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20 easy marketing tips for mobile caterers to boost your sales

The Coronavirus pandemic meant that the vast majority of mobile catering businesses had to shut up shop temporarily. But now lockdown has been lifted and restrictions have eased, mobile caterers are welcoming peckish patrons once again!

If you run a mobile catering business, no doubt your profits would have been hit by the pandemic.

So, now you’re back up and running, you want to make the very most of the rest of the season and sell delicious dishes like ice cream as much as you possibly can. And marketing can help you do just that.

Before we share some of our top tips, have you sorted out catering insurance? We specialise in cover for a range of catering vehicles and can insure against a whole host of risks.

From hot and cold dispensers to ice cream vans and jiffy trucks, we can arrange cover for vehicles ranging from £1,000 to £200,000. We can also protect fixtures and fittings within your van, which could exceed the cost of the vehicle itself.

Simple ways to market your mobile catering business

Marketing your business needn’t be a drain on your time, money and resources. Here are some simple things you can do to raise awareness of your catering business and inspire people to come sample your food.

  1. You’ve got a website for your catering business, but is it optimised for mobile devices? The majority of potential customers will be searching for your business on their smartphones or tablets – it’s really important to provide a good experience once they land on your website. That means no scrolling, pinching or zooming to read text!
  2. A regularly updated blog is a great feature for any website and will help show people that you’re a serious foodie. Topics can include food trends (especially those related to your specialty), coverage of events you’re attending, insight into your business and your team members.
  3. There’s no doubt about it: you need to have a social presence these days. Facebook is great for raising brand awareness, creating and sharing events and posting updates; LinkedIn is useful for connecting with businesses that may need catering; while Instagram is all about mouth-watering foodie snaps.
  4. Speaking of Instagram… make sure you use relevant #hashtags when sharing your foodie snaps, including local tags to drum up interest among people in the area.
  5. Instagram Stories is a must, as well – use it to let people know where you’re setting up for the day, what specials are on your menu, and to ‘regram’ images of happy customers sharing pictures of your food (don’t forget to tag them).
  6. Press releases are still an effective marketing tactic. And the great thing is, you can create just one release and send it to foodie magazines, food bloggers, local event websites and local newspapers to see if they’d like to spin a story and publish it.
  7. When trade shows start to pick up again, book yourself a slot. They are a fantastic way to get your name out there and demonstrate what you have to offer. You’ll want to pick your best dish and create samples of it to hand out!
  8. Customers love a bargain – and while you probably don’t want to knock off too much money on your food at a time like this, a 10% voucher attached to a promotional flyer could really help draw in the crowds.
  9. A discount is also a good incentive to inspire people to hand over their email address so you can keep in touch with them and drive repeat custom. Just make sure you follow GDPR guidelines and ask for their permission to send promotional materials.
  10. Consider creating a monthly newsletter to send out to customers who have opted to receive communications from you. Make it engaging and visual, share upcoming events and even recipe tips!
  11. If it’s not already, consider branding your van so that it gets noticed when you’re driving around. Display your logo, website and contact number – think of it as ‘marketing on the move’!
  12. Set up Google Alerts so you know whenever your business is mentioned in a piece of content on the web. If it’s a positive review or mention of your catering business from somewhere reputable, then make sure you share it across your social channels.
  13. Showcase the people behind your business. Let them take over social media for the day, or – with their permission – share photos of them rustling up and serving food from your van, ideally with a big smile on their face!
  14. Food bloggers may have a huge influence over your potential customers. While bloggers with a massive following might be expensive to work with, some may be willing to work with you for a free meal. Remember though, reviews should always be authentic.
  15. Inspire user-generated content by hosting a competition across your social channels. For example, the best photo of one of your dishes wins a free meal.
  16. A loyalty scheme is a great way to inspire people to return to your catering van. It can be as simple as a loyalty card that entitles them to a free meal of their choice after a certain number of visits or after spending a set amount of money with you.
  17. There’s no harm in serving up a promotional leaflet with your dishes – or at least, placing your business cards on the counter for people to take if they want. If a customer enjoys your food, they might keep hold of that leaflet or card and pass it on to a friend or family member as a form of recommendation. Advertise the fact you do weddings, birthdays and so on, too!
  18. If you’ve got the budget available, consider having professional photos taken of your food for your website and social channels. You can save some money by opting for a student photographer keen to get some experience.
  19. Do you use local suppliers for your ingredients? If so, then partner up with them for your marketing efforts – share their news, photos and updates, and get them to do the same for you.
  20. Embrace video marketing! From ‘behind the scenes’ footage of how you create your staple dishes, to footage from events and trade shows, to ‘meet the team’ clips, videos can be a great way to engage customers old and new. Video is also a great way to stand out from the crowd on busy social media feeds.

Get catering insurance from Mobilers

Let Mobilers arrange catering insurance for your business and you’ll get to enjoy a range of benefits and features, which can include:

  • Instant cover
  • Premiums with carefully selected insurers
  • Full fire cover
  • Mirror bonus available
  • Flexible payment options
  • Exclusive discounts

Get a free, no-obligation quote today!

Frequently asked questions

What offline marketing methods can I use for my mobile catering business?

Boosting your mobile catering business doesn't always require a digital approach. Traditional offline marketing methods can still be very effective. Consider using flyers and brochures to showcase your delicious menu and distribute them in high traffic areas.

Participate in local events and festivals where you can offer samples of your food. This way, customers get a taste of what you offer, which could lead to future bookings.

How do I create a marketing plan for a mobile catering business?

Creating a marketing plan for your mobile catering business starts with identifying your target audience. Who are the people most likely to avail your services? Once you've established that, now it's time to build your brand.

Make sure that your mobile catering truck is eye-catching and displays your business name prominently. Social media can be a powerful tool for marketing for mobile catering. Regularly post photos of your food and updates about where you'll be located.

Is mobile catering profitable?

The mobile catering business has been gaining traction in recent years due to its flexibility and cost-effectiveness. It allows entrepreneurs to serve a variety of food options directly to customers wherever they are, from office parks to outdoor events and more.

The initial investment is relatively low compared to a traditional restaurant, and the operating costs can be controlled more effectively. Therefore, with the right strategy and quality service, mobile catering can indeed turn into a profitable venture.

Do I need a food hygiene certificate for a mobile catering business?

Operating a mobile catering business requires a deep commitment to maintaining high food safety standards. You do need a food hygiene certificate.

This certification assures your customers that you understand the importance of food safety and are well-versed in best practices to prevent food illnesses. Having a food hygiene certificate also increases your credibility and can help to attract more customers.

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