Food truck vendors and their employees have to change the way they are handling customers today in this competitive industry. The old ways of selling from a food truck are changing. These changes require all vendors to think differently. Today we’ll discuss the most common sales mistakes vendors either get wrong or don’t implement.
Avoid These Overlooked Sales Mistakes
The following sales mistakes will keep you from building your food truck’s success. If any of these seem to describe your actions and mind-set, consider how you might change your operations going forward.
Lack of Focus
If you lack clarity in what you are trying to build, today is the day to define your food truck’s mission. Be sure not to become paralyzed by this task. All of your goals don’t have to be HUGE. Take actions and create opportunity to enjoy small victories.
This could be as easy as working with your staff to sell more side dishes to move check averages up by 15 cents.
Vendors need to clearly and concisely motivate and give direction to their staff verbally. Practice this skill every single shift. Take the time to explain why things are done your way. This will provide that your staff understands the big picture and you get their buy in.
If you want better communication try installing a “Two Reason Rule.” The rule goes like this. If a staff member asks you why you do something a certain way, if you can’t give at least two good reasons for what you’re doing then you’ll stop doing it that way.
Not Providing Proper Tools
Is your equipment suited to produce your menu? It’s unfair to your to expect high performance and not provide the tools needed to get the job done. This also means your equipment must be in good condition to get the job done. Make sure your food truck equipment is well maintained daily.
Some vendors may think this isn’t a big deal, but when you are talking about providing quality food, you cannot make any compromises.
Being An Absentee Owner
Food truck owners need to be actively engaged in the business. That doesn’t mean that you have to work on your truck, but you should be be around to view the big picture. Your presence in the operations of your food truck is invaluable and time well spent.
Not Anticipating Problems
Relating back to the last point of having a presence on your truck, food truck vendors need to find and correct the problems before a customer does.
- Line checks. Keep an eye on the line for quality, quantity, taste, texture and temperature of every product at the beginning of every shift. This will eliminate surprises that could pop up during a busy service.
- Ordering and receiving practices. Don’t be that truck that has to shut down with a line full of customers. How many trips have you made to the grocery store to buy products to get through a shift? Avoid this mistake with well-defined par levels and proper planning.
- Prep procedures. Make sure you have an effective prep system in your food truck. This will assure that there is an adequate supply of freshly prepared product for each shift.
Studies have shown that it costs 10 times more to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one. Spend your time, effort and money doing what you can to retain your current customers.
Underutilizing your Menu
Your food truck menu offers opportunities to build your business. Because of this, it’s important to learn the 80/20 rule and understand it. This rule states that approximately 80 percent of your sales come from 20 percent of your menu items. Vendors need to take the time to discover what those items are and to make them the best that they can be.
Menu engineering is an important exercise and should be done regularly. It gives you the chance to update your menu the right way.
RELATED: Food Truck Menu Engineering
The Bottom Line
Everyone makes mistakes, so it’s important to assess and refresh your actions, goals and mind-set from time to time to maintain your edge or stay ahead of competition. Every food truck is a work in progress, and you aren’t expected to perfect your business overnight.
Being a success in the mobile food industry means nothing when it forces you to compromise your integrity. By recognizing some of the sales mistakes you make to sabotage your success, you can avoid being your own worst enemy.