So why is it important to run pre-shift meetings for your food truck? Many of the food truck owners I’ve spoken with don’t because they don’t know how and they don’t know what to say. So again, why run pre-shift meetings? Because it’s a great opportunity to coach your food truck team and help them stay focused on what’s important to the success of your mobile food business. Today we’ll explore how to run a successful pre-shift meeting.

When you watch your favorite sporting team, right before the players take the field or floor to start the game, you’ll probably notice the team is in a huddle around their coach. This is their “pre-shift” meeting. What do you think the coach is saying?  Well, in most huddles I’ve been in, the coach is giving the team last minute instructions and motivation.

Guidelines For Food Truck Pre-Shift Meetings

The coach is coaching the team to get the most out of the talent they have. In a food truck the manager or owner is the coach. And during a pre-shift meeting that’s what you need to do…coach. You don’t need great speaking skills to have a great pre-shift meeting just follow these simple guidelines.

Keep it Simple

Short and sweet meetings should be 2 – 2.5 minutes tops. These meetings should be quick hits that inform, instruct and motivate right before the shift starts or when the service window opens.

Stay Positive

Keep the meetings positive. I’ve seen vendors let these meetings turn into long drawn out boring meetings. Don’t let that happen. You don’t need negative energy right before your team starts interacting with your customers.


To keep your teams attention you have to make it interactive. For example when you mention the daily special have your service window staff give a quick sales presentation around that special. Look for things that you can bounce off the team that they can respond to.

Keep Focus

Focus on one primary area to talk about. Whether it’s maxing out sales, providing fantastic service or menu knowledge, pick one topic and focus on that area during your meeting.

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Be a Planner

The owner or manager should have a plan before the meet. Mention the daily specials, and any 86 items. Talk about team goals you have and any goals or objectives you have for different areas of your team.

These meetings are also a great time to make announcements, discuss contests and to recognize outstanding staff efforts.

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The Bottom Line

I hope this helps, because now you have no more excuses about not knowing what you need to talk about when running a pre-shift meeting in your food truck. Follow the guidelines outlined here and you will soon be reaping the benefits of a well-coached wait food truck staff.

Are you a food truck owner who already holds pre-shift meetings? If so, if you have any additional tips, we’d love to hear them. Share your advice on this topic in the comment section, our food truck forum or social media. Twitter | Facebook