What!?! Why? Where's the food truck I was looking for?
It's not easy running a food truck, and many things can (and sometimes do!) go awry. There are a number of issues that can cause a food truck to cease operation, prevent them from remaining operating safely or even from arriving to their destination in the first place. In the event of one of these unfortunate occurences, what's a food truck to do?
The first step is to make the best possible attempt at communicating the issues being experienced, especially if you may not make it to your committed event or shift. If a booking agency is responsible for the job (like Tampa Bay Food Trucks!), the truck should call us immediately so that we can make the client aware, as well as update any and all promotional information we have live for that scheduled shift. The sooner we are made aware of a problem, the better! In some cases we will be able to supply the venue with a replacement truck. Second, any efforts the truck has made on Facebook, Twitter etc. should be updated and apologies made to their fans. Citing a reason often helps put disappointed customers at ease. An example of what NOT to say would be "Sorry, I'm at the beach" whereas a more reasonable explanation would be: " We are not available at XYZ location as our generator will not start, leaving us unable to serve you! We are taking the truck in for service now, we are so sorry we had to leave our shift early. Looking forward to getting back up and running, and seeing you all again soon."
As a fan, there is nothing worse than driving 25 minutes to get to a food truck before the end of their shift and then when you roll up...no truck. As food truck enthusiasts, I think we can all imagine the disappointment! One of our employees recently had this frustrating experience while traveling. After taking 30 minutes, a 10 month old baby (and all that jazzy stuff that rides along with him) they left their vacation rental with the intent of eating at a specific food truck. Despite arriving before their shift was over, when they arrived the truck was nowhere to be found. They called to see if perhaps they had the location wrong? Not only did the truck not answer, but a voicemail received no return phone call.
It looks as though the truck in question hadn't updated their schedule online. In this particular scenario, if a food truck broker is looking for you, it's in the best interest of your business to be available as promised. We have the capability to book them for thousands and thousands of dollars in work. However after this experience, if we need a food truck in that city, they won't be at the top of our list. Reliabiilty is an important trait for a food truck to have, and one that we take into consideration when recommending trucks to our clients.
To food trucks: people do follow you around like excited children! In some instances only to find that you've left them hanging out to dry. Don't do that! Life happens, we totally understand, but don't close your window 30 minutes early because you are slow. You just never know who is planning on stopping by, regardless of whether it's a one time retail customer or the catering opportunity of a lifetime. Take pride in what you do and do it well. That all starts with being where you said you would be and if you can't be, at least communicate that to the best of your ability. It shows your fans and clients that you value them and their patronage.
For anyone who has dealt with this, please keep on chasing the trucks, and if you notice it's slow, thank them for sticking it out to the end of their shift so you could catch them!