food truck

School Lunches go Mobile With Food Trucks

If you attended a public school in America chances are you still get nightmares about school lunches that looked a little something like this:

Food Truck School Lunches Gross

Source: galleryhip.com

Is that even actually real meat? It certainly takes mystery meat to a whole new level at the very least. Even on the good days the options appeared unappetizing, prison like in appearance, and always unhealthy. On the absolute luckiest of days there was lukewarm pizza or a dry hamburger.

Luckily today, thanks in many ways to Michelle Obama’s health initiative and the Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, school lunches don’t bear much of a resemblance to that anymore. Schools all over the country are broadening their menus to offer tastier foods and even more importantly healthier options to get kids more excited about eating than about the social hour that many school lunch periods has evolved in to. Now a days schools are trying everything from involving local restaurant owners and chefs, to hosting student chef competitions, even developing revolutionary software and apps to streamline the entire ordering process, and in some cases even having food trucks cater lunches to give students the healthiest and most delicious food options available.

In fact school districts in both Colorado and Texas are among those blazing the trail when it comes to food trucks serving school lunches.

Food Truck School Lunches Line

Source: denver.cbslocal.com

Ann Cooper, the director of food services for the Boulder Valley School District in Colorado puts it well, “In many places, school districts are one of the biggest purchasers of food in the area…We spend $2 million a year on food. That’s a lot of food for a school district to buy. For us to be able to support the community and our region as our region supports us is very important. When you work with small local companies, you can actually work with them.”

Cooper believes one of the coolest and most innovative things they are implementing this year to their food service program is the food truck. The Boulder Valley food truck was fully funded by a donation from Whole Foods and spends it’s time at the local high schools. It actually visits one of the district’s five large high schools each day on a rotating basis providing even more kids with the opportunity to benefit from it’s culinary skills. The food truck’s menu even changes on a regular basis to motivate students who won’t go to the cafeteria to eat school food. One week the truck will serve hamburgers on whole-wheat buns while also offering black bean or corn burgers, grilled-cheese and pesto sandwiches, barbecue pork sliders, and chicken pesto sandwiches with fruit, milk, and a side salad and the next week will be something completely different, but equally delicious. The truck’s meals cost the same as a meal in the cafeteria and is open to all students whether they qualify for free and reduced lunch or not.

Food Truck School Lunches Texas

Source: kvue.com

With much of the recent food truck craze originating in Austin, Texas it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Texas schools are beginning to capitalize on the trend as well. Hendrickson High School in Pflugerville, Texas recently became the first public school in the state of Texas to provide a food truck as a lunch option for students. The truck is called Talon Taco Company, which comes from the school mascot, the hawk and came about after the Pflugerville Independent School District requested advice from students, the district’s dietitian, and it’s food vendor to come up with a food truck ideas as an incentive to renew student interest in lunch time.

The truck offers a Chipotle style menu consisting of fajita chicken, beef, and pork, green peppers and onions, rice and beans and in addition the truck’s chef’s make three fresh salsa’s on a daily basis. The meal costs less than three dollars and like Boulder Valley’s food truck is available to all students including those who qualify for the free and reduced lunch program. There also plans to offer breakfast tacos from the truck in the near future.

The best part of both of school’s beginning to incorporate food trucks into their lunch options however is that they’re achieving their goals and getting students excited about lunch again, while still providing them with healthier options.

As Yvonne Lising, a junior at Hendrickson High School puts it, “Since the food truck came here people have been more excited for lunch, and they are more enthusiastic about it.”


Do you know of any schools or school districts in your area who are beginning to incorporate food trucks into their lunch systems? Leave a comment below!

Best Food Truck Point of Sale

Food Truck POS

How CRM Data Can Improve Your Food Truck’s Loyalty Program

The food truck business has been booming in recent years and a large part of that boom is due to effective marketing through social media platforms like, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. In fact, Jon Favreau, the director of Iron Man, even directed and starred in a film about food trucks this year that was released to audience adoration and critical acclaim.


However, with every boom there must always come a bust. How can food trucks avoid the bust part of the equation you ask? By using the CRM data available in their POS software of course.

Food Trucks CRM

Source: greenteadesign.com

What is CRM?

Customer Relationship Management or CRM for short has become a hot marketing tool for business owners to keep track of their customers and more importantly their specific customer preferences.


Many small businesses use their CRM data to accomplish the big and small. Better customer insight has proven to enhance everything from marketing efforts, product development and even developing your in-store loyalty programs.

CRM Software and Point of Sale

With the value and knowledge that CRM data gives small business owners, point of sales systems, like cafe cartel, have begun integrating these tools into their software. Now CRM data is easier to access than ever before.

 

This will help you improve your profit margins by allowing you to get a better idea of what sells and what doesn’t and most importantly for businesses that are constantly on the move, foster customer relationships that help create brand loyalty. CRM functionality utilizes the latest technology to organize and sync customer profiles with sales, marketing, and customer service to help build a more positive customer experience. And all that is available right from your POS software. It doesn’t get much easier than that does it?

Here are some specific ways your food truck can use CRM data:

Marketing

With the marketing aspect of CRM data you can track your efforts and see which deals are the most popular and therefore generating the most new business for you. Keeping track of which coupons you send or leave in different areas coupled with CRM coupon tracking is an easy way to learn which of your promotions in the most popular and will allow you to cater the deals to your customer’s behavior.

E-Mail

You can easily manage your customer email list. This comes in handy when mailing out promo schedules and keeping your customers up to date with the travels of your food truck. With the loyalty program tool you can even import your contact lists through an external app or site you already use such as Constant Contact or Mail Chimp.

Customer Profiles

This tool enables you to build a database of your customers and keep track of their purchase habits to give you a better understanding of how to keep them coming back to the table for seconds. Through this tool you can track loyalty engagement, purchase history, and even demographics. All this will help you know how to appeal to your customers on a case by case basis.

  • You can create email lists and manage your text messaging campaigns (both of which are vital to the success of food trucks) based on customer profile information. You can even use sites such as Mobo Mix that help manage your mass text campaigns to export and import contacts.
  • Create new contacts easily by scanning your customer’s ID

Calendar

Manage appointments, locations, and check for patterns to better serve your customer base. You can also import and export your calendar to better stay up to date while on the go. This will come in handy as well when managing seasonal promos and comparing sales numbers.

Gift Cards

The CRM component of your POS software is also where you can view and manage a customer’s gift card uses and values. This information will give you valuable insight into the purchase habits of customers and inform you how effective your gift card program is or isn’t.

Loyalty Program

There is nothing more important to a food truck’s survival than customer loyalty and with all this CRM data creating a loyalty program is easier than ever before. These tools allow you to appeal to customer preferences in addition to scheduling special “happy hour” prices or promotions that are built right into the software. After all happy customers make happy food truck owners.

Clearly CRM data could be an invaluable tool for food truck owners. So if your food truck’s POS system doesn’t come with CRM data, it’s time upgrade to one of CCS’s food truck POS system today.

6 Tips to Maintain an Awesome Food Truck Instagram

instagram-business

 

#foodtrucks #yum #streetfood #feedme #food #yummyeats #splurge #foodporn #foodcart #gft

Young adults love to engage in Instagram and follow their favorite places. Create an Instagram to connect to your customer and keep them engaged. This is a great opportunity to have fun with your page while reminding customers of your venue, announcing new promotions, and encouraging customers to return.

Posting Tips: 

1. Close-ups

The meat of your Instagram should consists of mouth-watering pictures of the food you are selling. You want to remind your customers how delicious your food is and have them want to come back.  Take close pictures of freshly made food with different angles.

Instagram Tips for Food Truck Business   Google Docs

Feel free to get creative with your food items. Place your burger on the edge of a table with a view of a bay and place a funny caption. Or have your tacos on a skateboard facing a hill. This is a place to keep pictures fun so that you add followers to your page and keep viewers and customer entertained.

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#thelife #paradise #daydrink

 

2. Happy Customers

Show off your customers with your product. This is a great way to tell customers to add you on Instagram to increase followers and also show of the success of your product.

6 Tips to Make your Food Truck Instagram Pop   Google Docs

 

#selfie #ecstatic #splurge

3. Interactive Pictures

Throughout the working hours, take candid picture of customers purchasing your products. You can add pictures of the customers grabbing the food, deciding what they want to order or just socializing with food in their hand. Whatever you post, make sure that your food product visible in the picture and that your caption mentions what you are selling.

collage

 

4. Promotions

When you have special deals or offers, Instagram is a great way to tell customers about it.  This is a great source to treat your loyal customers to some discounts to enjoy.

 

5. Contests

Create social media contests that will add more followers to your page. Tell people to promote your business by sharing content with their friends, and in return offer some sort of prize.

 

6. Big news related posts

If there is a major event that is happening you can definitely address it through the account. Make sure to keep all message positive and try to not over spam your newsfeed with too much information. Filter what is most important so that your followers do not get annoyed with the continous posts.

 

* Add hashtags to enhance your social presence and to get new followers. Relate the hashtag to the picture.

 

* For the best quality,use a professional camera and then send them to your phone to Instagram, rather than using a phone camera.

 

* Remember that whatever you post, you are representing your brand. You can keep your posts funny but make sure they are not offensive or controversial. This should be not hurt your image in any way.

 

* Be careful with filters. Do not post picture of your food give unrealistic colors to your product. It is better to use clear and light coloring where your product is most visible to the eye and where the filters do not take away the attention from the photo.

Best Food Truck Point of Sale System

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