The food trailer menu board is an essential item for every food trailer product. Along with your sign it is one of the most important things that customers see before making the choice to come to your food concession trailer. There are many types of food cart menu board designs you can choose from. Apart from the aesthetic aspect of your menu board you also have to consider its utility, which is to inform the client about the food items you are selling.
In this article you will find all the information you need to help you select or create the perfect menu board for your concession trailer and food truck business.
Table of Contents
Different Types of Food Trailer Menu Designs
Many businesses in the food sector use sidewalk signs to get the attention of the passengers and attract new clients. They can be made out of various different materials like wood, metal or plastic.
Sidewalk signs are very inexpensive and quite versatile since you can design them by yourself or get them done for your concession trailer menu . They are a great solution for more quiet locations where your catering trailer doesn’t need to stand out between many other trailers. Furthermore they can also be a great marketing tool since you can display your menu items or any special promotions you have on that day.
Changing any information can be fast and simple. They are lightweight and can last you for a very long time if you store them appropriately. Sidewalk signs don’t have significant disadvantages for your street vending food trailer, their only downside is that they cannot be placed high enough and customers cannot see them from far away.
A chalkboard might be the most classic option for food trailers, food trucks and restaurants in general. It is simple, rustic and it has an old school vibe to it. It is an affordable catering trailer menu idea and it lets you get creative with your menu, prices and ingredients.
If you have a staff member that is good with arts or has great handwriting your chalkboard can truly be amazing. On the other hand, if there is nobody on your team that can create a beautiful chalkboard menu for mobile food cart, better avoid this option. You don’t want a menu that is sloppy, it doesn’t give a good first impression to your clients and it brings confusion and frustration.
Chalk boards are inexpensive and you could either attach them next to the service window of your food trailer or also have a sidewalk chalkboard outside your concession trailer. The downside of using a chalkboard is that you have to be carefully keeping it clean and you have to rewrite all over again every couple of days since chalk washes off very quickly.
White Board Menu
Have you seen the white boards in school classes or big business offices? The same white board can be installed in your vending trailer. You can have titles and shapes that are permanently written on the board and you can also have space to write and draw anything you want.
The biggest advantage of a white board is that since you write down with a marker it is easy to erase, clean everything and start all over again. You can get very creative and include funny quotes or sketches that will make clients laugh when looking at your concession trailer menu.
A whiteboard menu is a very inexpensive option and it is something pretty simple to install next to the service window of your food cart trailer. The only disadvantage is that in order to keep it clean and professional you might need to change it every six to eight months because the white surface gets smuggy with the usage.
Television Flat Screen
High definition television flat screens have become very popular between food trailer and food truck owners since they are a very cool looking way to display photos of your menu items, prices and ingredients.
By having a flat screen attached to your mobile food trailer you can show a presentation of multiple slides and include videos of the preparation or photos of important moments for your street fast food business. With this solution the sky’s the limit!
The disadvantage of having a flatscreen is that you have to keep it very protected. It cannot get wet or dusty and also it has to be placed in a spot where small kids cannot touch it, otherwise your beautiful clean screen will be covered in fingerprints. Every night you should disconnect it and keep it in a safe place, you could not possibly leave it outside of the mobile kitchen trailer.
Additionally, the option of a high definition flat screen is probably the most expensive solution you can find since it can cost you between 1.000$ to 2.000$.
Metal Board Menu
Metal Board Menus are a more solid food truck menu idea that looks sharp and professional. They are usually attached next to the concession trailer window or on top of it. You can customize them and make them exactly the way you want them to be, but once they are made you cannot make any adjustments on the prices or menu items.
Metal board menus are usually inexpensive and they will last in perfect condition for a very long time so there is no need to change them every few months. If you have a stainless steel food trailer like Airstream food trailer, a metal board will look great.
Food Trailer Wrap Menu
A Food Trailer Wrap is an enormous sticker that will be customized to cover and wrap your whole food trailer. This idea is completely customizable, you can add letters, graphics, photos or your logo.
Out of all food trailer menu ideas this is certainly the most eye-catching one since your menu is written on your mobile food cart. Once you have the wrap placed you don’t need to worry about maintaining it. The colors will last for a couple of years especially if it is not constantly exposed in the sun.
A food trailer wrap can be quite expensive depending on the surface you would like to cover and on the size of your food vending trailer. Furthermore, once you print and install it you cannot make any more adjustments on your food trailer menu. You have to be very sure about your menu items and your prices since it would be a waste of money to change it in less than two years.
There are many concession stand trailers that have a wide plain surface above, on top or next to the service window. For example, Webetter WB-400F square shape food trailer is one of those models. In this space a big sticker can be placed with all the items, ingredients and prices on your menu.
A sticker menu can be quite similar to a wrap menu since both of them are attached to the food trailer but in this case it is a lot smaller and cheaper. You can make your unique design and customize every little detail. Kindly remember that once it is printed there are not many things that can be modified.
The good thing is that since it is a more affordable option, if you change a food trailer menu item or your prices it is not that expensive to print and install a new one.
Guidance To Build Better Food Trailer Menus
Now that we have seen various different options of food trailer menus, let’s take a look at some factors that you should consider when selecting how the menu will be displayed in your own food service trailer.
Materials Of Food Trailer Menu
Different materials give a different feel and can enhance the image of your food trailer. It all depends on your style and the visual identity you want to create.
If you own a small and cozy coffee trailer that serves hot drinks and has a service window with a wooden finish, a classic chalk board or a board made of wood will look great. On the other hand, if your food trailer is not painted and made out of stainless steel, a sharp metal menu board will elevate this whole metallic look.
Another important factor is your parking place of food trailer. Make sure that the materials you choose are resistant and will last you a long time especially if you are parked outside and you don’t have a food trailer awning to cover your menu board.
Location and Visibility On Your Concession Trailer
When designing the menu for your food concession trailer, think beforehand where you are going to place it. All menus are placed in the front face of the concession trailer.
Having your concession trailers menu near the service window is a practical issue. People can keep looking at your menu while placing their order. If it is not attached to your mobile concession trailer but it is an Easel Board that is placed next to your trailer maybe you should also have it printed for the clients, so that they can see everything you serve while ordering.
Mobile food trailers that take part in big events or festivals usually have their menu boards in places where they can be read from far away and also viewed by multiple customers at the same time. If you only have a small easel board that is not high enough, when two or three clients are in front of it they are already tapping it for everybody else.
Food trailer businesses that work in events with more competition have to choose wisely and install their board in a place with clear visibility in order to attract more customers.
Uniqueness Of Your Food Cart Menu Ideas
Don’t forget that your menu board is one of the few elements you can play with when owning a food trailer and starting your food trailer business. Take full advantage of it and make the catering trailer menu original and unique. Your menu can differentiate you from everybody else if it has pictures, bright colors, eye catching fonts or playful messages.
Keep in mind that your menu is your only chance to talk about your street food product, explain the ingredients and make your dishes look delicious. Don’t miss this opportunity! Ask for the help of a graphic designer and make a menu that matches the identity and style of your food trailer but can also attract new clients to your restaurant.
For example, you shall create different menus for burger cart menu, hot dog cart trailer menu, taco cart menu, waffle cart menu and other food trailer menus which have different kinds of fast food.
Keep Your Food Trailer Menu Short
Nobody has the time to read the ingredients of 40 different burger options on your food trailer menu board. Keep it brief, easy to read and on point. Remember that clients get confused when they have to choose between endless possibilities, most of the time they end up not purchasing from that place because they couldn’t make up their mind.
Start Building Perfect Food Cart Menu
Designing the menu for your Food Trailer Business can be time consuming because you have to evaluate your needs. Every mobile restaurant has a different style, target group and necessities.
You have to consider all of that before making a decision to build the food trailer menu. However, it is definitely worth it to spend the time and end up with a result you love and you want to keep as long as possible.