Zero Marketing Budget? Ask Toasty Melts!

This is the great thing about being passionate about both food and digital marketing. Fulfilling one passion (a food show) can help you whet your appetite for a brilliant use of technology for marketing (twitter). 

Without any further ado, I am talking about Toasty Melts, a weekend only grilled cheese food truck in San Francisco run by a couple to raise money for a charity. Apparently, they use three kinds of cheese to make their grilled cheese extra special but then I won’t get into the details and you can check out the episode of Best Ever Food episode. Just to set the context for how Toasty Melts ingeniously used Twitter as its one and only marketing channel, here are a few nuggets that are important.

  • Toasty Melts is very simply a food truck/cart which only specializes in Grilled Cheese
  • Toasty Melt is a business but it has a noble vision as well. From sale of each sandwich, 50cent is contributed to a food charity
  • Toasty Melt is a 2 person operation, run by a couple only on weekends

Marketing via Twitter

Now that we have the important bits of information out of the way, let’s see how web has helped them get their business off the ground. In the case of Toasty Melts, it is how the couple has launched and marketed their weekend only grilled cheese food cart over twitter.

We all love Twitter and so do a lot of small businesses. Where Toasty Melts’ use of twitter struck out for me is that they use Twitter to announce where they will be putting the food cart every weekend. Brilliant, right! Here is their live twitter feed.

Not only this, they also keep you informed if the inventory runs out- sort of like ‘Sold Out’ banner at a restaurant. For announcing the time and location, 140 characters works just fine and all the couple had to do is to tweet out the information maybe one day before the weekend for everyone else in the vicinity to see and notice. Talk about frugal marketing at its best!

Toasty Melts seems to growing well and based on their twitter feed, they seem to have started operating on weekdays as well. Well, with a followers more than 5000 I would assume that ToastyMelts is doing rather well for a super local business.

“The Web Gives You Wings”

What the Toasty Melts use of twitter tells us is core to how and why web is changing business, fundamentally! The core here being the ubiquity of the web and the implicit boundary less viral quotient it offers. With things such as twitter, a business like Toasty Melts can quickly get their message across to tons of people but more importantly have the opportunity to reach out to those within 3-4 kms of where their food cart is. Contrast this with a traditional approach and we are talking investment of money and resources in getting pamphlets printed and then distributed a week in advance.

Toasty Melts is a very small but interesting testimony of how web and social platforms are changing the very fundamentals of doing business. Businesses with low or no budgets for their marketing and promotions know how the power of internet is helping them in reaching out to their customers!

What say? Make you case in the comments section…

Ankit Agarwal is currently pursuing his MBA and has been an ERP consultant, corporate strategist and B2B marketer in his past avatars. He blogs at