I’ve been working with DC Slices for over three years. And although I have a full-time job, people always ask me why I’m still working on a food truck. Besides having an excuse to work with super cool people and the extra cash in my pocket, I’ve learned some major keys along the way that I’m sure helped me be successful with my current job. Working on food trucks is some seriously challenging work and builds character in ways you wouldn’t believe. How, you ask? Well, here are five great lessons I’ve taken with me into the world after working on a food truck:
- How to SPEAK UP
Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you that I can be a bit on the soft-spoken side. But when the truck’s generator is running, the oven is humming, the fryer is popping, there’s a band outside rocking and hundreds of people outside yelling about the great time they’re having…whispering orders won’t cut it. You have to take orders and communicate with the rest of the crew over all of the noise and with authority!
- How to give superb customer service
It’s just pizza, you say. But you’re wrong. It’s deeper than that. We greet everyone with a smile, and we take our food quality and presentation seriously. Tons of people stop by DC Slices on a regular basis and boy, do we love our awesome “Regulars.” But just like we love how they remember to come and support us, it’s icing on the cake when we can remember them and how they like their order too. It’s more than just a slice to us. It’s an experience.
- How to work under pressure (and be strategic and resourceful!)
No matter how much we prepare, crazy and unexpected things are bound to happen. And the food truck business is often a fast-paced one, so you have to be quick on your feet and not let stress stop you in your tracks. When you have a line that reaches half-way across the venue and something stops working, you’ll have to find a way to keep getting food out the window and into the hands of your hungry pizza fans somehow. And fast!
- How to deliver bad news…with confidence
Sometimes things just don’t go as planned and you have to let the customer know that we’re out of that slice they wanted or we dropped their tots and there’s a three-minute wait for a fresh order. It’s not a fun part of the job, but we have to be transparent and make sure we do what we can to make their experience with us great. Tiptoeing around the issue or delaying information because I’m afraid of their reaction does not help at all. I quickly learned to tackle the problem right away and be as straightforward, honest and accommodating as possible.
- How to be a kick-ass team player
As amazing as I can be at running the window (I may or may not be a legend…ask about me!), I’d be nothing without my crew. We’re only as good as our team. We check on each other throughout our shifts. We yell at each other to drink more water or go take a break on the hot and grueling shifts. We put our brains together when things really go down and figure out to push through the rest of the day. I can say I’ve been blessed to work with some of the smartest, coolest people ever at DC Slices and they make me want to be great!!