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9 Fun Freebies to Promote Your Food Truck Business

If you‘re looking for creative ways to promote your new food truck business, freebies are a fantastic option! Giving away fun free products and experiences is an inexpensive yet effective tactic for attracting attention, acquiring leads and building brand loyalty.

In this article, we‘ll explore 9 awesome freebie ideas you can use to get the word out about your mobile eatery. For each promotion, I‘ll explain how to execute it successfully and provide real-world examples from food truck entrepreneurs. Read on for inspiration to start driving customers to your ordering window!

1. Branded Coupon Books

Designing custom coupon books filled with special offers is a classic food truck promotion. According to marketing firm Square, 54% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase if they have a coupon or discount code.

Handing out coupon books allows you to:

  • Offer incentives like 50% off meals or free add-ons to first-time customers
  • Build an email subscriber list by requiring contact info to redeem coupons
  • Drive repeat business by including multiple coupons for multiple visits
  • Track redemption rates to see which offers work best

Be sure to use high-quality images, food photography and clear branding. Phoenix truck Humble Pie gave away 100 free coupon books at their grand opening and saw a 28% redemption rate.

2. Social Media Contests and Giveaways

Contests are a proven social media tactic for engaging followers. According to Sprout Social, posts with contests see 64% more comments than regular posts.

Run exciting contests like:

  • Weekly free lunch giveaways for random fans
  • Comment contests to win free catering for office events
  • Referral rewards programs to help spread the word
  • Sweepstakes to win a free private party event

Require contest entries to follow or share your page and use contest apps like Gleam or Rafflecopter to manage participation. LA truck Let‘s Be Frank ran a viral contest for fans to name a new hot dog, gaining 5,000 new followers in a month.

3. Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs encourage repeat business by rewarding returning customers. Accoridng to Paytronix, such programs can boost spending by over 20%.

Popular options include:

  • Punch cards – Customers earn a free meal after X visits
  • Scratch cards – Instant deals for high spenders
  • Stickers charts – Kids get treats for visits
  • Loyalty apps – Digital stamps, exclusive deals and instant mobile rewards

Make loyalty programs sharable so fans can recruit friends. Let top fans skip lines or get priority parking. Track data on your VIPs. Seattle truck Where Ya At Matt gave out loyalty cards that fed over 1,200 homeless citizens per registered user.

4. Food Samples

Want people to try your novel tropical twist on poutine? Get samples straight into their mouths!

Hand out tiny free samples of your most craveworthy menu items. Set up outside concerts or events with heavy foot traffic. Use a bold branded backdrop and staff wearing merch.

Ensure you have:

  • A license and permits to distribute samples
  • Food safety and sanitation procedures in place
  • Coupons to pair with samples, redeemable for full-size orders

Arizona truck Stuf‘d hand delivered samples across downtown Phoenix, then set up shop at the sampling location. Their unique fried mac n‘ cheese bites saw a 74% sales increase that week.

5. Cookbooks

Cookbooks don‘t sound like an obvious freebie for restaurants, but they can be incredibly effective. Recipes and foodie tips align with your brand and expertise.

Compile 10-15 of your most requested recipes, cooking tutorials or food backgrounders. Design this as an e-book PDF to distribute digitally.

Use cookbooks to:

  • Build email lists by offering the book in exchange for a signup
  • Show your passion for food education and community
  • Extend your brand into people‘s home kitchens
  • Spotlight signature ingredients and menu items

DC vegan truck Fare Well gave away a customized e-cookbook which generated 2,300 new email subscribers in just 2 months.

6. Coloring Books

Cater to families with free printable or paper coloring books. Include pages featuring your truck, characters, food and more. This gives bored kiddos something to do while parents order.

Hand out crayons and toys too. Use it as an opportunity to overhear what younger customers want to see on your menu. And don‘t forget the sticker sheet to seal the deal!

California truck Buttermilk‘s coloring books with farm scenes, biscuits and pancakes were a huge hit. Parents said it made breakfast more enjoyable for kids, driving repeat weekend business.

7. Socks

An unusual but fun freebie, custom socks let customers literally walk around in your branding. Socks create walking billboards customers voluntarily model for you.

Choose bright colors and bold prints – the louder the better! Give away socks at events or as rewards for big spenders. Retarget the recipients later with money-off sock coupons to redeem.

New Orleans famous po‘ boy shop Parkway Bakery hands out free branded socks in their signature Mardi Gras colors to loyal patrons.

8. Aprons

Printed aprons earn you free advertising whenever someone grills in your merch. They make useful gifts for your best customers.

Look for:

  • Durable fabrics like cotton canvas
  • Adjustable neck and waist straps
  • Big front pockets
  • Your logo or food photography displayed prominently

Apron goods are affordable when ordered in bulk. To maximize exposure, hold contests for fans to submit photos of themselves cooking while sporting your swag.

9. Hats & Sunglasses

Hats and sunglasses double as walking billboards with your brand name visible every time they‘re worn. These are great giveaways at summer events or festivals.

Choose styles and prints that align with your food truck‘s personality:

  • Vintage trucker hats for a retro vibe
  • Big brim straw hats for a beachy feel
  • Mirrored lenses and neon frames for an edgy look

Offer discounted food vouchers on labels to drive redemption. Cleveland Barrio dished out branded baseball caps and sunglasses at their summer street food fest booth, scoring new social media followers and sales leads.

Giving away creative, valuable freebies is an inexpensive marketing tactic that builds serious buzz for your truck. Just remember to track participation metrics and redeemable voucher rates. Execute strategic promotions tailored to your brand identity and target audience. With these 9 fun freebie ideas, you’ll attract new customers in no time!



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.