Street food is exciting. However, when a long queue is waiting at the front of a vendor, having to wait can quickly stamp down on the fun. Here’s what to know about keeping your food truck customers happy this year, using smartphone technology to aid the quality of your food services.
Allow customers to explore winding city streets and street food vendors without having to endure painful waiting times for food. Talk to us about your business and learn about all the great cost-free benefits of a food truck wait app.
Why are Food Trucks Usually Busy?
Street food provides an adventurous foodie experience unavailable in traditional restaurants. Ask any inner-city or urban vendor about why customers come their way, and they will usually answer that their food provides a sense of exploration, of home-grown street culture.
Some national cuisines are famous for their street food: in India, for instance, food carts are a regular feature of its urban landscapes, and almost 100,000 are interspersed throughout the streets and alleys in the city of Hyderabad. There is a thrill to digging into real street food that brings customers back again.
Across Europe, street food is a hot topic. Festivals, gatherings, and events in city centres attract hungry customers from across the globe. The European Street Food awards are testament to this trend, and boast some of the biggest vendor names in the world, from across the continent (including Iceland, where the city of Reykjavik hosts an international street food festival during the summer).
How Long Should You Wait for Food at a Food Truck
Unlike restaurants that seat their customers, a food truck is ready and waiting for a customer to purchase food and go. Food delivery should be quick. Otherwise food trucks may lose business. One survey found that over 80 per cent of customers approached food trucks for a new and exciting experience; they cited convenience as the number one most enjoyable aspect of dining.
A food truck that provides a customer with their food in five to ten minutes can serve more customers throughout the day. However, fifteen to twenty minutes is a stretch, and half an hour is far too long to ask a customer to wait whilst standing in the same place. This is where technology provides a helping hand.
What Apps Do Food Trucks Use?
There are a myriad of food business apps out there for hospitality venues but which ones are useful for food trucks?
To help hungry customers find you, a vendor finder app gives truck owners the opportunity to upload details about their business and broadcast news on their whereabouts on the internet. When food trucks travel between different locations, they can use the app to send out push notifications on social media channels, alerting customers to their presence. This updates several social media pages automatically at once, removing the need for business owners on the move to do so themselves.
Specialised for food businesses on the move, some point-of-sale (POS) software providers offer systems that do not require a Wi-Fi connection to run. Food trucks can take digital orders and card payments outside the wall of the food truck itself.
Name some of the most famous cities in the world — there’s an app for finding food trucks in every one of them. These work on the same principle as a location finder app, but are for those established in their own city or town. Perfect for busy businesses with established local spots.
The Problem With Food Truck Queues
Buying food on the street is nothing new and in the past decade has really taken off. Research from hospitality bodies has shown that 50 per cent of British consumers buy street food at least once a week. The popularity of this type of food, however, has also led to busy scenarios — namely, in-person lines and queues.
Food trucks are a great way for customers to sample freshly prepared food but having to wait for a meal is rarely a good experience. With dozens of people lining up for a food truck, large queues may make you think the food is certainly worth the wait. However, this is a widespread myth throughout the industry. No matter how good the food, customers prefer to eat than to wait with no time limit in mind — and will go to a neighbouring van if they wait too long.
Queues are ubiquitous and form outside restaurants all the time. However, many restaurants have learned the simple tips and tricks that come with a handy hospitality app — and it’s time food venues share the benefits. A food truck wait app means mobile businesses can get even more out of their customers, cooking up, preparing, and sharing food on the spot with the masses venturing the city streets.
3 Advantages of a Food Truck Wait App
One of the most useful advantages of a smartphone app for hospitality purposes is also the most obvious: it’s already in your hands. On average, it takes less than five minutes to download, set up, and start using an app to enjoy these three quick advantages.
Go Paperless. There is limited space inside every food truck. It’s fine to use a pen-and-paper notebook for notes in other hospitality contexts. But in a food truck, where are you going to keep all the extra supplies? Handing out handwritten notes to customers doesn’t help, only serving to create potential confusion and disappointment when a customer receives the wrong order.
Multi-device compatibility. Wherever your truck finds itself, you can use a food truck wait app on multiple devices at one time, either Android or iOS. A food truck can introduce a new, fresh way to serve customers on the go with the technology everybody has in their pockets.
Customisable features. Whether your truck serves gourmet cupcakes or plant-based vegan food, a free food truck wait app provides customisation features to fit your style. Customise messages you send to customers on the move to help them enjoy any wait they may have to encounter during their visit.
Hit the Road with a Free Food Truck Wait App
For a free, easy-to-use service, food truck operators have nothing to lose when they choose Carbonara App. What’s more, the app is completely portable, providing staff with everything they need to save their customers time, reducing the pain related to experiences waiting on delicious and exciting new street food.
Love street food with a place to sit? Both restaurants and food trucks can keep their tables full with a free wait app, creating a customer in-flow system by using SMS messaging technology.
The world is going digital — and so is the hospitality industry. Restaurant waitlist apps speed up customer turnover and allow hospitality venues to skip the chance of no-shows occurring. Made with a friendly design, both restaurants and customers can enjoy the full benefits of restaurant waitlist apps, wherever they are in the world.