Are you a wannabe trader with a passion for food? If so, you may be thinking about setting up a street food business.
Market stalls, street food and pop-up restaurants have transformed our way of eating. It is now customary to see people munching on a hot dog or a pulled pork roll while they window shop.
There are some downsides associated with setting up a street food business. As you are serving customers outside, your success each day will be highly dependant on the weather. During the winter months, some traders shut up their stalls altogether.
There is a lot of advice available on opening a food business. We have gathered some of the essential information together to create this ultimate guide to setting up a street food business.
Food, glorious food
If you have not already decided on what type of mobile catering business you would like to set up, now is the time to make this decision.
There are hundreds of possibilities. As long as the food that you choose can be prepared by you in a mobile fashion and can be eaten easily by your customers, then it can be done.
Some options you may wish to consider are hog roasts, baked potatoes, burgers, salads and ice cream.
When you are choosing which food you want to deal with it is a good idea to think about the weather in your area. If it tends to be colder then, you may make more money by selling hot food. However, if you plan to be located near the sun soaked seaside, then colder food and ice cream will be more popular.
Licenses and regulations
Before you can start to trade, you must set your business up as a sole trader or a limited company. Once this step has been taken, you will need to register your business with the local authority.
The authority will organise a health assessment of your business, and you will be given an food hygiene rating.
You will also need to get safety licenses for any gas and electrical equipment you intend to use.
You will need to decide which setup will work best for your mobile catering business. You may wish to choose a van, a gazebo or a trailer.
The premises should include the equipment you need to make the food, serving equipment, payment facilities, etc. You should look into different point of sale solutions that allow you to accept credit card payments anywhere.
You can pretty much trade in any public area that you like. However, you are guaranteed to do excellent business at music festivals, markets, food festivals and county shows. It is a good idea to have a look online for information on outdoor festivals happening in your area for more options.
Advice and support
The Nationwide Caterers Association is a trade association that provides information and support to caterers. It is worth becoming a member with this organisation as they offer free training and inform you of events in your area.