Small Town Food Truckin’ May Mean Big Rewards for Businesses
By promoting their restaurant through a food truck festival event in the neighboring small town, they are getting tons of word of mouth referrals.
Article by Lindsey Banks
I live in the moderately small town of Bend, Oregon with about 80,000 people. There are 4 main festivals each year in which food truckers line the downtown streets. These are huge events, bringing out thousands of people to eat good food and have fun.
One of the most unique festivals in town is the "Bite of Bend", which I was able to attend this year. It's a three-day celebration of food and drink where restaurants and food trucks offer "bites" of their popular dishes to sample and sell. The low prices of the "bites" allow you to sample many items from the over 50 trucks and booths.
This was my first Bite of Bend celebration and I was excited to see what the local vendors had to offer. There was everything from pizza to kebabs and gourmet pies. It offered a variety of foods to please all appetites. Music and heavenly food smells filled the air.
I was immediately drawn to one food truck offering delicious "bites" of pastas and wraps. After one taste of the asiago garlic pasta dish, I immediately rushed over to the food truck owner at G Gourmet and asked him where they were located in town. Come to find out, they are not a local food truck.
They made the 3-hour trip from Portland just to attend this Bite of Bend festival. At first I was disappointed because I wanted them to be local so I could eat there every day. Then I was confused as to why they would come all the way from big city Portland to small town Bend for a food festival.
I have family visiting Portland so I called them the next day to let them know about this fabulous restaurant that I discovered at the Bite of Bend. That's when it hit me. Small town residents usually have friends and family in their neighboring big cities, and visit those cities often for business or pleasure purposes. By promoting their restaurant through a food truck festival event in the neighboring small town, they are getting tons of word of mouth referrals. How genius!
Not only will I now tell all my friends and family in Portland about this restaurant I discovered, but next time I visit I'll be sure to make a stop there myself. Restaurant owners and food truckers, take note! This big city food trucker leveraged my small town food festival to expand his business. Not only that, but his food truck became a moving billboard for his business while he made the 3-hour trek to and from the event.
Are you a fan of food truck festivals? Do they occur in your town often? Let us know in the comments below!