With the boom in pop-up catering units and the popularity of street food, more and more catering outlets are choosing the mobile option. If you want to create a mobile unit for an existing brand or start up your own unique business, what factors do you need to consider?
With the economic climate more positive than in recent years, consumers are now beginning to eat out more once again. One of the areas to benefit from this has been the street food industry, which has become a significant factor in the eating-out market. Data released by the National Caterers Association shows that there has been a rise from 10 to more than 100 in the number of registered street vendors selling food in the past five years. This is a significant increase and shows just how popular this area has become, as well as the fact that legislation is requiring more businesses to register.
Areas to Consider
Before you jump into starting up a street food business, you need to ensure that you do everything properly. By establishing your business in the correct manner, you are more likely to continue trading for longer.
Choose a Location
The right location can make a significant difference in whether your business is a success or a failure. The first year is always the hardest for any start-up business, with 50% of them failing within the first five years of trading. When you’ve found the ideal position for your business, you’ll need to apply to the appropriate local authority or private market owner to obtain a stand. Ensure that the area is not populated by vermin, and keep these pests at bay to make an ideal spot for your vehicle to set up. Depending on the location and the safety of your vehicle you might consider getting a vehicle tracker installed so if anything happens you can track the whereabouts of the van. It’s also helpful to see where you have been before in your travels. Also if you have more than one food unit you can see where the others are set up and one such site to check to get hold of this is www.vehicle-accessories.net/vehicle-tracking/
Training and Certification
Many of the street vendors won’t have a formal qualification. Often they simply love food and cooking and have learned from experience. However, some form of training could be useful, especially if you’ve never worked in this kind of environment before. You’ll also need to ensure that you are up to speed on the area of food safety, as this is vital for a successful business. One incident where a customer is put in danger, however small, could jeopardize your reputation and position. Before you can begin trading, you’ll require all the appropriate certifications. You should contact the local environmental health officer, who will arrange to carry out an inspection of the premises.
The amount and type of equipment that you purchase for your mobile unit will largely depend on the variety of food you’ll be cooking and the budget you have available. You need to use the correct commercial appliances, as domestic ones won’t be suitable. It’s important to research exactly what is available from retailers to ensure you’re getting the best products available and not spending money on appliances you won’t use. Getting hold of the essentials, including cooking appliances and freezers, is critical.
Once you have organized all the essentials, it’s time to get cooking. This is your opportunity to provide your customers with food that they’ll love and will keep on coming back for.