Food trucks and carts are a huge part of Portland culture. Many of us grab lunch every day at a cart pod, or snag some poutine at a late-night truck without even considering another option. They’re easy, often fast, and affordable. Another aspect of food carts that we may not consciously think about is their connection to online culture.
Many of the most popular food carts have an online presence, and several do connectivity in a very unique way. The entire concept of food carts means that the business’s location can shift at any time, and keeping customers updated on the cart’s location is very important. Whether it’s through a Facebook update, a tweet, or a text notification, business could be lost without these tools.
One of the most important things about a food cart website is that they should be mobile-friendly. People on the search for a food cart are usually outside, on their way to lunch, or bar-hopping downtown, and may not have access to a full laptop or desktop at the moment. A non-mobile-friendly site can discourage potential customers if the menu is impossible to see or won’t open, or if the website text doesn’t scale to size.
Interestingly, some food carts rely solely on word-of-mouth: they don’t have any website at all! If done properly, this gimmick might work well for them. It makes them more mysterious, and without a readily available menu online, it might draw people to seek out the cart in person. In fact, a few of the most-established carts in Portland rely on word-of-mouth and have a more stationary location (i.e., they don’t move locations much, if at all). However, with the abundance of carts in Portland and the surrounding areas, trying out this strategy as a newcomer could flop, and flop terribly. It’s a risk, particularly in our increasingly-mobile world.
To sum everything up: have a modern, scalable, mobile-friendly and user-friendly site. Don’t use PDF menus, keep your hours and location updated, and take advantage of social media! These are the basics, but they’re pretty crucial basics.
If you own a food truck and you’d like to branch out into having a heavier online presence, let us know. Div Creative can create a site that fits all of your individual needs. We also love working with creative concepts, so if you want to do something new and fun, we’ll be right there with you!