Food trucks have evolved rapidly over the past several years, many regularly booked throughout the week as various popular events and accessible locations. This hospitality industry relies primarily on social media to spread the word and keep fans appraised of their whereabouts, and some are doing so in unique ways.
Dallas-based Two Trucks LLC launched its food-truck brand, The Butcher’s Son, in October. Two Trucks is led by CEO Jonathan Wagner, son of Johnsonville Sausage founder Ralph Stayer, and Dain Pool, son of Pool Restaurant Group’s CEO, Dan Pool.
The brand mainly features Johnsonville products, like sausages and brats. The Pool/Johnsonville relationship provides the truck an advantage of serving high-quality foods at affordable prices.
The Butcher’s Son exclusively uses Twitter and Facebook to spread the word about where they’re headed and what they’re up to, including “human” elements like sports mentions and light language.
Southern-California based White Rabbit Track also uses social media to advance their hospitality industry business. The Filipino fusion truck was developed to helped the team – Jame Du, Melvin Chua, and Michael Dimaguila – to introduce the masses on their take of Filipino cuisine.
In addition to Twitter and Facebook, White Rabbit Truck also uses a blog to expand further on their stops. For example, they highlighted their presence at a recent food truck festival by provided a thorough blogpost with the details of the event as well as its location and additional happenings. They also provide easy access to ticket purchasing along with maps and directions, making themselves a hub for everything related to the event.
Kogi BBQ also goes above and beyond. One of the very first trucks to put street food in the minds of everyday diners, Kogi BBQ began as the little Korean-taco-truck-that-could, peddling $2.00 Korean barbecue tacos on the streets of Los Angeles in October 2008.
Their site does a great job of integrating all their social platforms, including Twitter and Facebook, of course, and the blog, which is front-and-center. They embrace a slightly more bold approach to their blog, taking to pop culture topics in addition to food. Needless to say, this portrays the brand’s personality in a much more eclectic way than it otherwise would have. Going a step beyond, they also have a Flickr account featuring photos from their stops that is embedded in their site.
Some are even taking advantage of Pinterest, the new kid on the block, which provides ample opportunity for unique visual expression. Mei Mei Street Kitchen, a sibling-run food truck serving up creative, locally sourced, Chinese-American, farm-fresh fare in Boston, created a Pinterest page.
Here, they not only express their personality, but also things that are important to them, like great branding and design, inspirations, plus farms they love. They also have a board committed to great people doing great things, which expresses an element of social good – a great thing to do, especially in the dining industry.
On the mobile phone front, an app called Roaming Hunger is now available aggregating information for food trucks that are open at specific times, and lays out their locations via “pins” on a Google map.
Users can look up specific locations, or view all available pins to get an idea of what’s going on throughout the country. It’s a great way to keep tabs on your favorite trucks, plus learn about new ones.
Everything is displayed in a straight-forward manner, with all relevant information you may need. It even pulls up Twitter streams for those trucks that have them. The food truck map is accessible from a computer, or from the iPhone and Android apps. While most trucks are pretty good about keeping fans up on there whereabouts via social media, this is definitely a neat way for diners to access numerous trucks’ info in one place, in an easy way.
For a hospitality industry that is entirely mobile, having social channels to share content and encourage interaction around your business is invaluable.
What other unique ways have you seen food trucks embrace technology and social media?