Hiring your first employee is a major milestone for any new food truck business. Yet, it is a process that can potentially lead to major problems for a food truck and it’s owner(s) if they make food truck hiring mistakes. This is especially true if the food truck owners are inexperienced in the hiring process. Most vendors have learned this the hard way, but we hope this article helps those of you that have yet to make and hiring decisions.
Classic food truck hiring mistakes:
Mistake #1: Not doing the hiring yourself
The first of the food truck hiring mistakes comes if you don’t have the benefit of an HR department (and how many food trucks do). You cannot allow anyone else but you or your partners to make a hiring decision.
Solution: Make sure you interview and investigate every hire yourself. Do not rely on others to make the judgment call on employee capability; this includes your business partners.
Mistake #2: Hiring too soon
Employees are expensive from the moment they first punch the time clock. This is especially true during the startup phase of building a food truck business when there is typically more outflow than inflow of cash.
Solution: Avoid hiring until it is clear that your profits will pay for the employee and they will more than pay for themselves. Growth can be impeded if you choose to do it all yourself. So, investigate other options in the meantime such as temps for project-based.
Mistake #3: Making managerial assumptions about employee duties and expectations
Solution: When you hire be sure to begin by setting clear management expectations from the start. This holds true for all of the positions in a food truck.
Here are five tips for making your first food truck hires:
- Hire based on natural interest and proficiency. Taking someone from stranger to trusted employee is a process, and you can’t be expected to figure out natural talents and other intangibles at the interview. However, interest and proficiency leave clues. You can train for specifics, but training can rarely overcome a lack in relevant interest or experience.
- Remember. Professional expectations must be explicitly set. You cannot blame employees for their behavior if you have not clearly set the expectations from the start. If you would prefer something be done another way, this must be communicated.
- Leaders must lead and set standards by example. If you are unwilling to work hard, or convey a negative attitude, so will your staff.
- Employees respond best when you give them latitude to perform against set benchmarks as they see fit. Giving employees your trust to perform work can inspire creative, efficient solutions. It also provides greater employee satisfaction and retention.
- Open books make for greater employee confidence. It is easier to gain the loyalty and trust of an employee if they know how they are paid relative to other employees and why, and if they understand how their efforts contribute to the overall operation and success of your mobile food business.
Post your food truck job openings at food truck jobs!
The Bottom Line
Running a food truck business is about the people on your team and the customers your business touches. To make your business grow, be sure you attract and retain the right people, and quickly make adjustments if the wrong people are involved.