Most food truck owners are looking to grow their mobile food business. But once success hits, how can you scale your food truck without shedding the shared values and culture that helped make you successful in the first place?
Here are a few ways that you can keep your food truck’s small business values as your mobile food empire continues to grow:
Keep a small business owner’s perspective. When you initially start up your food truck, it is easy to empathize with the pains felt by your customers. Empathy is important in more than just customer support. You will also need your employees to all be able to step inside the small business owner’s shoes and then focus on how to make your customer’s lives easier.
Build a foundation of shared beliefs. Every food truck business has its own culture, whether you define one or not. It doesn’t mean that all of your employees must think exactly the same way as you do. But by creating a set of shared beliefs, everyone has a framework for how to set priorities, make decisions, treat customers, and treat each other.
To keep your food truck’s core beliefs fresh in everyone’s mind, consider writing them down somewhere highly visible. Whether you do this or not, your actions will always speak louder than any words in the corporate manual.
Create open channels of communication. When your company is small everyone wears multiple hats and experiences the business from multiple dimensions. As a food truck business grows, communication can become a maze and employees get pigeonholed into certain roles.
A unique approach to keep a small company dynamic is to make sure everyone (ownership included) rotates through various positions within the truck, whether it’s the service window or on the line. A customer might get the owner one day or a line-cook the next day. This unorthodox approach forces everyone within the business to stay close to the customers.
Develop your food truck company culture outside of normal business hours. If you expect your employees to love your customers, your company must show love to your employees. To do this, include activities outside of the truck and your commercial kitchen. For example, one day every year, take a scheduled work day off and take the entire company staff and their families and take a group trip (a sporting event or amusement park) or throw them a party.
Keeping a small business culture in your food truck business as it grows will help you keep company strong and your employees happy.
If there are any additional ideas you have used in your food truck business, please feel free to share them in the comment section below.