Ask someone familiar with the route what
sells and what doesn't. If you are buying a route, ask the
seller or the person that previously serviced it. If the route is new,
find out about the people you will be serving. For example, if your
catering truck is going to industrial parks, go to the businesses and find
out if there is a predominate ethnicity represented. Stock ethnic
foods to match your customers.
Locate the local commissary, which is a facility that
provides food and beverages to catering trucks. Here, you can buy hot
foods, sandwiches and all items necessary for your operation.
Alter your menu to match the time of day.
If you are selling in the morning, breakfast fare such as coffee, scrambled
eggs, wraps, muffins, biscuits and gravy is appropriate. A coffee break
would include some healthy snacks, yogurt parfaits, granola, fruit cups,
with the usual coffee, tea, and biscuits. The afternoon and evenings
will bring out people looking for sandwiches, wraps and fried chicken. Meat
dishes and mashed potatoes and gravy are also good to stock later in the
day, and can make your customers feel like they've had a real meal.
Include salad and vegetables in your menu, changing the type on a
daily basis. Pizza can be a good seller any time, and you
can make a deal for a few pizzas from a local shop. They will be happy to
have them ready for you at a certain time every day.
Stock a variety of soda and packaged snacks.
Include variety drinks like fruit drinks, coffee, hot chocolate and iced
tea. They have a long shelf life and a good selection of these
items is better than a large amount of one or two things. Make sure you have
diet and non-diet drinks. The same goes for snacks, such as cookies and
Include high-quality hot beverages. Coffee is
perhaps your biggest and most important seller. A catering truck selling bad
coffee is a bad advertisement, so only serve fresh coffee. If you
have a long route, pull over and make a fresh pot. Hot chocolate, especially
in cold months, is also a good seller and is easily stored in individual
serving packets. Stock a variety of tea bags as well, ranging from black and
green to herbal varieties. To complete your hot beverage service, make
sugar, sweetener, cream and creamers available to your customers. Keep three
different sized cups so your customers can get exactly the size they prefer.
Have a different special each day if possible.
It won't be long before the people on your route will know your daily
special and will look forward to it. Try out such popular specials as
spaghetti, Chinese food or Polish sausages to see what works best with your
Stock cigarettes. It's impossible to
stock all brands, but make sure you have each type available including
menthols, filters, 100's and light brands.