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Profile: Dessert Truck

27 July 2009
by

@dessertruck
The name says it all — “Dessert Truck” brings gourmet desserts to the streets of New York City. The company uses Twitter to notify followers of the truck’s whereabouts. The Dessert Truck is a great example of how food vendors are using Twitter to gain new customers.


Date data downloaded
: 7/27/2009
Industry sector : food

Twitter ID : @desserttruck
Followers : 1,989
Following : 0
Ratio followers/following : 0

Number posts : 120
Account created : 3/20/2009

Dessert Truck
URLS:
Twitter : http://twitter.com/desserttruck
Bio link : http://www.desserttruck.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/New-York-NY/DessertTruck/5632789940

About:
Started by Jerome Chang and Christopher Chen, the Dessert Truck brings everything from cheesecakes to bread pudding and lavendar sorbet to hungry New Yorkers. Here is an excerpt from an interview with Chang from restaurantgirl.com

What are the pros and cons to working out of a truck as opposed to a small restaurant?

The pros: lower start up costs; being able to move; many find a charm in buying something from a truck; lower overhead so we can pass the savings on to you!

The cons: exposure to the weather (it’s usually too hot or too cold); having the truck humiliate and punish us for our lack of mechanical know-how; being cramped; having to drive in New York traffic to get to work; limitations in kitchen-equipment

Twitter allows mobile food vendors like Chang to capitalize on the pros of roaming the city, but also keep customers in the loop when weather and traffic delays threaten service. This steady stream of information means that hungry customers always know when and where to get a sugar fix.

notify

Profile:
C
Due to the functional nature of the Twitter account, Dessert Truck hasn’t customized its profile page. The background is the default cloud motif and the company’s logo is the avatar.

Transparency: C
It is unclear whether Chang, Chen or one of their employees is posting the messages.

Bio
: C
The bio link goes to http://www.dessertruck.com. It features menus and spotlights new articles about the company.

Data on Tweets:
Like Albion’s Oven, Dessert Truck uses Twitter as a method of one-way communication. All tweets are statements — there are no @replies, DMs, or use of RT. Twitter is essentially used as a notification system. Think of the cyberspace equivalent of an ice cream truck’s jingle.

Questions/Suggestions
It would be interesting to find out why the company doesn’t use Twitter to communicate more with customers. It would be great to hear more tweets from inside the truck, getting a glimpse into what mobile food service is like. It seems like the mobile food concept would lend itself to more interaction (in real-time).

Comments
The Dessert Truck showcases how a free tool like Twitter can be used effectively to immediately impact sales. Thanks to notifications on Twitter, the Dessert Truck can see an immediate response after sending out an alert on the truck’s location in the city. Although the company gets a C for its profile page, perhaps its Twitter strategy will evolve over time, capitalizing more on the unique mobile food concept and the brand’s quirky personality.

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