Here in the UK, street food is enjoying much popularity. Not only do customers enjoy eating it, but the business itself has very low start-up costs. And so, it’s only natural that would-be business owners would be running to cash in. But the street food industry is just like any other business; in order to be successful, a clear vision backed by a solid business plan is essential.
Street food is available in many varieties, from the standard burger and fries to specialty gourmet offerings. That being said, you will first need to have a clear definition of the kind of food you will be serving. Knowing this is the first step to developing a business plan. If you plan to serve generic fare, you may wish to focus on how you will deliver it more efficiently than your competitors, as you will likely have more than a few. However, if the fare you’re serving is unusual, unique, or of the gourmet variety, your focus will need to be not on the quantity of customers you serve, but on the quality of the food you will be serving. You’ll need to detail your plans for marketing your business to justify higher prices, as well as how you plan to stand apart from your competition.
There are several venues at which street food businesses can not only introduce themselves, but also become important participants of. What are yours? The strategy part of your plan needs to cover not only which and how many festivals, street markets, parties or other venues you wish to target, but also how many other street food vendors will be present, as well as total event attendance numbers and customer demographics for each event. Indeed, this section may take time to craft, as there are many options to consider. But you can begin by thinking about those street food businesses which are similar to yours. Where would you expect to see them? A methodical approach is best; consider attending the events at which your competition will be present, and taking note of those successful vendors as well as the potential reasons they are doing well. Those street food businesses serving generic fare typically do well at events like large music festivals, where food is the secondary focus. However, gourmet street food tends to be most successful where the main focus is on food.
Preparing for the Unexpected
Even though a venue can have all the elements of being successful, they can still fail to produce the revenue you expect. Although this may not be your fault, your business plan needs to account for this possibility. Financially-speaking, you should be able to illustrate that you will have enough spare money to provide you with a safety net should these bumps in the road occur.
Branding and Marketing
The promotion of your street food business is a critical element of its success. Therefore, this section of your business plan needs to be as detailed and comprehensive as possible. Street food is directly related to lifestyle. And so, selling that lifestyle can be very effective when branding and marketing your business. Effective branding begins with a strong and memorable story about how your business came to be, as well as a statement of your business’s values for a credible foundation. Also directly related to your branding and marketing should be your social media presence, as its potential for creating instant followers is simply too great to ignore. Of course, these are just a few of the many aspects of a street food business plan that need to be covered. A future blog post will detail the rules and regulations of the industry, as well as equipment and food costs, business tips and more.