Taste-Test All Items on Your Food Truck's Menu

Taste-test all your menu items before making a final decision to serve them from your food truck. Modify or discard any food that doesn’t meet your quality standards. This testing is an important technique to control the quality of the food you may ultimately serve to the public.

Hosting a taste-testing party is one way you can get feedback from friends, family, staff, and even local foodies. Offer samples of menu items to the party participants and record their responses and body language when sampling.

Getting these reactions can be an invaluable source of feedback before you open your food truck, before you try a new recipe of an existing menu item, or before you start offering a new menu item.

When preparing to taste-test a menu item, review the recipe, noting ingredients and preparation procedures. Set up criteria for these tests based on the following:

  • Appearance

  • Taste

  • Temperature

  • Texture

Now answer the following questions about each item:

  • How does the item look?

  • How does the item taste?

  • Is the item at the proper temperature?

  • Is the texture of the item correct (moist, firm, crunchy, and so on)?

  • Is the item acceptable to serve?

If you determine that a menu item isn’t acceptable to serve, decide whether you can modify it to meet quality standards or whether you should simply discard it. Determine how you can change the recipe or preparation procedures to result in a product that makes the cut.

Practice the following food safety and sanitation measures when conducting taste tests:

  • Take a small sample from the pan with the serving spoon.

  • Place the sample on a separate plate.

  • Return the serving spoon to the pan. (Don’t use the utensil you serve with as a tasting utensil.)

  • Don’t taste the food sample over the pan.

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