Today, street food is a global gastronomic trend. The main advantages of street food as a business are that it does not require large investments, pays out quickly, and can be realized even during the economic crisis. Opening a fast food outlet may be the best business option for a novice entrepreneur. Therefore, we have prepared the most effective tips on how to set up a street food business.
How to choose a location for a street food outlet
Having a bite to eat quickly and cheaply is an urgent problem for every person who is in a hurry: a student, an office worker, etc. Street food allows you to eat literally on the move. Therefore, if you place a hawker stall near an office center, market, train station, university, or another crowded place, you can count on the considerable income. At the same time, you should focus not just on the bustling areas of your city but on the public accommodations of your target audience. For example, you decide to sell makizushi with seafood. Who can be your customer? Probably, these are working people who have the opportunity to buy such a rather expensive product. So, a good option for a fast food outlet will be the territory near a business center. But if you decide to make a budget and hearty meal, which is cooked in 5 minutes, then your offer will be appreciated by students. Therefore, before looking for a place for a fast food outlet, decide on your target audience.
Where to locate a street food outlet
• Rent a place in a private area;
• Rent a place in a public area;
• In the case of a food truck, you can participate in various public events: festivals, fairs, food fests, picnics, etc.
How to determine the format of street food
• Take into account your financial possibilities. It is quite clear that establishing a small hawker stall will be cheaper than buying a van and equipping it with a mini-cafe.
• Consider the competitors’ offers. If several food trucks already drive around your city, then it is worth considering whether it will be profitable to set up such business or maybe it is better to consider something else.
• Choose the format of the street food business. For example, a food truck is suitable for selling boiled corn, shawarma, burgers, hot dogs, etc. To sell coffee, you can set up a mini coffee house and place some tables there, so that visitors have an opportunity to enjoy coffee in a relaxed atmosphere.
How to choose a business line
One of the main mistakes of novice entrepreneurs in the area of the street food business is the desire to focus on their product and then sell it to everyone. But as practice shows, it is better to start choosing a concept of fast food with a question: what does a consumer lack? In this case, you will evaluate the demand for fast food dishes in advance – and thus, a great consumer flow is guaranteed to you.
To choose the right line of street food business, you should consider some important factors:
• Level of competition. The lack of competitors in the selected area does not always mean good prospects for trade. Perhaps this is due to the lack of consumer demand;
• Seasonality. First of all, consider your expectations from a particular business idea and its capabilities. For example, if you plan to make a monthly profit throughout the year, then it makes no sense to set up a popstand, which is unlikely to be profitable in cold weather;
• Equipment. The cooking of different fast food dishes requires different equipment. And its cost and specifics of work are different too. Therefore, focus not only on the costs but also on the operational feasibility of the equipment (required space, working conditions, power requirements, etc.);
• Culinary education and hands-on experience of the staff. Of course, culinary skills do not play a key role in most fast food outlets. After all, street food is an easy-to-cook meal. Nevertheless, modern fast food outlets are quite diverse, and some of them require certain knowledge and skills of a cook;
• Demand in a specific territory. For example, in the sleeping areas and business centers of a city, different products are in demand.
Street Food Ideas
And now, let’s consider the most original ideas for a street food business that can bring you a considerable income.
Corn dogs are a great business option for novice entrepreneurs: there are a minimum investment, simple technology, and short payback period – just 2-3 months. In fact, the corn dog is an analog of pigs in a blanket or hot dogs. Corn dog differs in that the dough is made from cornmeal. This street food dish is served on a wooden stick, which is very convenient for the fast-food format.
Twister dogs have entered the street food market not so long ago. This unusual dish combines so familiar to many people tandem of sausages+potatoes. The result is a new type of dish: potatoes are cut into thin spirals which are twisted on sausages and after that, twister dogs are fried in deep fat. To realize this idea, you need a deep fryer and special equipment for spiral chips.
Original desserts are a win-win option in a fast-food format. Such a dish will leave indifferent neither children nor adults. Moreover, men who want to find women for a relationship can use this honey-sweet dish to approach and attract ladies. This simple dessert implies fresh fruits on a wooden stick, which are topped with sweet caramel icing.
Everyone loves pizza. It could have been a great street food if not for its not very convenient form. Admit it, it is not so comfortable to eat a big triangular piece of pizza on the move. But this problem was solved by a new product – konopizza. Such pizza is made single-serve and wrapped in a cone.
Waffles are classified as street food, which is confirmed by the very concept of cooking this dish in front of customers. Of course, such fast food is based not on ordinary waffles, but on Hong Kong, Japanese, and Belgian waffles. At the same time, Belgian or Japanese waffles are made with deep pockets that can be filled with various toppings. But everything is quite different in relation to Hong Kong waffles: they consist of oval “bubbles” that are filled with sweet toppings: pieces of chocolate, fruit, soft cheese, etc.