Food Truck Etiquette from a Food Truck Pro

As the founding father of the Cleveland food truck scene, Chris Hodgson likely has passed more grub through his rig's window than any other operator in town. Here are his tips on how to make everybody's experience as smooth as possible.

Do your homework. Most trucks post what they're serving online, giving you a chance to peruse menus well before even getting to the rig.

Check Facebook and Twitter. "Because even if our website says we're going to be somewhere, we might break down on the road."

Pre-order via e-mail. "All of the trucks will have your food ready if you e-mail ahead."

Get there early. "We run out of food all the time."

Expect to wait."A lot of people think eating at a food truck is a quick lunch. That's not the case all the time. You wait in lines, you wait for the food."

Make the rounds.Check out who's showed up before deciding on a truck and meal. There are a lot of options.

Know what you want. By the time you reach the truck's window, it's go time for your order. "Don't waste everybody's time."

Group orders should come in all at once. "Just like when you're eating at a restaurant."

Don't stray too far. You should be within earshot of the truck while waiting for your food.

Bring cash. Why? Because cash is king.

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Douglas Trattner

For 20 years, Douglas Trattner has worked as a full-time freelance writer, editor and author. His work on Michael Symon's "Carnivore," "5 in 5" and “Fix it With Food” have earned him three New York Times Best-Selling Author honors, while his longstanding role as Scene dining editor garnered the award of “Best...
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