Developing a food truck social media policy is no longer an option for members of the mobile food industry. The Internet has changed the way individuals, including your employees; communicate with each other and the rest of the world.
Social media has been part of food truck life since Roy Choi sent out his first Tweet. Here is a big takeaway. Vendors need to realize that with this technology, what goes on in your food truck could end up being exposed to hundreds, thousands, even millions of people online. This includes the good and the bad.
Take this New York City food truck twitter fiasco that took place a few years back. A food truck employee sent out an angry tweet to a corporate account who neglected to tip on a large order. The tweet was discussed nationally and seen by hundreds of thousands of viewers virtually overnight.
This was an instant public relations nightmare for the food truck to say the least and should have sent shock waves felt by every food truck vendor about what “could” happen to them.
Face it, social media sites like Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter are here to stay. So what should a food truck owner do? The first step is to create a food truck social media policy. This means establishing a reasonable set of standards of workplace behavior regarding social networking and online use. Next, make sure you communicate your expectations to your employees.
What Your Food Truck Social Media Policy Should Cover
Your mobile food business should have guidelines that apply to your employees’ use of social media, both on and off duty that addresses issues such as:
- Publishing personal information about themselves, other employees, your business and your customers in a public medium.
- Use of company accounts for personal use.
- Use of the food truck logos or trademarks.
- Complying with confidentiality and disclosure of proprietary information (recipes, operational secrets, etc.)
If you decide to adopt a food truck social media policy, all employees should sign a copy of the policy and be trained in its meaning. The best way to do this might be to hold a mandatory staff meeting and discuss it with a question and answer session.
The Bottom Line
Every food truck can have a sensible food truck social media policy. When effectively communicated to your food truck staff, it will go a long way toward addressing the risks and preventing damage to your food truck’s brand in today’s online world.