Think about how much you rely on your employees to operate your food truck. In many cases, they are responsible for preparing your delicious food, ensuring your customers are happy and bringing revenue into your mobile food business. What if they felt mistreated? How do you think they would react?
A single disgruntled employee can do a lot of harm to your food truck operation. A window server, a line cook or even your truck manager, who is not happy with their job can create poor morale with other employees, be rude to a customer, prepare poor meals and even steal from your business.
No amount of operational controls, auditing or inventory will matter is an employee feels alienated or disgruntled. It is not always possible to prevent a situation like this, however the better the relationship you have with your food truck employees, the better chance you will hear about any issues before they become too great. If your staff respects their owner and managers, they also respect your business and realize their jobs are part of its success.
Here are some tips for food truck owners to remember when building relationships with their staff members:
Know your people.
- If you don’t know your staff, then they don’t know you. It’s far easier to steal from a faceless entity than a person.
Don’t create an atmosphere of distrust.
- Treat your employees with respect. Don’t talk down to them regardless of their position within your truck. Being friendly will go a long way in building good staff relationships.
Reward employees as your food truck empire grows.
- Small raises or bonuses as a reward for your rolling bistro’s growth will make your employees feel like they are part of the reason why it has grown.
Don’t nag them about costly mistakes.
- Constantly harassing staff about the costs behind mistakes creates stress, and more mistakes are likely to be made. Even worse, your truck’s employees might start hiding mistakes if constantly worried about the consequences.
- If you have an employee that is consistently making expensive mistakes, try taking them aside after their shift or during a down period. If it continues to be a problem, let them know that the loss of their job could result.
- Use mistakes as a learning tool and an opportunity to inject additional training and re-assurance with policies and procedures.
Every food truck owner, who has been in business long enough, will have to deal with employee theft at one time or another. How you handle the topic of employee theft with your staff does in fact make a difference.
How do you talk about employee theft with your employees?
Talk with your employees openly about theft and its consequences to your mobile food business, to their job and to the livelihood of those who decide to steal. We are often asked; does talking about employee theft actually increase employee theft. The short answer is no.
Not everyone will be a positive and motivated staff member. However, most employees want to earn an honest day’s pay, be respected and treated fairly. For those people, getting to know them is a way to get them more involved in your food truck’s well-being.