Are You Savvy Enough To Open A Street Food Business?
The market for street food has been something of a phenomenon in recent years. Visit any major city in the world, and you will find hundreds of stalls in just a few square miles. And if you fancy yourself as a bit of a dab hand in the kitchen, it’s easy to see the potential in a street food business. On the face of things, it’s cheap to set up, manageable to run, and people seem to be keen to experience new street food.
But let’s not kid ourselves – this is no easy route to success. Most street food businesses go under within a year or 18 months. And if you want to give yourself the best chance of making a go of it, there are a few things you need to know. Let’s take a closer look at some of those important points that could make the difference between success and failure.
The right personality
First of all, the biggest question of all – do you have the right personality to be a successful street food seller? You will need to get on with people, and have a family that understands you will be working 6-7 days every week. There are early morning starts to consider, too, as the lunchtime market will often be your biggest opportunity. You will need drive, determination, and ability to work with figures – money will be tight for a while, and you have to ensure that your spending and prices are spot on.
The right idea
You need to think about what you are offering the public. But don’t get too carried away. The chances are that coming up with a weird and wonderful meal isn’t going to appeal to a broad audience – you will find that out when you realize everyone is walking past your stall and heading straight to the dirty burger van. The ideal street food is tasty, simple to make, and still allows you to make a profit. There is a chance that you will come up with the next big thing, of course. But at the same time, variations – or improvements – on a classic street food dish are often more likely to succeed.
Think about the local market
Don’t underestimate the importance of solid research of the locations you intend to pitch at. You won’t be able to set up a street food location just anywhere and enjoy success. Let’s say you are targeting an area with a large Muslim population. It might be necessary to import halal food so as to maximize your market potential – no one will buy anything from you if you don’t respect local traditions! Similarly, turning up at an alternative festival expecting to sell hotdogs to a crowd that is 70-80 percent vegan probably isn’t a great business decision.
Any food business is subject to food standards and regulations – including street food. Get used to starting up relationships with people from your local environmental health agency, as they will ensure inspections and checks wherever you are cooking. Don’t be tempted to cut corners here – not only can environmental health shut your business, but any bad publicity about being unclean will kill your popularity stone dead. So, always be aware of your responsibilities and hygiene regulations – and stick to them as if they were from the Bible.