At OTG we want to set all of our Creators up for success to help the Guest experience be a memorable one. Use this resource to guide you through different areas of your business while participating with Off The Grid.
How to be successful in all Public and Private Sale Events
Plan for and prepare enough product to sell through the entire service. Consistently selling out of products can frustrate customers who may have waited a long time or come a long way specifically for your product!
Signature Items are extremely important to always have stocked. These are usually your bread and butter, but also what customers are most likely to seek you out for. If the item is only available in limited supply, make sure you have a clear way of communicating the availability, including when the item may run out. This also creates hype around the product and encourages loyal customers to monitor your services more closely.
Keep Wait Times Low and Service Speed High
Customer wait times will affect first impressions as well as repeat business. It is important not only to come prepared with product but also be prepared to meet service needs when it counts! Being able to capitalize on ‘rushes’ during service can make or break a shift.
Lunch services are affected most by specific rush hours. To be most successful during a lunch shift you should be prepared to handle most orders from 11:30am to 1:00pm. The faster you're able to serve the more customers you can service! Wait Times for lunch should be no more than 10 to 15 minutes, as many customers only have a brief break for lunch. This includes waiting to place the order and to recieve the order.
Dinner services aren’t as time sensitive but the same principles apply. If the process of ordering to getting food takes more than 20 minutes, customers are more likely to find a quicker product or worse, communicate a negative experience due to the wait to your future customers.
Communication is key to the all around success of a Mobile Food Business. That includes communication with your customers, but also effective communication with partners, including event organizers (like Off the Grid), cities/municipalities, health departments, and staff.
Sampling is NOT permitted at Markets
Off the Grid wants to create a sense of community with every Creator and Guests attending a Market. This is why we do not allow free samples to be given at our Markets. Creator may not provide free samples of any food or drink items to the general public during a service shift. If you have any questions about this, please contact your Customer Success Manager.
Cleanliness is just as important inside the kitchen as out. Periodically take a step out of your truck, cart or tent to view your vehicle and setup like a customer. Both your truck/tent and the area around you are important to setting a good impression of food quality and cleanliness to the public. Customers will decide whether to approach a truck or stand from a distance based solely on appearance, especially if they don’t already know the menu.
Speaking of menus, the easier to read and understand, the better! Signage and Menus should clearly communicate what customers can expect from your business and what is most important to you as a Creator. Having menus that are visible from at least 15ft away are imperative to catch and entice anyone walking by your truck or stand and make sure they can see what you offer over any lines. Off the Grid requires menus to be visible from at least 15ft away for just this reason. v1.1
Post AT LEAST once a week, you can choose your frequency based on available resources.
- Once a week: Post every Monday with your schedule for the week so your fans can plan their visit!
- Daily: Post a photo of what you’re serving today and announce your schedule for the day.
What to post:
- Food photos! Your fans are foodies! Share photos of your daily menu items, and specials available for a limited time!
- Behind the scene photos: Feature your crew preparing the food to drum up excitement for the day or feature a regular who comes weekly!
- Include Call to Actions in your posts: “Retweet” “Like” “Share” “Comment” to make your fans act
Food Photo Do’s and Don’ts:
- Photograph colorful food
- Get the light right!
- Daylight is your friend but avoid shooting under direct sunlight.
- At nighttime, avoid overhead spotlights, and never use a flash
- Clean, uniform backdrops (either a pattern or solid color
- Capture the entire dish, either from the front or from above (stand on a chair if needed)
- Tap on the focal point of the picture for clear photos
- For burgers and sandwiches: Remember to display the ingredients. The outside of a sandwich or pastry isn't nearly as interesting as the fillings.
- Closeups are great but not when the viewer can’t tell what the dish is being displayed
- Don’t try to incorporate too many factors. Limit to 12 items focus
- If it’s gloomy out, remember that lighting affects the photo. Pick a filter that brightens up the photo
- Don’t cut off food, try to capture food in its entirety
- Careful with white and brown foods/sauce easy targets for inappropriate comment
Free App Recommendations:
- Photo editing: VSCO Cam, Snapseed, Rookie, Focus
- Collage tools: Instagram Layout, PicStitch, Photo Grid
- Go onto your business’ FB page and like Off the Grid’s page. This will make for easy tagging in the future
- On Twitter, follow @otgsf
- On Instagram, follow @offthegridsf
- No Smoking on or within 15ft of your vehicle [San Francisco Health Code (SFHC), Article 19F]
- Landfill, Recycling, and Compost must be clearly labeled and provided [San Francisco Mandatory Recycling and Composting Ordinance (No. 10009)]
- Fire Code (Additional Regulations can vary by City or County, be sure to check for additional local regulations before service)
We would love to hear from you! Please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any comments or suggestions. We hope this page will become robust and helpful tool for all Mobile Food Creators