Since 2010 when I started Mobile Cuisine I struggle to recall a single full-time food truck owner that isn’t working less than 70-80 hours a week. One of the common questions I ask when speaking with vendors relates to the last time they took a vacation, I usually get a response close to this: “Vacation? Are you kidding?”
While it’s important to drive yourself and your staff to excellence in all areas of food truck operations is vital, the question still remains: Are you running your food truck or is it running you?
I’ve assembled several steps a food truck owner can take to have a life outside of their truck.
5 Food Truck Time Management Tips
Establish a strict set of hours
No matter what, adhere to these hours. If you can’t, see if it makes more sense to hire someone to take care of the tasks that prevent you from following your new hours.
Restrict unsolicited communications
Do not become time suck victim to suppliers, or sales people. Yes, there may be promotional programs in which you may want to participate. But request that their offers are sent in writing.
Don’t not waste your valuable time with on-site meetings or lengthy discussions on the phone. If you can’t avoid their calls, refer them to a selected staff member with a patent-scripted reply.
Set the agenda yourself
The only people you really have time to talk to are your customers and staff. In order to meet your objectives efficiently, you must first determine if the matter is worth addressing.
Second, establish parameters to keep things moving. Limit all meetings to a maximum of one hour. If you can’t meet your objectives in an hour, plan for set up a second meeting.
Meetings lasting longer than an hour usually end up losing focus
Deal with paperwork once
All paper, including mail and email, should only pass through your hands one time. Upon review, act on it (reply, delegate, cut check for payment etc.), file it or throw it away.
Once you review any document, don’t leave the decision unfinished. Now, that unending mountain of paperwork will be reduced before you know it.
Hire office help
Owners, kitchen crews and wait staff are a food truck’s money makers. Because of this, their focus should be on a food truck’s operations; not office work.
The Bottom Line
There is no reason for a vendor to be sitting in front of their computer performing mundane office tasks at 2 AM, which could be effectively delegated to a college intern or virtual assistant.
Do you have any food truck time management tips for owners who have fallen prey to their food truck running them as opposed to them running a food truck? If so, please share your thoughts in the comment section below, Tweet us or share them on our Facebook page.