Better Food Truck Websites with Brian Casel of Restaurant Engine | FTE Episode 062

restaurant engineBrian Casel is a professional web designer by trade that launched his own business Restaurant Engine roughly three years ago. Restaurant Engine specializes in serving restaurant owners and others in the food industry with websites that not only capture the attention of visitors, but encourage more of those visitors to become customers.  Restaurant Engine helps business owners launch and manage a professional website without the need to buy a book about website design so you can focus on operating your business.

In today’s main course, Casel shares a bit of background from his personal story and why he built Restaurant Engine. Later we discuss the crucial elements that every food truck website must have in order to be effective. According to Casel, a key component of a modern website is to have what’s called responsive design. In basic terms this means that your website can display correctly across all the different devices your customers will use to learn about you, including iPhones, iPads, laptops and even desktop computers.

Other key elements of your website should include a prominent section where you can publish the daily location you’re parked. Preferably, you’ll want to be able to make this update quickly and easily since your location will change regularly. Other important tips include having a menu and compelling images of your vehicle and food. Listen to the full interview for more tips like this and advice about the benefits of building an email list for your business.

Side Bar: Apologies for the humming sound in the audio recording this week. Not sure exactly what happened!

What You’ll Learn

  • Learn the best practices every food truck website should follow.
  • The benefits of having a business website that can be found in search engines like Google.
  • The reasons you shouldn’t use a PDF document to post menu items on your website.
  • Why it’s critical for a food truck website to display correctly on mobile devices like iPhones.
  • The marketing channel Casel would use if he had a small $150 per month marketing budget.
  • Why having an email list / newsletter can be one of the most powerful ways to generate more business for a food truck.
  • Some specific ways you can encourage people to sign up for an email list like offering a coupon on food or providing an inside look at the operations of the kitchen. Believe it or not, there are people that want to learn about this stuff!
  • The advantages of accepting orders online through the website.
  • Why you should build a form on your website that allows people to register for a catering event.

website design

Mentioned in the Podcast

Restaurant Engine – This is Brian Casel’s restaurant and food truck website design business. In addition to building eye-catching websites, they also deliver a variety of online marketing services for restauranteurs. Check them out their blog if you want to sign up for their weekly newsletter full of marketing advice.

Mail Chimp – This is an email marketing service recommended by Casel during the interview. You can start out using this service and building an email list of subscribers for free by using this service. This is the ideal way to start an online newsletter for your restaurant.

Successful Despite Ban – The city of Palm Springs, Calif., may not allow food trucks to operate on public streets, but that hasn’t stopped Burt Akkaraporn from operating a successful mobile food business. Akkaraporn is a Kona Ice Franchisee that has built his business through fundraisers, special events, and the occasional birthday party.

CNBC Story – Do you know what oil mogul T. Boone Pickens and food trucks have in common? Find out in this news story.