How do you quickly and easily punch up your food truck or restaurant business? Signs! A sign next to your menu can create a superstar item for any reason or no reason at all. Here are five ideas for concession signs that drive more business.
It’s New, It’s Great
A new item is special simple because it is new. It might be an item you developed from customer feedback or seasonal ingredients — introduce it with a separate sign. Listing it next to or above your menu will give a new item importance and excitement. Labeling it as new makes customers buy. Why? USC Marshall School of Business tells us consumers seek to try new things for a change of pace, suggesting menu items will sell well when labeled as “new.”
Try a sign written in red next to your menu for one item and get ready to sell out. Red is an alarm color because the human eye responds to red more than any other color. The journal, “Emotion,” reports that people react faster and more forcefully when they see the color red. Red not only grabs attention, it cues customers to take action to make a purchase. A red sign can increase sales of higher priced or higher margin items. Stop signs, fire engines and police car lights are all easy to spot and we react to them, just like hungry customers will when they see your red sign.
Local, Fresh, Co-Branded
The locavore movement is everywhere, highlighting fresh and locally sourced ingredients. Focus on a unique ingredient labeled as local, fresh or co-branded with the grower or producer, and your customers will bite. Tying the menu item to a named source boosts customer confidence. Even if your customers have never heard of EIO Farm, they’ll like the idea that you’re partnering with a local grower for fresh ingredients and they’ll want to try it, too. Use the producer’s brand name on a sign to bolster your item and your brand for success at the register.
The full-meal deal, extra-value meal — you get the idea. Even cable companies give you a deal if you get internet, television and phone. It’s cheaper for the consumer, more convenient for the seller and gives the impression of value. Vineet Kumar of Harvard Business School and Timothy Derdenger of Carnegie Mellon University researched the topic and learned that mixed bundling, where the customer has the option to buy items individually or bundled, is most successful. Placing a bundled price sign beneath or to the side of the regular menu will offer the choice of buying two or three items separately or bundled, with the bundle showing a clear value price. By pricing just a little lower than the total of individual items, your customers will notice the value, make the choice and buy more. Customers feel they’ve made a smart choice to save with the bundle and you’ve sold more.
Food Holiday Focus
If new is good, celebration may be even better recommends Richard Willis, the owner of M&R Trailers and Trucks. If it’s National Cheddar Cheese Day, shout it out on a separate sign to bump your sales. Check the food holidays index at foodimentary.com for something to cheer about every day of the year, and choose whatever is appropriate for your food truck and put it on a sign. Every day or once in a while, the food of the day sign is a good bet. The fun of a “holiday” will appeal to your customers and you don’t have to drop the price. It’s not a sale, it’s a food day! It is a bonus to have a feature that’s not about price and avoiding “sale fatigue” with an upbeat, highlighted food is fun. It’s a great way to break the ice with new and returning food truck customers. Make a food of the day sign and start a conversation at your window. Give these five sign ideas a try for increased business at your food truck. Use signs one at a time, or combine them for more punch and a bigger bottom line.
Emily Wrigley works at MR-Trailers.com. When not writing about the mobile food industry, she enjoys cooking food for friends and family.