The modern food truck owner must have the ability to make the most out of every situation. They are brave and not afraid to challenge the status quo and push culinary and business boundaries to make things better. Because of these qualities, the best food truck leaders have traits that get the most out of people; they enable the full potential in others.
Today we”l look at these leadership traits and explain their importance in your food truck business.
10 Traits Of The Top Food Truck Leaders
Successful food truck leaders know that there is more to everyone than meets the eye. Everyone has hidden assets and considerably more to contribute than what is shown on the surface. Effective leaders should be able to see potential that may not even see. By helping people develop this potential, you not only get more from them, but you also gain that much more loyalty because you helped them grow.
Encourages a challenging environment
One of the main leadership downfalls is believing that each employee should think the way that his or her boss does. A successful team environment includes the team member being open to each other’s ideas and opinions, even if they are not similar to their own. Try hiring lifelong learners, thus creating a team that expects to be challenged intellectually. One of the first things to look for in any new hire is intellectual curiosity. Yes, those focused on great results is important, but because our brains are engaged in the process, we’ve earned the reputation for being creative and innovative.
Thinks with vision
New culinary school graduates want to work for a foodservice business that has a vision. When you started your food truck, you must have had something distinctive you wanted to do. Share that vision. Show your staff members what life is like at a food truck where these goals are achieved.
An effective leader knows that great ideas can come from anyone in their food truck business. They will be willing to go through all of the ideas, choose the best ones, and prioritize them against their goals. The key is to get each person in the team to contribute. Leaders shouldn’t worry that they’ll appear weak if they listen to ideas from others. When you decide someone else’s idea is right, you’re still leading.
You need to be decisive in management in order for people to believe in your vision. Make your personal and business values known to all team members. They must understand your decision-making process, as well. While input from everyone is encouraged, everyday decisions have to come automatically, and within a reasonable amount of time. These decisions also must come out of the company’s policy and follow its values. Have a 24-hour rule for responding to all emails and requests. Sometimes decisions need more information gathering, but prompt decisiveness is key to achieving optimum results.
A food truck owner who shows interest in staff ideas, development, and overall well-being is the most valuable thing to any employee. Employees should feel comfortable expressing their ideas. Those who fear their bosses will keep potentially valuable information to themselves, and might be shy about offering ideas at all.
It is important for food truck leaders to convey positive energy in their word and actions. If you believe that success is possible, your employees probably will too. It’s not about some forced optimism, but a vendor should think, act and speak the language of success. You can acknowledge challenges, but still keep your focus on how to overcome these challenges.
Builds relationships for success
Emotional intelligence (EQ) can be a better predictor of success than IQ. Success is driven by relationships. A food truck that focuses on EQ builds better relationships between staff, which consequently breeds a better final product.
Communicates (and listens)
Communication involves much more than talking. Listening is equally important. The best food truck leaders do a whole lot less talking and a whole lot more listening.
Sees patterns and trends
Food trucks stay relevant due to the vendor’s ability to spot patterns and trends, as well as learn from the past and focus on opportunities, not problems.
The Bottom Line
The strongest food truck leaders have to develop these skills to compete in today’s food truck industry. It takes exceptional leadership to inspire and encourage your food truck team to deliver the best results possible. These ten traits can help any food truck business grow and survive.
RELATED: How To Start A Food Truck Business