The drive-through is so last decade. These days, the restaurant comes to you. In Chicago, The Meatyballs Mobile, aka @FossFoodTrucks, aka "the ballsiest concept anywhere", is at the front of the food truck convoy. Below, see what the mobile restaurant does to stay on the ball.
I have to appreciate a menu that has Shweddy Balls on it. The Meatball truck isn't a new idea, but I think the design of their site, and access to all social media platforms is great. I think sometimes images of food, especially balls in sauce of any kind, can look unappealing. They have a very artistic stylized approach that works really well for their product. They seem actively listening and participating in conversations with their customers.
I get that “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” is very relevant towards the gimmick of a meatball truck, but I personally think they don't need to use this movie as a crutch, as it's a little outdated. Their design is a better Twitter background than the cartoons. Perhaps a little creative tweeting and maybe crowd source a new slogan? Lots of potential there!
Real-time updates of their current location and where they'll be soon? The food truck was tailor-made for social media. The Meatyballs Mobile is taking full advantage of Twitter's broadcast capability. Instead of just relying upon the chance they'll drive by some hungry folks, the restaurant is able to increase the chance those hungry folks will find them, which means more customers.
And how many restaurants can you call up and ask to come to you and actually have it happen? Add their enthusiasm in engaging with those customers and the embrace of the delightfully adolescent puns we all make, @FossFoodTrucks is paving the road for the mobile concept.
The ball truck does the basics right and is seeing success in return. However, the beauty of Twitter, as well as Facebook, is their ability to wear multiple hats. I would like to see more engagement tactics beyond the geographic updates. Ask questions, run little contests, have a "people's choice" location or special--do something that turns followers into relationships. There is also the knit-picky but still important detail of the name and handle being different. I'm not sure what the branding structure is, but the closer a handle to the actual name, the better.
The Verdict ### 1/2
The Meatyballs Mobile, @FossFoodTrucks earns three and a half hashtags for their unique, social media savvy concept. While they do a lot right, we see potential for even more that can help them really get those balls knocked out of the pork.
Ahem, we mean park.
Jen Healy is a Global Social Media Specialist for a really big international (go figure) company on the Northside of Chicago. Her claim to social media fame involves a stint as the social media intern for the RedEye, America's Test Kitchen, the title 2011 Downtown Dash Champion and “Top 10 World's Coolest Interns.” (Yes, it's real, and it's spectacular.)
Katie Holland is a Social Media Supervisor for a really big international (different from Jen's) company out in the west suburbs of Chicago. Her claim to social media fame involves a mention in the bestseller Groundswell for a Twitter interaction in 2010, and serving as co-chair of the Social Customer Care subcommittee for the Word of Mouth Marketing Association. She is also featured in Rebecca Black's video for Friday. (Okay, not really)