What To Do With Your Bad (Maybe Fake?) Food Truck Reviews

Image Source: swmichigan.secondwavemedia.com

Image Source: swmichigan.secondwavemedia.com

Fake on the Internet is nothing new or unusual. It happens all the time from fake photos on dating profiles to fake selfies with celebrities. It gets scary when the fake posts start to affect your reputation and business. With food trucks, fake online reviews can mean the difference between staying out of the red and having to close shop.

Who Would Write Fake Reviews on Food Trucks?

You would be surprised at just how many there are who would write a fake review just for the heck of it. The Internet empowers people and gives them a voice. If a person happens to be in a rotten mood and doesn’t like the size of the sandwich he bought from you – he could vent his anger on your food truck by writing something that is negative and destructive. Others write because it gives them a sense of entitlement to do so while others really want to close down your business for whatever reason.

What Can You Do?

Fortunately, you don’t have to play dirty with fake reviews. You can do any of the following:

  1. Ride it out but make sure you provide a tool for your satisfied customers to write great reviews about your business. You could even post selfies with willing customers or have an app that would be easy for a happy customer to rate your business on the spot.
  2. Hire an online reputation manager who can track and bury negative reviews.
  3. Report the reviews to the search engine or website although you will have to present proof that it is fake which is hard to do.
  4. Instead of reporting the reviews as fake, you could demand that the website authenticate the review as truthful or demand that it be taken it down.
  5. You can talk to a lawyer about suing the person if you can identity that person and the reviews are persistent and getting worse every time.
  6. Report them to the Federal Trade Commission which has become the cyber police on fake reviews.

Finally, pay attention to your food truck’s online reputation. There are patterns that can be monitored so you can flag the review. Some of these patterns are misspelled words, anonymous writers, and repetitious reviews from the same person. Also, investigate to find out if there is any truth to the feedback. Thus aside from monitoring the Internet, keep a vigilant eye on your daily operations and staff. There could be some mismanagement going on that you aren’t aware of.

Your Food Truck Guide To Negative Feedback

Handling negative feedback can be a volatile situation if your employees are not careful.  At the same time, there is a certain way to approach customers whom you would like to get feedback. Just like multinationals have their SOP (Standard Operating Procedures) food trucks should also have a manual on how to handle customers and all kinds of feedback.

The advantages of soliciting feedback does not just include getting the insights of customers on how they like or don’t your food. It’s an aggressive way to put customers off guard. Studies show that great service can often compensate for mistakes made in cooking or lack of ingredients. For example, if your food truck runs out of onions for your sandwiches, getting your employees to suggest alternatives and putting on a show that they care about the people they are serving can turn a potential negative feedback into something less devastating. It will also leave the door open for another visit and possibly lead to a new loyal customer.

How To Ask For Feedback

When designing your customer feedback guide, think about the employees who face the customers. Can they do what you want them to do? Are they approachable, friendly, presentable, and neat? Depending on what your answer is, choose the right approach from the following list:

  • Have cue cards prepared for your employees to read
  • Use social media and get people to send in comments on a Twitter account
  • Have the standard survey form/comment cards available for those who would like to rate the service and food
  • Have an onsite web camera where you can monitor what your customers really say
  • Be around at peak times so you can talk to your customer face-to-face


What To Do With Feedback

Use feedback to improve your business. The best ways to do this are:

  • By answering tweets on Twiiter or posts on Facebook
  • Getting to know your customers by name and letting them know you appreciate the time they took to send in some feedback and what you plan to do about it
  • Giving every comment some consideration. Not all of them will make sense or be right but over time, you will see a trend and then you should act on it

Finally, if you plan on responding to feedback, do it within 2 days or 48 hours. Your response should always be mature (not petty), thankful, and sincere.