With winter weather providing many food truck owners with valuable free time they can use to train their service staff, we felt now would be a good time to write another article on this topic. Your service staff is the first contact with your truck a new customer makes. They need to shine and win these new customers. The best way to do this is to consistently get small things right. Avoid these common bad food service habits to ensure great service and a memorable guest experience. This will help to set your food truck apart from the rest.
Common Habits Of Bad Food Service
Not Greeting Everyone
An empty, unattended service window is unprofessional and a negative first impression for customers walking up to your truck. Make it a must to greet all customers verbally and with a smile.
In the midst of a busy rush, many food truck service staff fail to make a quick initial introduction to the next customer in line. This is a mistake. Once a customer walks up, servers should make it a priority to immediately acknowledge them even it’s just to say hello and introduce themselves by name.
Weak Menu Knowledge
Knowing the menu is the service staff’s number one job. It’s more important than charisma and even trumps their ability to sell. The response “I don’t know” should never happen. If your staff doesn’t know what’s on the menu how can they can’t effectively sell it? In addition to discussing additions to the menu in pre-shift meetings, use that time to challenge service staff to demonstrate how they plan to sell the day’s specials.
Not Providing Favorites
Many customers who walk up to your food truck will be often be first timers who don’t know what sets your truck above the rest. If your service staff doesn’t inform customers and suggest customer and personal favorites, the truck is losing sales and your customers are likely receiving an ordinary experience at your food truck.
Food truck staff members should always suggest their own favorites. The purpose of service staff learning your menu is to give them the confidence to make authentic, educated recommendations about what a customer may enjoy.
Letting Hot Food Sit
Food truck customers typically expect their order under 5 to 10 minutes. Longer than this and many will become annoyed. Food will also cool the longer it sits or can easily overcook if left under heat lamps for too long. Make it a priority and team effort to move hot orders out the window once they are ready.
Not Acknowledging Mistakes and Solving Immediately
Mistakes are inevitable and at times common for food trucks with a long line. It is how mistakes are approached and solved that determines if a customer will give you repeat business. Common sense goes a long way in effectively resolving issues that arise with your customers. Remember to treat your customers the way you prefer to be treated when your role switches to that of a customer.
The Bottom Line
Don’t ruin your reputation by being known for providing bad food service. Unfortunately, it’s easy to get known for this, and once that happens it’s nearly impossible to woo back lost customers.