There’s power in food.
The growing popularity of food trucks is playing a curious role in workplace communication and networking. These mobile munch mobiles are helping break down barriers and boost comradery. And there’s fun along the way.
Employers are taking advantage of the food truck trend, which makes Ross Resnick happy.
Resnick is CEO and founder of Roaming Hunger, an online catering hub and dispatch for mobile food. He has 4,500 food trucks in his network, and says the majority of requests they receive are from businesses.
A New Form of Networking
Food trucks often set up in business parks across the U.S. and serve workers from many different companies that are based in the complex. “We consider it a new form of networking. The barriers come down, everyone’s looking at the menu, and sharing a common experience. And the cost is relatively low,” says Resnick.
“The activity of getting in line with other people from your workplace, waiting to order, and mingling for 10 minutes or so while food is prepared creates great opportunities for employees who may not have touch points during the regular day,” explains Resnick. “It’s a tremendous way for employers to get people outside and talking to each other in a different way.”
Resnick points out that it’s the kind of experience that inspires comraderies across all levels of an organization. “Senior executives are with the rank-and-file and everyone’s in the same boat. It’s very democratic and everyone is on a level playing field.”
Another intriguing business dynamic is that employers are getting creative when hiring food trucks. They are bypassing old favorites like hamburgers, hotdogs, and pizza, and opting for diverse ethnic foods. Experimenting with new foods can help spark conversation and educate people at the same time.
“We’re bringing out Indian, Greek, and Thai foods, things people aren’t eating every day. It gives people a window into other cultures and I think that goes a long way. If an employer can play a role in the cultural education of their employees through food, it’s a wonderful benefit,” explains Resnick.