Welcome to our advanced class on How to Street Food. By the end of the course you will be maxed out on the knowledge you need to help maximise profits and achieve your personal Street Food Goals (which you submitted online last week to our “food-goal-a-rama”).
You notice that as each of you came in you were greeted personally by one of our customer-focused awareness-mongers. They are breaking down your personal space and helping you get comfortable with the level of interaction you need to sell great food. Don’t fight it! Let’s jump straight in with our How To Street Food Secret™:
Street Food isn’t about Food, it’s about Customer Interaction
You might want to just repeat that to yourself. What’s important about The Sale is Taking Charge. Crucial. I’ll demonstrate – jump right in. As a customer approaches you puff out your chest and make eye-contact. Hold their gaze for a slow count of ten, then give them a double thumbs-up for reassurance: You’re in charge, but they’re super welcome to be there. Show me guys, show me your Interaction Face – now the thumbs up – Nice!
Once they are in arms reach, go for the hand shake. You need to perfect that solid, meaningful handshake. Remember the key to a great handshake? Gently rub their thumb with yours: It speaks more than words ever could. Practice on the person next to you now. A little harder. Excellent, this team is really special today.
We’re going to move onto the sale. You’ve still got them by the hand I hope! Ah, caught a lot of you there – never let go of that hand, not till you’ve got the money! Save your applause for later, you know what I’m saying! You and your customer are basically family now. Give them a name, look them dead in the eye and move closer, climb on the counter if you have to. Get right in and then – this part is your money maker – you tell them what they’re ordering!
I kid you not, try it and you can thank me later. Whisper it: “You want the daily special” right in their ear. So that they can feel your breath. Not only will this speed up service, it also makes you more memorable to that customer, and that means more sales.
You have that perfect moment, now break it – stay in control! Ask them about their pets and kids, stroking your chin thoughtfully as if you are actually listening. I love this part – it really feels like you’re bonding. So what do we do when that chatter dries up? I want to hear it from everyone!
Thank you: if you find yourself stuck in a momentary pause, that is the moment to break out the progressive street food dance routine you were told about in the literature. I saw a lot of you practising on your way in – some great movement there – but just a few pointers: The routine should be no longer than 10 minutes. Don’t be tempted into cutting it short because the food is ready. Street food is a show; your customers don’t want to feel short changed.
Finally: The Serve. A couple of ways you can play this. Hand them the food – and pull it out of reach at the last second. I call that “The Quickdraw”; always gets a laugh. My personal favourite has got to be “The Porcupine”: Put the food on the counter, and just as they’re taking it, you add a fork. Wait till they reach again, add a knife. Then a napkin, then a spoon, then another goddamn fork – I’m telling you, you can run for hours like this, it cracks me up. Or if you want the big finish, you go for “The Lion King”. Hold the food above their head, perform the chant from Circle of Life, dip your thumb in the sauce and press it against their forehead while the crowd goes wild. Beautiful.
And what’s all the effort for? Why do we go above and beyond? Memorable! Say it with me, all of you: Me-mo-ra-ble! Louder! ME-MO-RA-BLE! That is your watch word! It’s been a pleasure talking to you all, don’t forget to buy the book, the DVD and the T-shirt on the way out. GOOD NIGHT!