3 Food Truck Menu Board Ideas To Stand Out From The Crowd
You can’t walk into a restaurant or go to a food truck and not even take a glance at their menu, unless you’ve been there so often that you memorize it. But even if you have, chances are you’d still look through what they have to offer just in case something else catches your eye.
Knowing that, you can tell that a menu or a menu board isn’t just a list of the food or drink you offer at your food truck. In fact, when carefully thought out and done well, a menu board can improve many things, from customer experience, your brand identity, and even food truck sales, no matter what season it is. While you have a preference – or a very good idea – about how you want to display your menu, you still need to look for a way to stand out among your competition.
From simple yet effective menu boards to sophisticated displays, here are some ideas to get you started.
3 Food Truck Menu Board Ideas
White Board Menu
A splash of clean, pure white is bound to stand out amid a sea of color. A staple of offices and small neighborhood cafes, the smooth surface of a white board is a great option for food trucks whose brand is all about the familiar and reliable.
As you can tell, this type of menu board won’t cost a lot. Also, it’s simple to set up, though you may have to test different formats for the menu and prices to find what’s most effective for your food truck. Finally, using a white board menu means it will be easy to make any last-minute changes to the menu.
That’s not to say there aren’t any drawbacks to this option. The first one, of course, being that you or someone on your staff has to have great handwriting; otherwise, customers will be confused and will be spending a few frustrated minutes trying to figure out what’s on the menu.
You also shouldn’t leave it unattended since parts may become smudged or wiped off. As you can tell, it’s not a good idea to display this menu board outside when it’s raining. Also, white boards need to be replaced regularly, since parts of the board become permanently smudged after some time. Expect to get a new white board at least twice a year.
With websites such as Canva, it doesn’t take a lot to make a restaurant menu or food truck menu card, even if you don’t have any technical skills or design experience. There are several menu card templates online that you can use, and to make sure customers can read them from a distance, you may want to have only one food item per menu card. Besides the name of the dish and the price, it helps to include a short description and a photo of the dish.
Once they’ve been printed and laminated, the menu cards can be stuck to display boards, and you can even hand a stack of them to customers waiting in line to order.
One of the pros to this menu board idea is it’s easy to change the menu; if you don’t have the ingredients to make a dish or a drink, simply don’t include its card in your display, and make sure staff members know not to hand it to waiting customers. They’re also affordable to make, since you can design them by yourself and print them out on a home printer or at a print shop.
The biggest drawback to this option, though, is that it can be difficult to choose just the right template for the menu cards to not look generic. Worse, it’s possible that the menu cards won’t match your truck’s brand identity.
High-Definition TV Screen
High-definition TVs are popular with the younger crowd, since there’s something dynamic about this sort of display. All you need to do is a flat screen television that you can display on the side of your truck. Displaying your menu then becomes a question of connecting it to a computer and running a slide show of your menu. You’ll have to take some time to ensure that the slide show matches your food truck’s branding, of course, but once done, you can just set it up and leave it to run.
This kind of menu board is distinctive and definitely eye-catching, and it’ll be easy to see even when it starts getting dark out. Not only do you have complete control over the menu, but you can intersperse the slides with some form of entertainment. For example, you can include short videos, or use a separate flat screen TV to show movies. Finally, updating the menu is as simple as updating the slide show, so you can change it to reflect the season or showcase a new dish.
On the downside, this is a very expensive menu board option; typically, the flat screen TV will have to be installed during the initial design of your truck’s layout and outside appearance. You’ll also have to ensure that the TV or TVs are protected at all times from vandalism and theft. This may mean a secondary menu board to one side of the truck if you’re going to install the TV to one side of the serving window so it’s hidden from sight when you close up shop for the day.
There are other options, but these are the best ones that you can at least use as a starting point. Whether you’ll be running a canteen truck that serves lunch or a full-time food truck, you’re sure to find a menu board that works for you.