Big Mabel's Chicken & Waffles Food Truck Marketing Plan
DISTRIBUTION, LOCATION AND TIMING
For Big Mabel's Chicken & Waffles to succeed as a business it must become an indispensable, trusted source of fast food for the downtown, stadium, entertainment district and family events market segments. What most differentiates successful food establishments is the ability to become engrained in the daily and situational habits of its customers (Lee, 1987). In striving to become an essential part of their customers' experiences at these venues and locations, Big Mabel's Chicken & Waffles needs to concentrate on gaining and keep customer trust by delivering great meals at a very competitive price (Robichaud, Khan, 1988). Distribution, location and timing need to also be supported with a consistently excellent experience as well, as customers can just as much about and in some cases, even more about how they are treated than about the products they are buying (Lee, 1987). Big Mabel's Chicken & Waffles needs transcend any distribution, location and timing constraints by making the customer experience the most differentiating aspect of their business; their customers must know at every interaction they are the rock stars of the business and be treated as such if the business is going to grow (Lee, 1987).
Distribution, location and timing all must be aligned to delivering a consistently excellent customer experience for this food truck business to grow. The specific venues that Big Mabel's Chicken & Waffles targets must be carefully chosen to provide the greatest possibility of name recognition and dominance of the event relative to other competitors. Food truck businesses aren't just in competition with themselves, they also routinely compete with quick-service restaurants (QSR) and mainstream restaurants as well, as has been seen in new Orleans (Clark, 2012). Big Mabel's Chicken & Waffles needs to use the customer segmentation analysis to select venues and events where they can be the dominant provider, even if this means going to alternate locations in adjacent cities.
A critical success factor for any food service business is the ability to create, sustain and strengthen a unique customer experience, regardless of the food delivery approach or business model (Lee, 1987). Locations for Big Mabel's Chicken & Waffles need to include downtown locations near parks and plazas where office workers congregate during lunch and afternoon breaks. Big Mabel's needs to sue social media including texting to take orders from office workers before lunch, starting at 10:30am so when the office workers get out of their buildings they can just pick up their orders and pay. A separate will-call window or table could be set up, and Mable's could call this the Big Mabel's Chicken & Waffles Excellent Express. Customers who place automated orders would go to this table and pick up their food. This would work well in the locations where customers are often crunched for time, of which office workers are among the most impacted by perpetual time shortages.
Second, stadium venues, sporting events and family events need to be carefully chosen to seek out those areas for competitive advantage first, and availability of market second. Being at the biggest games of the season is always necessary, yet finding those smaller events that happen more periodically, including high school and college basketball, football and baseball games is a better venue to select. The key to being at stadiums is the chance to create long-term customers, not just make a sale. What Big Mabel's Chicken & Waffles needs to do is concentrate on stadium, sporting events and family events as a means to capture new customers, not just sell a meal. Big Mabel's could also reward their most loyal customers at these venues by having a buy five and get one free promotion, where all that's needed is a text to get a free meal. Mable's needs to use social media and the Web to be able to immediately identify their best customers and give them a free meal when they have earned it. This could be accomplished by just having the telephone number testing cross-referenced to customer records, and an automated text set back immediately telling the customer they have earned a free meal.
At stadiums, sporting events and family events time is often the most crucial resource many potential customers for Big Mabel's Chicken & Waffles don't have. This ability to use…