The most exciting part of the journey, coming up with your niche and using that to make a name for yourself. But when entering an industry where everyone has the same goal and every idea has already been done, you need to figure out what makes you special and how you can set yourself apart from the rest.
I’m here to help you do just that. With this new blog, we’ll be discussing the most popular ideas and how you can think outside the box to make your food truck stand out.
What are the most popular food trucks?
Now, these suggestions are always going to change but this is what we’re currently seeing on the market.
Mac and cheese
Comfort food at its finest. Mac and cheese food trucks are extremely fashionable and know that when you visit a food market and see one, there will be nothing standard about it.
It’s a pretty versatile dish and the most common way vendors are approaching this modest winter warmer is through the choice of toppings. I’ve seen BBQ pulled pork, bacon, guacamole, fried onions, mushrooms, lobster, truffle and even crushed flamin’ hot Cheetos – and they all draw in the crowds!
So, if cheese is your choice, think of different and interesting toppings that can be used to pimp up your mac.
Sticking with the cheese theme, food market toasties are not just your average cheese toasties. Oh no, we’ve recently seen a rise in the number of vendors taking your humble hot sandwich and taking it to the next level.
Whether that be through the use of posh cheeses, fancy chutneys or sourdough bread, make it so your customers never look at a homemade toastie in the same way – and they keep visiting you when they crave one!
They’re also a great choice as they can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch and even dinner so cash in all the all-day trade.
Sushi seems to be growing in popularity everywhere. What once was a high-end dining experience can now be grabbed on the go, enjoyed as a snack or a full-blown sashimi meal.
Jump on that TikTok trend and offer sushi bowls. Fresh and healthy whilst also simple and quick to make, your customers will be extremely satisfied. So, grab some rice and fish of choice, make a spicy sauce and have a selection of interesting toppings like fresh mango, sesame seeds, seaweed, pickled cucumber and the trusty avocado on offer.
Making sushi bowls your niche can allow you to flex your imagination and invent unusual and exciting combos for weekly specials.
Mexican cuisine is enjoyed all over the world and this makes it a safe bet as so many people know the flavours and dishes. In my eyes especially, guacamole is a food made by angels and there will be many of you who agree with me so, a good Mexican will always be a winner and will, therefore, forever be included on this list.
It’s another easy-to-eat and serve option, especially if you choose to make burritos. Stick it all in the tortilla and then, as with sushi bowls, you can have a selection of toppings on offer for people to make it their own.
Who have you met that hasn’t tried a Mexican or D.I.Y’d it themselves at home? Not many, that’s for sure! It’s never as authentic when you make it at home so make sure to make yours a fiesta of flavour and get those people coming back for more and more.
Take the concept and use it to your advantage and produce dishes that aren’t typically associated with food trucks. Make those posh plates of food portable and a fraction of the cost!
You just want to ensure yours have the same quality – you don’t want it to be disappointing, there’s nothing worse than being let down by food!
Offering these 5* meals on wheels gives your customers a taste of the ‘good life’ – as it’s described.
There are too many of these to even try and count, but I’ll include it because a burger will always be a popular and easy choice – just try and add a spin to what you offer.
There is a big emphasis on health and how to live your best life and this is especially prevalent when it comes to what we put in our bodies, so it’s no surprise to see how this health-conscious movement influences the food industry.
From kale chips to glowing green smoothie bowls, we’ve seen a variety of different healthy eating habits tackled. With this one, try to make your products sound and look as appetising as possible. You’ll be up against the likes of fried chicken, mac and cheese and doughnuts, so unless you only want the strict paleo/keto clientele, make healthy eating fun, interesting and, most importantly, sound delicious.
With this suggestion, I’d also consider the type of events you attend. As I said, you’ll be up against some of the classic, go-to dishes so, perhaps, sticking to organic food or farmers markets will see you have more success.
Following on from the health-focused suggestion, you don’t always have to focus on the main course. Juices are a real crowd-pleaser, especially in the summer months. They are another chance to get creative. Try different fruit combos or use what’s in season.
From waffles and pancakes to ice cream and churros, I don’t know about you, but I cannot say no to anything sweet! Get those mouths watering and tastebuds tingling as you offer a treat that will satisfy the sweetest tooth.
One sweet trend that seems to have stuck around is cupcakes. They’re cheap and easy to make and even easier to eat (try and tell me I’m wrong!). They’re also small enough for customers not to feel too guilty about buying more than one. Get creative with your flavours and decorations and make it impossible for people to just have one!
I don’t know if anyone else has come across them but on cooking shows like MasterChef, contestants can come up with some pretty wild flavour ideas. Burnt toast? Blue cheese? Green olive? Errrrrrr…
Whilst ice cream itself is a firm favourite globally, you may want to rein it in on some of the wacky combos (or choose where you sell them carefully) and stick to putting your mark on a classic or jumping on the bandwagon of a popular food trend, like Biscoff – it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere!
You could even use Ben and Jerry’s as your inspiration – they put ready salted crisps in one of their pots and it seems to be doing well.
These are the most popular food truck ideas and, because of that, you’re likely to have seen them all before – I know I have! Don’t get me wrong, they are all great ideas, it just means that there will be several thousand already operating.
Just remember that the aim of this game is to stand out and make you and your business the centre of attention, so get imaginative! Try to put a clever spin on a classic or mix two cuisines together, it’s all about trying to come up with something people haven’t seen before – and, saying that, leads me onto my next point nicely…
How can I make my food truck stand out?
When it comes to standing out, this doesn’t just fall to your creative menu ideas. Yes, you want to wake up your customers’ tastebuds with something unique and delicious but first, you have to catch their eye and draw their attention away from your competitors.
Whether that be through a funky truck wrap or an amusing name, it’s all about thinking outside the box and setting yourself apart from the rest.
Choosing a name can be one of the most difficult tasks, so I’ve put together a few tips to help you out:
- Humorous names and funny tag lines work – street food culture is relaxed so as long as it isn’t offensive, a bit of tongue and cheek will work in your favour.
- Be specific – try and incorporate what you’re selling or your signature dish in the name. Having it loud and proud will help customers decide what they ‘fancy'.
- Support where you’re from – if you’re travelling a fair few miles and what you’re offering is unique or well-known to where you live, include it in your name. Let your customers know where these masterpieces come from, and where they can go to get more!
Before you go
I hope this blog has given you the food truck inspiration needed to start your own food truck business. If it did and your journey has begun, keep us updated! We’d love to see how you get on!
If you’re not quite there yet, let me know in the comments which food truck you’d go for or are thinking of pursuing!
It’s not just your name and menu you need to think about, you can’t forget your insurance! Lucky for you, you’re in the right place. Lexham Insurance offers an exclusive catering van insurance scheme that is designed for all vans, trucks and mobile shops up to 7.5 tonnes.