Food trucks can serve just about any type of food, offering flexibility in creating a menu. However, some food truck menu items are more popular than others.
Popular Food Truck Menus
Here are just a few of the most popular food truck menu items:
- Grilled Cheese – Grilled cheese is a popular food truck theme, since grilled cheese sandwiches can be modified to make a wide variety of menu items. Whether you’re creating simple grilled cheese sandwiches with American cheese or elevated dishes like jalapeno popper grilled cheese, you can offer sandwiches that customers will love.
- BBQ – BBQ is popular both for its great taste and for its versatility. BBQ food trucks offer ribs, pulled pork, brisket, and other meat options. Often they offer their own variations of BBQ sauce. Some food trucks off BBQ with a twist (like those that offer Korean BBQ).
- Tacos – Tacos are so successful for food trucks because they can be cooked and sold at a low price. There are lots of options for taco trucks. From traditional Mexican tacos to tacos with a twist (like Nom Nom Truck’s Vietnamese tacos), this fare can dazzle customers.
- Empanadas – Empanadas can be made sweet or savory. They offer lots of variations and pair well with other foods, making them a popular food truck option.
- Pizza – Who doesn’t like pizza? Pizza trucks can offer simple or gourmet options. These can be especially popular at fairs and events where both children and adults may be eating.
- Italian Food – Pasta and other Italian food doesn’t have to be served in a brick-and-mortar location. Offer pasta, lasagna, and other Italian dishes from your food truck. Because pasta is so versatile, there are lots of options for creating a signature dish for your food truck.
- Lobster Rolls & Seafood – Lobster rolls and other seafood are popular for food trucks, especially in locales where the ingredients can be acquired fresh.
- Burgers & Sliders – Burgers and sliders are classic. Food trucks can offer a wide variety of burger options, from traditional American burgers to specialty burgers with any combination of ingredients.
- Asian Fusion – Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Korean fare are popular for food truck owners and their customers.
- Ethiopian – Ethiopian food trucks are popular, offering traditional Ethiopian dishes such as miser, kik, gomen and more. All of your Ethiopian favorites can be made and served from a food truck.
- Desserts – Many popular food trucks specialize in desserts. Ice cream, cakes, snow cones, and more are offered by these food truck owners.
Tips for Creating a Successful Food Truck Menu
If you’re thinking about opening up a food truck, you will need to determine what menu options you’ll offer to customers. Below are some tips for creating a successful food truck menu.
- Pick a menu theme. Decide what kind of food you want to serve. Whether you choose a type of food (like BBQ or Mexican food) or a specific dish (like grilled cheese), decide on what food your truck will serve. After you’ve chosen your menu’s theme, you can create entrees and sides that support your overall theme.
- Keep your menu simple. If you have too many options, it may make it harder for people to decide what they want to eat. In addition, more menu items may require you to keep more ingredients on hand. To give customers plenty of options, you might choose to offer customizations instead of additional menu items. For example, if you have a burger food truck, you may have a BBQ burger menu item. To customize it, customers can choose to add onions or jalapenos to make it their own.
- Consider the competition. When deciding on a food truck theme, look at what food trucks are active in your area. Is there a popular food theme that is not covered by existing food trucks in your area? By choosing a food that isn’t well-represented in your area, you have less competition with more established food trucks.
- Calculate food costs to determine pricing. It’s important that you can sell your food items for a price that is both reasonable to customers and profitable for your business. The food cost should be 28-35% of the menu price of your item to help ensure profitability.
- Consider how your food looks. Serving food that tastes great is important, but it is also important to make sure that it looks good. Is there a small way you can dress up your food’s presentation to make it more appealing to customers? Pictures of your food online and on social media go a long way in promoting your brand.
- Design the menu board, print, and web menus. You may consider hiring a graphic designer to help you design your print menu. Make sure that the names of items, prices, and other information are clear to the customer. Dress up the menu by applying your logo and brand colors.
- Make changes as needed. It’s okay to change your menu! If your prices seem too high or your menu items are not selling as much as you’d like, make changes to your menu. As you learn more about your customers and their wants, you’ll make changes to your menu to offer the best possible product.