This paper comprises a marketing plan for a food-based organisation, Toothsome Foods. This business intends to utilise a food truck’s versatility and comfort to explore the market’s desire to have food on the go. The company will begin its operations in major cities and later expand into the suburbs after establishing the market. After explorative research on the food truck business, the culinary market still has many market gaps even as People are placing more incentive to get quality food at a convenient location. Additionally, there is an increased fixation on obtaining unique food experiences as the cuisine business moves from one market segment to another. People are getting more averse to fit into the situation. Likewise, social media marketing is allowing companies with food trucks to increase their visibility at cheap costs. In more youthful markets, food trucks are turning into a better option for lunch. Moreover, the developing pattern of organisations fighting against drunk driving prompted this idea since food deliveries could be made to the revellers instead.
While conducting preliminary research that led to this idea’s development, it was concluded that most college students leave parties to get food from fast-food locations. Overdrinking is also another problem affecting the youths and middle-aged. It was also realised that most of the working class population eat their lunch outside during weekdays. Some may have to travel over long distances to get quality, and affordable food since most food outlets in urban centres are expensively priced. By offering portable food at reasonable prices, Toothsome Foods could be a legitimate choice to help in these issues. Additionally, this food truck business could be manageable in all urban centres in the United States.
A food truck is a large mechanised vehicle or trailer that cooks, serves, and sells food products. Recently, there has been a surge in food trucks with many selling ice-cream, frozen food, fast food, gourmet cuisine, and beverages. Food trucks alongside food booths and food carts are slowly creeping to the street food industry’s frontline serving up to 2 billion people every day (Alfiero et al., 2017). As a business, the food trucks have almost the same concerns as the traditional hotel business only that they are mobile. They, however, need a fixed address to facilitate the supply of ingredients and a commercial kitchen for food preparation. As food trucks’ popularity keeps rising, policymakers are conversely reacting to the situation by establishing new laws while hotel owners fear competition (Alfiero et al., 2017). These issues introduce a degree of business uncertainty. For instance, Chicago had been restricting food truck business operations in the city until 2012 after legislators gave in to pressure from supporters (Martin, 2017). However, the business continues to expand, and by 2017, the food truck business had surpassed 2 billion US Dollars in income, demonstrating the success of the ventures (Alfiero et al., 2017).
These statistics prompted research and the development of this marketing plan. This paper is a marketing plan of a food truck business, Toothsome Foods, that sells food to students in colleges and city dwellers who rely on hotel services for lunch at work. This idea aims at decongesting hotels, preventing drunk driving when revellers leave parties to look for food and proving a viable alternative to unique and tasty food. The raw materials will be sourced from various college student farms across the city and other local producers.
Geographic, demographic and psychographic customer targets
We focus on concentration segmentation, and the main focus is on generation Z for the marketing mix. Geographically, the main population of interest is college students since they are exposed to the possibility of partying at late hours when most eateries are closed. We also target urban dwellers who are exploring food and maybe close to our end products. We intend to place advertisements strategically in areas that consumers between the age of 16-30 visit frequently. Additionally, posters will be distributed to nearby colleges to advance promotion efforts. Demographically, the target market is male and female individuals between the ages of 16 and 30. We have envisioned that this population may consume our products since while some may be proactive on healthy eating options, others are open-minded. Our products fit both criteria. Statistics also show that this age group prefers a range of fast food items provided in our food truck (Yoon & Chung, 2018). We, however, hope do develop lasting relationships with customers of all ages. Psychographically, our services will balance between customers who are health conscious and those who are not. We also target consumers who prefer eating local food since all our suppliers will be locally contracted.
The primary, secondary and tertiary customer target
The primary target customer segment is the urban residents who use food truck services in big cities’ fast lane. More attention is focused on youths and middle-aged people with at least a minimum wage, professionals with regular jobs who regularly buy lunch on weekdays, and people who do not like waiting in restaurant lines. Other primary targets include the working class, and Generation X, although most customers will be millennials. These people are more familiarised with the food truck service and may be willing to try new flavours (Yoon & Chung, 2018). The objective is to retain a regular client looking for quality and convenient food services delivered at a reasonable cost and time. The target client is aware, informed, and has the desire to experiment with new flavours with enthusiasm.
The secondary customer target is also people from urban dwellings who are interested in entertainment. This group includes teenagers, youths, creative, high school students, and outgoing people. The expected client proportion is one that looks for convenience and uses the commodity for special occasions. The population may also be interested in getting food delivery after a party to avoid drunk driving. These customers are usually eager, intrigued, and intend to buy. The tertiary target customer signet is that or city dwellers with no age restriction, family size, or gender. The middle class dominates this group, and they may use this service for convenience. There is minimal if any loyalty to the brand and they may be unaware of their taste inclinations. These there customer segments are significant on the grounds that they are target all populations of the city. The details will develop the business through oral promotions, online adverts, and the aim is to attract more clients.
Unique Selling Proposition
The most significant unique selling proposition in this organisation is the pricing and the waiting time. To minimise waiting time, spreads and bread will be prepared before the trip to ensure that the maximum waiting time is five minutes. The average waiting time in other trucks is usually fifteen minutes. Most items on the menu will also be $5.00 or less, unlike in other trucks in which the average price of food is $7.00. Another significant competitive advantage. Comparing this business with other food truck businesses, the unique feature of Toothsome Food truck services is that the organisation operates all around the clock to deliver food and circulate and stop at designated stops all around the city. The menu will range from gluten-free, dairy products, refreshments, meat products, vegan and fast foods. The food varieties are bound to attract people from different food cultures.
Another unique proposition in this business is that the raw materials will be locally sourced. There is a growing trend of people increasingly preferring locally sourced goods to boost the local economy. This business will source its farm products from student farms in the various learning institutions it will be operating. The company will additionally source its raw material from farmers within the state. The organisation will also ensure quality in the raw material by using competitive tendering while procuring goods. The quality of the product will be provided through random surveys by the quality assurance team. While proving quality cuisine services, Toothsome Foods will be contributing to the growth of the local economy.
According to Waldfogel (2019), to ascertain dominance in the cuisine market, an organisation should have the capacity to control stock in hand, have proximity to key markets, get authorised to operate, offer quality products and offer a differentiated menu. Having the ability to oversee inventory in hand can increase profit through waste management, reducing purchasing costs. The food truck must also operate close to key markets to increase foot traffic and reach the target market. Since food trucks have appeared to be popular with consumers who are in a hurry but want unique meal experiences, being near these essential areas is critical. Permits are also necessary. It is likewise significant that the food truck has viable quality control to meet regulatory guidelines. This will differentiate the food delivery organisation from the high-level competitor by offering great food and an exceptional menu. Toothsome Foods would have similar achievement factors. Most organisations that operate food trucks are either self-stocked or get their raw material from a local supplier. This means that managing stock in hand is essential. According to a recent study by Smith et al., (2016), the youth between ages 18-24 represent up to 28 % of the late-night dining industry. Subsequently, Toothsome Foods expects comparative rates since this is the primary target market.
In comparison to physical eateries, food trucks can react rapidly to the changing tastes of food based on client reports while providing relatively low food costs. According to the report, many consumer inclinations have influenced the growth of the industry-leading to the emergence of prevalent trends on income, weather, health effects, and convenience (Smith et al., 2016). Because food trucks can provide customers with better value for their money than physical restaurants, customers do not reduce their discretionary spending on food in downturn periods. Convenience and health factors have also been significant factors that determine the expansion of mobile food businesses. Food tracks have navigated through this issue through their ability to change their menu adeptly to suit consumer needs. This business is no exception. An update on the menu will be done monthly, depending on the target region. The recipes will, however, remain standardised. Moreover, this business’s versatile ability will appeal to a larger audience compared to a physical restaurant.
Pricing and Positioning Strategy
We intend to use the classic pricing and positioning strategy in this food truck business to market penetration. Due to the lower production costs associated with local sourcing of raw materials, the food product’s entry price may be set lower than that of similar and existing organisations. However, products that have a unique recipe should have a comparatively higher price for branding. During the introductory phase, the market penetration price should be predetermined and used only for a specific timeframe for orders made. In this case, a lower price is set that attracts purchasers quickly to win a large market share in a predetermined duration of time (Faith & Agwu, 2018). After the food truck has established the desired market dominance, prices can gradually increase to the ideal levels. After product introduction, prices can be negotiated to fit every customer segment with discounts for large orders to ordering large quantities of food regardless of item novelty. Toothsome Foods will also employ a cost-oriented model in pricing the menu options through food cost percentage pricing. Prices on the menu will be calculated by dividing the food’s cost by the objective food cost rate. The food truck manager will dictate the accurate quality to reach an ideal net revenue when all expenses are presented. Since the food truck intends to source most of its ingredients from local farmers at little costs, the menu may be competitively priced. For instance, if the average costs to produce one food truck item is between $1.25 and $1.75, the product may be sold for $5-$7.
Toothsome Foods’ positioning intends to be that of a friendly and accessible brand that publicises its view over costs, profits, and environmental implications. The aim is to lure Chefs into joining the business and convert loyal customers into brand evangelists. The respective positioning of the food truck business, however, varies with the customer segment.
Toothsome Foods intends to use various channels to convey desired food products to their consumer depending on their taste. For the distribution of products and conceivably other merchandise, our food truck plans to operate every day from October 2020 in city institution main gates at scheduled times. Since moat ingredients are locally sourced, trucking will be the primary mode of transport to improve efficiency and save on costs. The food truck will primarily base its operations at the city park from 10 am. These times are subject to menu item availability, client delivery times, and the business’s popularity in a particular area. If the food truck services become as popular as we believe they could be, hours can be extended to incorporate breakfast and supper. The food truck may also be available upon special requests like parties or food delivered at the doorstep on client instructions.
Since all the ingredients are locally sourced, a “just-in-time” stick inventory schedule will be actualised based on the possibility of having minimal lead times. Most student farms produce more than they can distribute, which implies that the ingredient supply may be constant except in any severely antagonistic conditions. A typical issue that affects retailers at the beginning of the product supply chain is channel conflict (Liu, 2020). This occurs when a supplier provides goods or services to multiple organisations at different costs. For this specific endeavour, channel conflict will not be an issue since there is only one sale outlet for the final product. There are no delegate organisations that would expose a product to value markup.
The marketing mix of this business further elaborates on the distribution channel. In the marketing mix, place involves having the right product, at the right place and time, whereas food trucks strike this gold in unconventional ways (Liu, 2020). According to Hosseinpour (2018), an intensive distribution framework is for highly consumed goods that organisations want available in many areas. On the other hand, exclusive distribution systems are more connected with costly and complicated purchases (Hosseinpour, 2018). Although fast food distribution is categorically neither of the two, Toothsome Foods aims at achieving exclusive distribution. The food truck will also employ a Pull strategy to retain customers because it will act as both the manufacturer and the retailer. This will be made possible through real-time updates on the Truck’s social media location to avoid conflicts in distribution. Although trends may change, the food truck may also be found in all events and art exhibitions happening in the city during the weekends. In the future, Toothsome Foods may open doors to franchising to facilitate expansion.
We intend to promote The Toothsome Food truck business through various channels. The acquaintance with our market, service, product contributions, taste, and quality is the first step towards gaining supporters that create brand loyalty. We plan on achieving this through advertising and direct showcasing though social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. These web-based tools provide pitching opportunities to the relevant consumer section through customisation. We can publish pertinent data on our services on the pages. On Facebook, the page could feature essential information like hours of operation, contacts, and the affiliation with student farms, the menu, and promotional posts. The promotional feature of Facebook may allow for the marketing of unique menu options. Twitter will help us showcasing continuously by reminding our market that we are accessible and entice them to stop by for a meal using catchy phrases. Twitter may also be used for promotional purposes weekly or monthly. For Instagram, posts will be primarily geared towards menu advertisements. High-quality pictures of products, sales, and branding will be posted to give the customer a glimpse of what they may expect at the food truck. These photographs may range from healthier options, gluten-free alternatives, began dishes, and food targeting the open-minded consumer. Pictures of the food truck can also be added on social media platforms to increase brand recognition.
Another promotional strategy that can be used is Guerilla Marketing that involves brand ambassadors who may promote food products at social gatherings (Išoraitė, 2018). We can have brand agents utilise social groups within various campuses or party hotspots to promote the food truck products through flyers and coupons during the introductory stage. Learning institutions and party hotspots are a great way to connect with our target market since many people in these places are in our primary target market. Coupons may include a suggestive phrase like “1/2 off your first purchase” or “20% off any meal on Mondays”.
In conclusion, publicising through a grand opening event is essential in increasing awareness. Giving out free food may pull in potential buyers who may be looking for unique tastes in this event. This is an excellent strategy for introducing products made from the organisation’s unique recipes. The event can be publicised mainly on social media platforms, physically using posters and the mainstream media.
Special attention has also been given to developing an outstanding logo that will emphasise the uniqueness of Toothsome Foods products. The logo and trademark will be clearly illustrated on all social media pages, trucks, and business-related documents. The car will additionally be large, brightly coloured and it may have sound systems for occasional roadshows. This combination of strategies may help establish a significant customer base within the first few months of operation.
Although there was cautious planning and defining Toothsome Foods’ strategic goals, circumstances may prevent the attainment of these objectives. For both sakes and budgetary purposes, a negative deviation of up to 10% from expected sales and anticipated profits are acceptable. However, if sales objectives and returns on investments are less than 90%, certain moves must be made. For unacceptable sales during the first year of operation, Toothsome Foods will combat this issue by increasing in-store promotions of unique products. The upgrades will be conducted during weekends and peak shopping times. In case sales do not improve within one month, the organisation will be prompted to advertise through weekly brochures for the store for one month.
Six months after promotion incentives, sales will be evaluated for improvement. Toothsome Foods will consider contracting marketing experts to carry out in-store promotions to push sales if not meeting satisfactory levels. This authoritative relationship will be founded on sales commissions, consequently motivating the specialists to promote the products. Toothsome Foods will inspect its accounts receivable procedures for unsatisfactory business liquidity to guarantee that payment periods are convenient. Cash flow projections will also be examined to determine whether there are unexpected expenses that sabotage the business’s economic health. In the case of inadmissible returns on equity, Toothsome Foods will initially investigate and look at the per-unit production and marketing costs with sales prices. If the margins are excessively meagre, a cost increment on the products will be an option. The business, however, emphasises minimising production costs to retain a relatively competitive price of products.
This business plan aims at providing the community with an alternative food supply system that delivers quality and unique menus. Operations are flexible and timely to cater for all culinary needs of the city. This business mainly targets the working class and revellers who may drive over long distances to assess affordable and quality food. As student farms and local farmers look for extra outlets to sell their products through, the idea of creating a simple platform of a food truck emerged. The concept of proving revellers with a safe food delivery alternative that prevents drunk driving also strengthens this incentive. With the emerging trend of mobile cuisines, we hope to create a brand that contains the sentiments of community support and provide wholesome meals that clients of all demographics consume. With a vast organisational body and unrivalled social support, healthy foods will quickly grow its popularity and turn into a substantial expansion to the family of restaurants that the community can enjoy.
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