Concerned about your job security? Tired of working for someone else? You aren’t alone. As a result, more and more working Americans are taking the plunge into the mobile food industry.
Some of those not willing to give up their full-time job have taken it on as a part-time business as a way to improve their financial well-being or to provide a safety net in case of a job loss. Food trucks can operate as a side business if you only plan to work at farmer’s markets or at large weekend events.
So what if you get caught by your current employer? Is your current job be at risk? The simple answer, “Yes.” The primary factor this depends on is your current employer’s policy regarding moonlighting. So before you get started here are a few things to consider.
Check your employee handbook
Before you start your kitchen on wheels, check your employee handbook to make sure your current employer doesn’t prohibit moonlighting. You may also check with coworkers who have been with the company for a while. Sometimes there are informal rules of which you may not be aware. So ask around.
Honesty is the best policy
Never try to hide your part-time mobile food business from your employer. Being secretive about your part-time efforts may cause your employer to become suspicious about you. Being open and honest upfront can limit problems in the future.
Never start a food truck business that competes with your current employer. This will apply to those of you working for a food truck, restaurant or catering company. And it should go without saying, but don’t align your business with your employer’s competitor. Directly competing with your employer and/or working with a competitor not only could get you fired, but might also create additional exposure to other claims of stealing trade secrets.
Don’t utilize company time or resources
As harmless as it may seem to make a few copies at work for your food truck, don’t do it. When you are at your full-time job, stay focused on the work you do there. Don’t be tempted to make a phone call or send a quick email.
Did you know businesses can legally monitor their employee’s emails? So don’t make the mistake of using the company’s email system for your food truck business. It is for your employer’s business use only.
You are being paid to work for your employer. And utilizing company time and/or resources is a big no-no.
Monitor your job performance
Don’t let your job performance slip at your full-time job. By adding additional work hours for your mobile food business to your day, you are increasing your workload and stress level. Make sure you continue to produce results at your full-time job. Otherwise, you may find yourself without a regular paycheck while you try to get your truck’s brand established.