Are you a new GFT?

Are you a new food truck? Real quickly, here's some "do's" and "don'ts" for new GFTS. They sound like common sense, but you'd be surprised at how many GFTS are complete idiots when it comes to these tasks.

  • DO invest in learning how to tweet on Twitter.  Its free to join, but it does take time to use. Its not that hard to learn, but the lingo is different. When creating a username, pick something easy to spell, easy to remember, and reflect on what your specialty is. 

  • TWEET often. Interact with the fans. Tweet your location before you leave your commissary (exact address appreciated). Tweet your estimated arrival time (ETA). And Tweet again mid day, especially before lunch.  Tweet again before dinner, and tweet again during dinner.  Tweet, and tweet often!

  • DO have your web site updated and running before posting your URL information to the public.  Web sites without correct information (or still under construction!) is 100% useless! Hey, its part of your bread-and-butter, so get it fixed! If you can't get the web site running, use a blogsite or even Facebook as a backup.  Its always good to have both Twitter and Facebook available to the fans.  DO have active links and contact information accessible on your twitter | facebook | website accounts. 

  • Do NOT expect or rely on others to get your food truck going.  Do NOT expect a free hand out, or to be added into their rotation because you asked. 

  • DO think outside the box. If the other food trucks aren't helping you... roll up your sleeve, scout your own lot, and be in charge of your own rotating food lots!

  • DO follow other GFTS, but its up to you to promote yourself.  DO respond back to tweets in a timely manner. Like in any business, no response means your competition gets a chance to steal your business! Solution?  Check your phone constantly, and (here's that word again) TWEET when you have down time.

  • Do post a menu so we know what you sell, but Do NOT assume your menu is set in stone.  On your web page, keep us updated on what you're serving.  Keep a few staple items (particularly your best sellers) on the menu, but rotate or change items out as the season changes. It'll bring customers back for the new stuff.. and (here's that word again) TWEET an announcement of your new food items with pictures.

  • DO keep your commitment if you're booking a venue. Also if you double book yourself, DO give ample notice to back out... and be respectful by finding a replacement for the venue.

  • DO fill up your gas tank.  It sounds trivial, but if you can't make it to your destination, or you're deemed unreliable, other GFTs won't want you in the group.  

  • Do NOT crash other GFT lots unless you were invited. Many cities require a permit and are allowed only a certain number of vehicles per site.  Crashing a site may mean disqualifying a permit, and no one likes a party crasher.

  • When you are starting out... DO post on your web if you are cash only.  One foodie went to try a new GFT and realized she didn't have enough cash because she assumed the GFT accepted credit / debit cards. 

  • DO invest into a portable credit card reader.  Most of the GFTS are using a credit card swiper you can attach to the iPhone / Smartphone.  I saw one at Best Buy in the mobile phone section, but I am sure you can find it online like on Amazon, Apple, or via Google.

  • Don't get hacked!  Create a password that uses UPPER and lowercase with $ymbo!s, and Num3ers or a combination of such to make it harder for your account to be compromised. 

There's probably more Do's and Don'ts for new trucks, but those are the most common issues. I may not be a GFT operator, but I have been involved long enough to know which GFTS are reliable.. and which ones to avoid! As someone who eats at GFTS 4-5 times a week, I don't have time to guess where to find a truck. I have money, and any of the GFTS will be glad to take it.

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