Street food from either a food truck or street vendor is consumed by over 2.5 billion people every single day. With that sort of demand, your food truck business can face some challenges. Most food trucks have between 2-4 employees, and if a big rush comes along, queue management and fulfilling larger food orders at once can become burdensome.
If the queue to order at your truck is very long, customers can see that, and then they can decide whether or not it is worth the wait. Hopefully, your customers do decide that your food truck is worth it and choose to endure the queue.
If the cashier takes as many orders as possible to keep the order line short, the kitchen still needs time to prepare the food. Depending on the food you serve, customers can still expect to wait. Keeping those customers happy in the meantime is necessary to a successful business model.
Here are the best ways your food truck can manage big queues.
Manage Customer’s Expectations
While you might not always have the capacity to keep everybody happy, trying to manage customer expectations is crucial. It’s important to have a cashier who knows the business taking orders.
They should be able to tell customers how long they'll have to wait with very high accuracy and if things are busy, they should be able to tell customers this before they take the customer's order.
It is vital to give your customers the advantage of knowing what to expect when they order at the cashier, downplaying the wait time only leads to disgruntled customers. Customers respect honesty and prefer if they’re told an accurate wait time. It’s something to note that customers are usually even happier if the order is ready within the original time they have been told.
You may have seen pagers or buzzers being used in restaurant settings. Those buzzing coasters can also be used as part of your food truck’s queue management system.
Once the customer has placed an order, you’ll hand them the restaurant pager and they can wait until it buzzes, notifying them that their food is ready for collection.
The pager system can help with queue management, as customers will no longer need to linger around the truck window. One issue with the restaurant pager is that due to the limited pager range, the customer can’t stray too far from the truck. But if your order collection wait time isn’t too long, this shouldn't be a problem.
QR Code Tickets
This system is comprised of a paper ticket containing a unique QR code that the customer scans with their smartphone. It may sound overly simple, but it allows for effective queue management. Once the customer places their order, they’ll receive a paper ticket, which they’ll scan to know the status of their order.
The main benefit of this system is the fact that the customer can go as far away from the truck as they want, there’s no need to wait “in range” or near the food truck window. The customer can walk around the area and will get notified on their smartphone when the food is ready for collection.
In situations where your truck’s kitchen is backed up with orders, this system changes the game in terms of customer wait satisfaction. The customer has the freedom to spend their waiting time however they choose. The customer has the opportunity to go check out other food trucks in the lot, or on those chilly nights, to go back and sit in the comfort of their car.
Wondering where you can get started with this system? Order Bee offers support and pricing plans to fit your food truck’s needs.
Several procedures can be implemented to improve your food truck queue management, choose one of these suggestions and we’re sure you’ll see your long queues run smoother!