How Food Truck Owners Can Deal with Food Critics

How Food Truck Owners Can Deal with Food Critics

In the mobile food industry, a bad review from a local food critic may seem devastating, but it’s not the only factor that makes or breaks a business. A bad review is less likely to shut down your food truck than a good review makes it the place to eat.
If true, food critics would have the ability to populate their cities with the kinds of food trucks or restaurants they personally prefer.
Food critics are critical, biased, and opinionated – that’s their job! Critics go to restaurants for flaws. Even if critics love your food, there’s a good chance they’ll point out your slightest mishaps very honestly.
Every customer is a potential food critic. Professional food critics like to remain anonymous, so you might not know when someone boards your truck. Furthermore, with the growing popularity of online review sites, such as Yelp, any customer with a smartphone or connected to the internet can become a food critic.
Good PR strategies can convince food critics to visit your truck, but when they’re there, it’s up to you to impress them. Your business begins the moment the food critic arrives at your truck.
The best way to get to know a professional food critic is to simply keep up with the names and faces of local and regional reviewers and make sure your staff does too. If you find a food critic in line for your food truck, there’s no need to give him a hard time.
Instead, use it to your advantage and tell him you’re available to check the information before he sends his review.
If the food critic eats at your mobile bistro and starts criticizing or complaining about the food or service, accept the criticism and do what you can to fix the problem right away. The worst thing you can do is become defensive. But if you fix the problem, you may earn some points with a critic for superior customer service.
Before he leaves, have the food critic tell you several days before the review appears online or in print to give you enough time to prepare for the rush that might result from a positive review (plus you may want to pick up a few copies of the article for your scrapbook).
Take advantage of every review you receive from a food critic to help you modify the food cart’s food and operations. If you receive a great review on a menu item, make sure that all other menu items match or exceed the quality of the praised item.
At the same time, take any negative reviews as learning points. If your service is criticized, find ways to improve it ASAP. If a critic cuts down on a food item, make sure you get a second opinion from the chef or other food truck owner.
If you get a consensus about a bad food review, take a look at the ways you can improve that ingredient, such as the quality of the ingredients or how they are prepared.
Focus on the positive media attention you receive. Frame positive articles in newspapers and magazines, display them in your truck, and publish them on your website.