?
  • Are my competitors profitable?
  • Are they expanding? Downsizing?
  • What are their positive attributes in the eyes of customers?
  • What are their negative attributes in the eyes of customers?
  • How can I distinguish my food truck from my competitors?
  • Do they have a competitive advantage; if so, what is it?
  • How is their menu priced?
  • How many customers do they serve each day?
  • What is their percentage of market share?
  • What is their total sales volume?

As you collect the preceding information, write down the name of each food truck or restaurant competitor, its address or typical parking locations, the size of the facility (for restaurants only), and the category it falls into (direct or indirect). This list will become a database of your competitors; if you develop it as a spreadsheet, you’ll be able to easily manipulate the data you track so you may compare and evaluate your competition.