In owning a mobile food business, just as any other food service industry business, critique is often negatively equated with criticism. But being open to criticism that is constructive is essential in any arena that requires creativity, innovation, and problem-solving.

Since leadership requires all three, food truck owners need to be sure they are not only open to criticism, but that they actively seek it out. Ask your staff members, other food truck owners and customers — to poke holes in your menu items, customer service and operations.

Being open to criticism is a listening skill that is valuable in many situations. Since it is not always easy to do, here are three things that will help to receive effective criticism gracefully.

How To Be Open To Criticism

Understand that constructive criticism is a valuable tool in your food truck business. It allows you and your staff to learn and grow. Follow these steps to be more open to criticism.

Accept that you are not perfect.

Constructive criticism is often the only way we learn about our weaknesses. Remember that without it we can’t improve. If you begin every task thinking that nothing will ever go wrong, you are fooling yourself. You will make mistakes. The important thing is to learn from them.

Be open-minded to the fact that others may see something that you do not.

Even if you do not agree with the criticism, others may be seeing something that you are not even aware of. Allow for the fact that others may be right, and use that possibility to look within yourself.

Seek clarity about aspects of a critique that you are not sure of.

If you do not understand the criticism, you are doomed to repeat the same mistakes. Take notes and ask questions. Listen closely. Allow them to share their thoughts, without interruption. When they’re done, repeat back what you heard.

RELATED: 5 Lessons Every Food Truck Owner Must Learn

The Bottom Line

Quite frequently small business owners don’t realize what a great resource constructive criticism can be. The truth is, feedback and criticism can really help you succeed in the workplace and in life.

Being open to criticism can also be a useful approach to test ideas and keep your mobile food business relevant in your local market. 

Do you have any additional tips for vendors who want to be open to criticism in their business? Share your thoughts on this topic in the comment section, our food truck forum or social media. Facebook | Twitter