Look out. The Miami-based Bocaditos food truck now provides free promotion to businesses that let it park on their property. This solves a truck owner’s biggest dilemma—a lack of legal, predictable sites—but might create one for you.
Bocaditos is a newcomer on Miami’s food truck scene. It offers a six-item “micro-sandwich” lineup that features “conscientious” ingredients. Sandwiches are made using humanely raised meats, organic cheeses and organic produce. Shoestring fries, a chocolate rum cake for dessert and a tropical soda round out the mobile menu.
This high-level ingredient focus alone will help Bocaditos stand out a bit from its food truck competitors. But it’s owner/operator Ryan Echaus’s vision of how cooperative advertising can work in the social media era that should have brick-and-mortar restaurant operators taking notice.
The basic pitch: A business owner who lets the Bocaditos truck park on its property will in turn enjoy ongoing advertising and promotion by Bocaditos wherever it goes. No money changes hands on either side of the deal.
Here’s how Echaus envisions it on the company’s website.
“We’d like to propose a scenario.
“Bocaditos provides a successful lunch service at your location, generating traffic and exposing your store or product to a new audience. Also, by using our method of cooperative advertising, participating locations will also have the chance to come out on the road with us and reach an even-bigger audience! A custom, letter-sized ‘awareness’ advertisement, featuring participating lunch locations, will be handed out with every Bocaditos order. Imagine the amount of new consumers you will reach without spending a single dollar on marketing and advertising.”
Echaus adds that because the truck has an established client base that is supported by a strong marketing presence on various social media websites, Bocaditos is able to produce a heavy flow of foot traffic in and around any business where it parks.
The arrangement sounds a little pie-in-the-sky, but we can see how it might work. What’s worrisome is what might happen if Bocaditos were to cut a deal with a business next to or across the street from a brick-and-mortar restaurant. Suddenly, that restaurant has an intermittent competitor who has much lower overhead and has the luxury of only showing up when business is likely to be good. How would you like it if Bocaditos decides to set up shop near your restaurant on Friday and Saturday night?
Will any Miami businesses sign up for the Bocaditos offer? We’ll wait and see. But it is true that food trucks bring a lot of buzz with them wherever they go. And there definitely are a lot of small nonrestaurant businesses with empty parking lots that would like to get some of that buzz working for them. Keep your eye on this one.