Fall into More Sales: A Food Truck Owner’s Guide to Selling in Autumn

fall themed image with three jars of apple juice on a wooden board surrounded by apples

Autumn is waiting just around the corner… bringing colorful leaves, crisper temperatures, and fall-favorites for your food truck.

The fall season often gets used as an effective marketing tactic for businesses. Seasonal changes offer innovative ways for food truck owners to grow their customer base. They can even get an edge up on the competition with unique marketing ideas.  

Read on for a few key ways you can use the fall season to boost sales.  

Rethink Your Menu

Creating an inventive menu is one of the most exciting parts of owning a food truck. Autumn brings about new ingredients, like seasonal fruits and vegetables. This makes it easy to change up your menu to feature new fall offerings.  

food truck menu board

Feature specials that use fresh ingredients from the local farmer’s market. These new recipes can include seasonal favorites like pumpkin, squash, apple, and fig.  

People also love local products and favor businesses that offer them. This is a great way to reach younger demographics, like millennials. Supporting farmers and other small businesses can help boost your sales with customers, and it can also help spread your food truck’s name in the community.

Certain flavors also appeal to customers during the fall season. Focus your sweets menu on maple, salted caramel, and spices, like cinnamon.  

People search for comfort foods during the autumn season. You can feature melty paninis, oven-roasted pizzas, and gourmet mac and cheese. The warm goodness of shepherd’s pie and chicken pot pie will appeal to your customers as autumn chill creeps into the air.

Serve Up Something Healthy 

Customers also appreciate a healthier option now and then, and these menu items can work well with fall flavors. More and more, people are beginning to have a preference for whole foods with organic ingredients.

Serve pizzas made with organic tomato sauce and fresh all-natural toppings. Sell salads with seasonal ingredients and homemade dressings. These could include apple slices, toasted pumpkin seeds, and a fall-inspired vinaigrette, like sweet maple balsamic.    

Be sure to use an attractive and easy-to-read menu design to appeal to customers. This will help alert them of your menu changes and your new featured offerings. 

Offer Up Some Autumn Warmth

Colder temperatures cause people to change their food preferences. This means you’ll want your food truck business to adapt to these changes.  

overhead view of two cups of coffee sitting on a tiled deck with autumn leaves in the background

Offering warm beverages is a comforting way to appeal to customer needs. These are inexpensive to make, so profit margin is usually high on these types of items. 

Expand your beverage selection to include espresso, hot cider, or caramel hot cocoa. Seasonal coffees, with hints of pumpkin and spices, will also sell well. You could even add hot chai tea or mulled wine to the menu.  

Offering a daily soup special will help draw in customers. Rotate between homemade hearty soups, chilis, and stews.

Popular choices include chicken and wild rice soup or sausage and tortellini soup. Broccoli cheese and french onion are other favorites. Serve these soups with freshly baked bread from your truck or a local bakery.  

Soups also make it easy to appeal to different dietary needs. Try a vegan sweet potato chili or butternut squash bisque. 

When Fall Weather Stays Warm

Flavored ice creams may be more ideal for those operating in southern states. However, you can still use these same fall-inspired ingredients. Feature a pumpkin spice sundae or caramel apple frozen yogurt to boost sales.

If it’s not cold enough to make hot drinks, try iced versions of some fall favorites. You could make a frozen apple cider slush, or iced maple cinnamon lattes.

When hot soups and pot pies won’t work in your climate, try going for salads or sandwiches with fall-favorite flavors. You could experiment with adding fall ingredients like stuffing or cranberry vinaigrette to a turkey sandwich. Or make a fall-inspired chicken salad, with apples, cranberries and pecans.

Feature Seasonal Decorations 

Operating a food truck allows you to get creative with your truck’s branding and design. For fall, you can go with some cost-effective decorating options. This includes fall florals, pumpkins, and bales of hay.

wooden table with fall decorations including pumpkins, dried orange slices, pinecones and a signboard with the word "boo" on it

You can also spruce up your menu design to feature fun fall graphics. This is as easy as using a chalkboard for your menu with drawings of fall leaves and pumpkins. 

Try switching up your paper products and cups to be more fall-focused. Serve food on fall-patterned or orange-hued napkins and plates. You could even create a custom design to advertise your brand further. 

If your fall decorations catch customers’ eyes, this can generate more business by word of mouth or online sharing. Customers will tell friends about your memorable presentation, and they may even share photos on their social media profiles.

Make a Smart Parking Plan 

Deciding where to park your truck is an essential part of any food truck business plan, but changing up your usual locations during the fall can be a good way to drum up new customers. 

Try new spots near popular fall activities. Park near festivals, hayrides, breweries, and wineries to attract new crowds. 

Other popular fall places are orchards that offer apple picking or farms that have a pumpkin patch. Fall-themed food truck festivals can also bring in new customers. Be sure, however, to get the right parking permits if trying out a new location.  

Amp Up Your Marketing Tactics 

Running a successful food truck takes an innovative and strategic marketing plan. A fall marketing push can help increase awareness of your new offerings. 

hand scrolling through instagram on a phone with an apple computer in the background

Use social media channels, like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to attract business. You can post timely updates and engage with customers. Be sure to post about your fall specials, and even include some photos of particularly attractive dishes.

It’s also helpful to get people to interact with your brand. Entice them to share pictures of your food and geotag your location. A website will help more customers find you and learn about your business year round—not just during the fall season.

It could be helpful to hire a professional photographer for fresh and unique image content for your website or social media platforms. They can capture some great images of your fall food truck display and menu items.   

Taking advantage of popular holidays like Halloween can be another good fall strategy. Offer a free meal from your food truck for the customer with the best costume. Advertise the contest on your social media channels and also use food truck signage to spread the word. 

Boosting Food Truck Sales All Season Long 

Making small yet smart seasonal changes can help your food truck business thrive this fall. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity for inventive menu changes and new marketing tactics.

Promote these menu changes and use local ingredients that change with the seasons. Have fun with festive decor that ties in with your branding. These ideas will help to attract new business and boost sales.

Who knows, you may even have customers who “fall” in love with your truck and continue to visit throughout the rest of the year!