As the summer begins, the desire to eat and drink outdoors grows even stronger. The season brings with it a huge range of festivals and events which provide the ideal opportunity to showcase a wide variety of foods and food concepts to a large and captive audience. If you are thinking of entering into catering but are not sure where to begin, then street food could be the perfect first step. Here we will take you through what you will need to get started.
Before you decide to embark on any sort of new business venture it is vital that you do some research into the market, the competition and your potential customer base. This will enable you to decide how to ‘pitch’ your business. In the case of a street food business, it will help you to decide what sorts of events you want to target. According to the Street Food branch of the Nationwide Caterers Association one of the best ways to develop and retain your business is via social media and, in particular, Twitter which will allow you to share news about your business and interact directly with your customers and potential customers.
Type of cuisine
There are certain foods from countries around the World that naturally lend themselves to be eaten as street food, usually because it is precisely the sort of food that is eaten on the streets in those countries. Regions such as the Far East and South America, as well as countries such as India have a strong reputation for street food. However, if you are intending to serve dishes from any of these countries in the UK, you will need to be well versed in the cooking and serving of such dishes. Alternatively, cooking food from a certain region of the UK or using seasonal and local produce is also a popular street food concept.
Transport and Equipment
Once you have established the sort of food you will be serving, the next step is making sure that you have suitable transport or a venue and the right equipment for cooking outdoors. The vehicle from which you serve your street food could be anything from a bike or a van, through to a hut, trailer or campervan. Whatever you are using, you will need to ensure it has the right equipment for both cooking and storage. You may need to purchase and install commercial kitchen equipment or commercial refrigeration storage such as that available from Fridge Freezer Direct Ltd.
As with any business there are also legal issues to consider. These include registering your business for VAT, obtaining any relevant licences that you might need and ensuring that food preparation is safe and hygienic. Further guidance on preparing safe street food can be found on the Food Standards Agency website.
Hopefully this has shown some of the key steps you will need to take and things to consider if you are serious about entering the street food revolution.