Food Truck Customer Etiquette 101

by in Shows, August 23rd, 2012

food truck customer etiquetteThis year’s contestants on The Great Food Truck Race are bound to learn lessons about the operational elements of a food truck that they’ll take with them and use after the show. While they’re learning lessons and taking notes, what about the other side of the truck — the customers?

We all know the rules of the game. Put your napkin on your lap, don’t eat with your hands (unless when appropriate), keep your elbows off the table and so on. But those rules apply to meals at a table. With a new generation of foodies comes an all-new set of rules for eating sans table at food trucks. You didn’t learn these tips in cotillion, no sir! So follow our guide to food truck etiquette to carve your way into the elite class of very polite food truck foodies.

1. Be patient – Eating from a food truck doesn’t make you a follower, but it does make you one of many like-minded hungry trendsetters. This can often mean long lines and even longer waits. Try to keep in mind that as hungry as you might be, the chefs on board aren’t purposely trying to lengthen your wait time. Typically, they are juggling a few hundred orders per day from a limited space filled with hot grills with a bunch of people crammed into a very small space. Gourmet food trucks may seem like fast food, but remember that a longer wait might just mean the best taco combo you ever ate. Try not to ask when order 164 is going to be ready and never go onto the truck unsolicited to let the chefs know that you’ve been waiting 25 minutes. Leave the sass in the car; they’re doing their best.

“Be patient and know what you want.” – Schmuck With A Truck

food truck customer etiquette2. Be prepared – While waiting in line, instead of starting a Words With Friends game with that Facebook friend you think you met at a party once, go ahead and read the menu. There’s nothing worse for a long line than a distracted customer who holds up the line to start pondering what to eat once at the ordering window. Most food trucks have their menus right where you can see them and they do that for good reason. Figure out what you want and stick with it. Don’t change your mind when you get there, but if you are still undecided, asking for a recommendation from the window is quite alright if you can use that info in a timely manner to move on.

“Take a good look at the menu first. Don’t ask the person taking your order everything that’s on the menu because it slows things down for everybody else.” – Lobsta Truck

3. Be trusting – Unless you’re the sole customer at the time and the folks behind the counter seem up for a challenge, try to keep your order simple and trust the menu the chefs on board have put together for you. If you’d rather leave the bun off your lobster roll, fine, but don’t go overboard by asking for half lobster half crab with butter on the side, and, oh, can you make the mayonnaise in a smiley face? Food truckers style their menu with what’s popular and what’s good, or else they wouldn’t be serving it. Have a little faith in their abilities and they won’t let you down. Trusting the chef is a major indicator of proper food truck manners.

“Don’t change the menu so much. Items on the menu were created a certain way to be a complete dish. I once had a customer ask to take three things off a menu item and then complain that it wasn’t good.” – Pigs Feet Under

4. Be efficient – A lot of food trucks accept credit cards, but an issue arises when there’s a $10 minimum and you only want one waffle or when their iPhone credit card app is in a bad mood. It’s always better to pay with cash when you go to a food truck. It’ll be quicker and easier and you won’t have to do that weird iPhone finger signature thing.

“Bring change. Paying with cash speeds things up for everyone.” – Coolhaus

food trucks5. Be generous –Tipping etiquette is a little fuzzy when it comes to food trucks. You tip at a restaurant, but not always when you’re ordering from a counter. Not only are you not in a restaurant, but you are ordering from a counter when you eat at a food truck. Technically, you don’t need to tip, but if you think about the operation of creating a gourmet meal in the confines of a truck, those folks sort of deserve a little extra praise. Tipping customers make happy chefs, and sometimes it can mean the difference between a latte and a whole breakfast.

“We tip back by giving goodies on the house” – Brasil Kiss

6. Be clean – At a food truck, you don’t have the luxury of a busboy nor is your mother there to clean up after you (unless she is). Most trucks have trash cans and recycle bins for your convenience and theirs. So please use them. Don’t leave your empty soda bottles lying around or let your cupcake wrapper wisp away in the wind. Properly dispose of your leftovers where they belong, not on the sidewalk. Make sure to ask if it is appropriate to dispose of rubbish in the on-board bin before tossing your unfinished ketchup cups into an unlined bin.

Tune in to an all-new episode of The Great Food Truck Race this Sunday at 9pm EST/ 8C.

Roaming Hunger brings you tips and tricks to navigate the world of gourmet food trucks and street food. You can find the whereabouts of food trucks near you using live maps at RoamingHunger.com or find out where your next meal is parked using the Roaming Hunger App.

Similar Posts

Tater Tots Are Getting Their Chance to Shine in This Crispy Casserole Dish

Tater Tots have long been a side dish darling, with the versatility to accompany nearly any meal, from breakfast to dinner. But in this week’s Chopp...

Comments (18)

  1. rc car forum says:

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this blog. I am hoping the same high-grade web site post from you in the future as well. Actually your creative writing skills has encouraged me to get my own website going now. Really blogging is spreading its wings and growing fast. Your write up is a good example.

  2. resources says:

    I do like the manner in which you have presented this particular problem plus it really does provide us a lot of fodder for thought. However, through what I have personally seen, I basically wish when the actual feed-back pack on that folks stay on point and don’t get started upon a tirade associated with the news du jour. Yet, thank you for this exceptional point and whilst I do not really go along with it in totality, I regard the point of view.

    • Viran says:

      Alrighty… I don’t know how I missed this wrap up… I’ve been lookading out for it… oh well. I am so iesrepsmd with you! You know I was woradried about this one… and the pause between posts had me conadcerned… I almost looked up your # to be sure you were still alive (but knowading your famadily lives with you was comforting).I am glad you were able to recadogadnize your puradpose within this chaladlenge. You are driadven… someadtimes it is in the extreemes that we realadize or recadogadnize our true puradpose and tune into that litadtle voice that often is more than happy to hide in the dark recesses of our mind/soul.. not wanted to be called upon or brought into the light. You found that voice and made it sing… and what a gloadriadousa0song!*Clearly I can! and did!*I am more than enough and when I need help I allow the help of those who supadport my endeavadors.*And as for being afraid, there is nothading to be afraid of … I suceed at each chaladlenge I embark on. There is nobody that can hold me back… unless I let them!Music to my ears!Here’s to you, and the next challenge!

    • Viran says:

      Alrighty… I don’t know how I missed this wrap up… I’ve been lookading out for it… oh well. I am so iesrepsmd with you! You know I was woradried about this one… and the pause between posts had me conadcerned… I almost looked up your # to be sure you were still alive (but knowading your famadily lives with you was comforting).I am glad you were able to recadogadnize your puradpose within this chaladlenge. You are driadven… someadtimes it is in the extreemes that we realadize or recadogadnize our true puradpose and tune into that litadtle voice that often is more than happy to hide in the dark recesses of our mind/soul.. not wanted to be called upon or brought into the light. You found that voice and made it sing… and what a gloadriadousa0song!*Clearly I can! and did!*I am more than enough and when I need help I allow the help of those who supadport my endeavadors.*And as for being afraid, there is nothading to be afraid of … I suceed at each chaladlenge I embark on. There is nobody that can hold me back… unless I let them!Music to my ears!Here’s to you, and the next challenge!

  3. Rizal says:

    Congrats on 8 miles! 10 minute miles is great! i ran the half marhaton in 3 hours, not too impressive but i ould care less! i should say ran as i took a few walk breaks along the way. you can do a half no problem once you are up to 10, you are good to go, trust me. 10 was the most i did before my half. when you get there you are jsut so pumped. I was able to do it in the sleet so you can ABSOLUTELY do it!!!! go for it; it makes you feel really good! keep up the good work!! maybe we can go for a run together in Ireland!

  4. Radha says:

    - yet women often think that the skinny model fiurge is an ideal because they assume men find it attractive.I agree that it is wonderful for size 14 or 16 women to be considered attractive and be in starring roles. However we have to be careful not to encourage people to get to either extreme. Too skinny and too fat are both unhealthy

  5. bahaha says:

    Impressive, the bots on your comments they are

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>