Unintended consequences are common in food truck businesses. Consider minimum wage hikes, providing healthcare or even making the choice to offer catering options. Well intentioned food truck owners often implement new policies only to find that in addition to what they envisioned, they’ve also created problems. Today we’ll discuss these issues and how you can plan ahead to avoid problems.

Understanding Unintended Consequences

3 Types Of Unintended Consequences:

  • Unexpected benefit: A positive, unexpected benefit. This is also known as luck.
  • Unexpected drawback: A negative, unexpected problem occurring in addition to the desired effect of the policy.
  • Perverse result: A perverse effect contrary to what was originally intended. This is also referred to as backfire.

5 Causes Of Unanticipated Consequences:

  • Ignorance, making it impossible to anticipate everything, thereby leading to incomplete analysis.
  • Errors in analysis of the problem or following habits that worked in the past but may not apply to the current situation.
  • Immediate interests overriding long-term interests.
  • Basic values which may require or prohibit certain actions even if the long-term result might be unfavorable.
  • Fear of some consequence which drives people to find solutions before the problem occurs, thus the non-occurrence of the problem is not anticipated.

2 Steps To Dealing With Unintended Consequences

We are all affected by unintended consequences, as either victims or unwitting culprit. You can’t predict the future, so don’t try to. Minimize their negative impact and follow these steps:

  • Plan ahead as much as possible. Gather those the change will impact and scenario plan to see what might happen. Keep in mind that there will always be something that surprises you later.
  • Test the waters. Conduct short, focused experiments to see how various parties will reac. Then, use your results to adjust your plan. You can’t eliminate all negative possibilities but you can get ready to deal with them.

RELATED: Unexpected Surprises And Learning How To Handle Them

The Bottom Line

The reason for analyzing and correcting changes is to eliminate the chance that they will either damaging your customer’s experience, or negatively impacting your profitability or performance. If you cannot measure the unintended consequences of your changes, you are likely to repeat the ones that can hurt you.

Food truck vendors often try to adjust their business models on the fly. Remember that when you change something, it’s nearly impossible to eliminate all of the unintended consequences. Try to anticipate the future, and be ready to deal with issues. Do this and improve your chances of success.

How have you handled unintended consequences in your food truck? Share your stories in the comment section below or on social media. Facebook | Twitter