It’s not always easy to have friends at work when you own a food truck. While life as a food truck vendor comes with a few universally accepted truths, such as the sacrifices you’ll make to keep your food truck success, and the fact that running a food truck goes way beyond working a typical 9-5, there’s sacrifice that causes debates all of the time. It certainly can be lonely as a food truck vendor, but the question remains: how do you walk the food truck owner and friend line? It’s often a tough subject to deal with, and there’s no one size fits all solution.
The most important thing that vendors need to help maintain their leadership and friendships is courage and the willingness to act in the face of emotion. Three tactics can help you navigate this and at the same time make you a better mobile food vendor.
3 Ways To Walk The Food Truck Owner And Friend Line
- Maintain a strong, clear commitment to your business objectives. If you want to achieve something, you must be willing to make hard decisions. Be transparent, upfront, and passionate, even as others, including friends, disagree with you.
- Develop your friendship skills. Skills like integrity, listening, and setting strong boundaries, can help you manage dual roles of friend and food truck owner.
- Be prepared to lose the friendship. Recognize that you ultimately can’t control what happens to a friendship. Some people might not be able to live with the decisions you make. Learn to deal with the loss and move on.
Don’t forget, as much as you might like to think that you’ve built a genuine friendship with one of your staff members, it’s important to remember that they might not see it that way. There’s a good chance that they will always look at you as the boss, no matter how nice you are, and while you may see it as a friendly invite to run out for drinks after work, your employee might feel pressured into doing so.
Work friendships can also lead to internal trouble within you food truck business, because becoming friends with your employees can lead to whispers of favoritism. No matter how objective you might think you’re being, the reality is that you’re probably not. When it comes to the time for reviews, pay rises, and delegating work, the truth is that you’re likely to favor those that you know best and get on well with.
The Bottom Line
By expressing a genuine interest in your staff and by socializing with them (up to a point), you should be able to build up healthy work relationships. And then when it comes to putting the bottom line first, there won’t be any issues, but you can rest assured that you’re running a food truck full of happy employees that you know you can get along well with.