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What is a street food stall and how can you start one?

Sources indicate that in the UK, the food and drink industry is the region’s largest manufacturing sector. It contributes £28.2 billion to the economy annually and employs nearly half a million people.

In short, it makes for a great sector to invest in, whether you’re a novice chef or a budding entrepreneur.

What is a street food stall?

Much like pop-up restaurants, food stalls are a rising trend in the foodie industry.

From Korean to tacos, or simply hot dogs to fish and chips, food stalls are a portable food offering across streets in the UK.

Food stalls can be found at fairs, markets, on busy streets with high foot traffic, outside office buildings and many other places.

They not only offer tasty food to food lovers, but also help support families and can be a good source of income.

How to start a street food stall business

A street food stall is a business much like any other. You therefore need to think of the regular business requirements when opening up your street food stall.

These range from having the proper local trading license (as different municipalities and localities have different requirements) to having the right gas safety licenses, the right water and electricity setup and as well as comply with health and hygiene standards.

You’ll also need to check if you need to be a registered business to undertake this venture.  

Pros of food stalls

1. Food stalls can be a good source of income and are a low-risk investment

The startup costs for street food stalls aren’t high. You’re looking in the region of a few thousand pounds to begin your undertaking.

In addition, if your business takes off, you can make some profits and earn a solid income. Just make sure you offer your customers a variety of ways to pay you.

Offering chip and pin, contactless and general card payment services will ensure you cater to more people and you’ll increase revenue. 

2. Novice chefs can use it for branding 

If you’re a novice chef who doesn’t have the funds to start your own restaurant at this stage, you might consider treating your customers to your tasty dishes through a street food stall.

They’re a great way of introducing your brand to food lovers in your city and you can make a name for yourself when you start out small. 

3. They are portable and you can move your business to high-traffic areas

The other benefit of street food stalls is their portability. Being mobile will allow you to move around and cater to customers at markets, fairs, events and high traffic streets, among others.

This means you’ll always have a clientele to cater to and you can earn more. 

Cons of food stalls

1. Profits may not come so easily at first


Just like any business, making it means putting in the effort and ensuring your provide a high quality product so that your name will be remembered.

Starting out, you might find that you have more expenses than income or profits and you should be ready and prepared to wait out a few months before you can start breaking even.

After all, you’ll have license to pay and register, salaries of staff to keep in mind, as well as your equipment and produce, among others.  

2. Expect to work long hours


In order to make it in the street food stall business, you need to put in the time.

This could mean waking up early in the morning to setup the stall and getting to bed in the wee hours of the morning so that you’re able to catch the night-time clientele.

The lesson here is that you need to be prepared for long hours of work ahead of you.  

3. It could take time for your street food stall to make a name for itself


Keep in mind that making a name for yourself and earning a reputation takes time.

You’ll also need to consider the fact that your food and drink offering needs to be of high quality each and every single time you serve a customer, so that they keep coming back for more.

That’s why you should be ready to wait it out and be patient when it comes to recurring customers and establishing a brand name. 

Start your street food stall today!

We hope we’ve given you enough information to help you make up your mind about opening a street food stall.

When starting out, all businesses are faced with pros and cons, but just because there are cons doesn’t mean that you should give up or not go for it.

Think of a street food stall as the starting point to opening up your future restaurant where you can showcase your culinary talents and treat your customers to delicious food and drinks.

You’ll be able to build a brand and make a name for yourself.

So, think about starting your very own street food stall today!

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