Thinking about getting into the food truck business, but struggling to find your perfect menu? In today’s post our goal is to help solve this problem by organizing a list of the most popular menu concepts we’ve seen executed well on food trucks in recent years.
In our 15+ years in business, we’ve had the opportunity to help hundreds of food entrepreneurs launch their own mobile businesses each of these concepts on our list have produced numerous successful businesses for our customers. Often, if you want to be successful in the food industry you don’t need to have the most creative menu in town. You simply need to execute on serving consistently good food that people crave paired with exceptional customer service.
Finding Your Gourmet Twist
Before you go out and open a taco trailer because it’s popular there’s one important factor among each of these menu concepts that you need to keep in mind. The most successful food truck (or restaurant) owners are able to put their own unique spin when cooking up menu items. That means you’ll have to use a small amount of creativity to specialize to make your food unique to consumers.
For example even with hot dogs being a very popular concept you wouldn’t want to serve an ordinary hot dog with ketchup and mustard from your truck. You can get that at any 7-11 for $2.00. Instead try serving a bacon wrapped, cheddar cheese dog to differentiate your menu.
Another common way to differentiate your food is to serve a specific style that is unique to a geographic region. One menu concept this is popular is with barbecue. There are many different barbecue cooking and flavor styles including Kansas City, Memphis, sweet and others.
You can find plenty of ways to differentiate a coffee truck too. One option is that you could specialize in serving coffees made only with organic beans. Alternatively, you could feature coffees that are grown in different parts of the world including South America, Africa, or North America. The opportunity to take a well-known menu and adapt it to become totally exclusive you is not difficult.
Top 20 Food Truck Menus
- Amped-up Hamburgers
- Reinvented Hot dogs
- Coffee Trucks
- Smoothie / Healthy Drink Trucks
- “Grown-up” grilled cheese sandwiches
- Beef Sliders (Variation on hamburgers.)
- Cupcakes and desserts
- Street tacos and burritos
- Lobster rolls
- Mediterranean menus / Gyros
- Crepes with special toppings
- Vietnamese Banh Mi Sandwiches
- Ice cream and soft serve
- Shaved ice / Italian ice
- Indian food
- Hawaiian food
- Chicken wings
***Top menu concepts are organized in no particular order of popularity.
Combining Main-Stream Concepts to Create Something New
If you’re still having trouble coming up with a unique food truck menu, we have saved one last chef’s secret for creating a unique menu. This is one that has been fully embraced by the mobile food industry. The concept is taking two popular food items and merging them together into something new. This melting pot of flavors is called fusion cuisine.
You’ve probably had some type of fusion cuisine already even if you didn’t know it. One fusion concept that has gained a lot of popularity over the last 10 years is merging a variety of ethnic foods and flavors with the taco. BBQ, Korean, Indian, and even vegetarian food has collided with the hard or soft shell of Mexican food in most cities. And guess what… Most of these flavors work really well together!
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We hope today’s post has given you some new ideas that have a proven track record of success being cooked and served from a mobile food unit. Are there any well-knonwn concepts that we’ve missed? We would love to hear your ideas in the comments section below.