Whether you’re working a big event or are getting through a regular weekday lunch rush, finding ways to increase service speed is key for your food truck business. But how can you actually get food out faster without compromising quality?
In this guide we’ll walk through three ways that your food truck business can increase service speed, no matter where your truck is parked or what you serve. Up first? Let’s take a look at your menu.
Speedy food truck business tip #1: Keep your menu simple
A simple menu has a ton of benefits for your food truck business, but a big one is that a simplified menu helps you increase service speed. Why? Because fewer items on your menu means that you can increase kitchen efficiency and serve your customers faster.
Creating menu items that share ingredients will save you time on prep, and will help you set up parts of your dishes ahead of time. Then you’ll be able to cook-to-order the unique parts of each dish, but you won’t be starting from scratch every time an order comes through.
Although how fast you’re able to cook orders definitely plays into service speed, how fast your line moves outside the truck plays a factor as well. If you have fewer items on your menu, your customers can read through and choose what they want more quickly, keeping your line moving.
Speedy food truck business tip #2: Prep your food truck ahead of every event
When you’re moving quickly in a small space, making sure you have the right set up is key to optimum efficiency.
Test your equipment
Before you drive out to your lunch spot or your event, make sure you do an internal check of your truck equipment first. Run through some basics, like is all your equipment working the way it should? Is your refrigerator running and is your cooktop hot? Iron out any issues well before orders start pouring in or adapt your menu to work around it if need be.
Check your inventory
Next, check your inventory. Do you have all the ingredients you need to make your menu? What about all your serving utensils, condiments, and napkins? Sending someone running to the store for replacements once service has already started will slow you down; make sure you have everything you need ahead of time, and send someone out before you get started for the day if you need.
Scope out your location
If you’re trying out a new location, scope it out before you drive your truck there. If you need to find a power source, parking, or shade, it’s helpful to know exactly where you’re going to be in advance. Otherwise, you may find yourself wasting precious time circling for a spot.
Practice new menu items
Although a simple menu is usually the way to go for your food truck business, you may want to introduce new items or specials from time to time. If you do, make sure you test out the recipe and do a run through on your own or at home before introducing it on your truck.
It may take longer to cook than you thought, or there may be an extra element of plating you didn’t consider. Either way, testing the recipe before officially introducing it can help save you any surprises on the road. (Plus, showing off the testing process on social media can be a great way to generate buzz and get people excited to try your new dish!)
Speedy food truck business tip #3: Use a POS built for food trucks
Now that you’re running your truck like the well-oiled machine it is, you need a point of sale system (POS) to go along with it. A POS will not only help you run transactions, but it can help you reduce wait times, lines, and keep your staff organized.
To reduce lines in front of your food truck, let your customers order online from wherever they are. Then when their food is done, the POS will send them a text message and they can just come pick it up—no waiting in line required. This will also make it faster for folks who did decide to order in person by making sure the line isn’t overly long.
The text feature also helps you streamline how you get customers their food, whether they ordered online or not. When you text your customers that their order is ready, you don’t have to yell out names, clog up your order window, or spend time tracking down customers who wandered a little too far out of earshot.
Inside the truck, a kitchen display system (KDS) will help keep you and your cooks organized. No matter where the order comes from, it’ll be routed to a central KDS so you can easily keep track of everything you need to send out.
Brice and Haley Porter of Mori’s Place Coffee Company in Daphne, Alabama have found their KDS system to be especially helpful during rushes:
“[The KDS] has been especially helpful during busy events or setups where clients come in large rushes,” they said. “It has eliminated messed-up drink orders and miscommunications, because we’re able to see exactly what was ordered without having to interrupt the other barista who is taking more orders. It completely cuts the confusion that can overwhelm baristas trying to balance multiple tasks in a big rush.”
Increase your food truck business’s service speed with ease
Whether you’re just getting started or are looking to level-up your food truck business, the Table Needs POS is a great fit. Fully loaded with all the features that you need, from processing credit cards to managing multiple menus to streamlining orders. Plus, it’s super easy to use and simple to manage.
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