Street food has become an increasingly popular industry in recent years. Gone were the days of a single fish and chip or burger van at a festival, here are the days of fresh and unique stalls selling fantastically flavoursome dishes. As such, the industry has become increasingly more saturated and so detailed planning and preparation has become even more vital to the success of a street food business. Here we will look at some of the top tips you should take into account when writing a business plan for your delicious new business idea.
The importance of finding your perfect customer
With relatively lower start-up costs compared to opening a restaurant comes the extremely competitive market your street food stall will find itself in. Of course, the idea for your street food business should be focused on a completely new concept to stand out from the crowd, and your business plan should focus on how you will best utilise your space. To do so, your plan should explicitly describe the customer market you are targeting. For example, if you are planning to serve up cheap and generic fast food, where will you find your customer? On the other hand, if you plan to serve more high-end cuisine, you aren’t likely to find your customer at a music festival for example.
Homing in on your customer profile aids in focusing your business; will you focus primarily on efficiency and serving as many customers as possible, or will you be focusing on individual taste? This will allow you to establish the environment you will find your customer base, and consider the price of potential pitch fees. From there you can develop a strategy for which events your stall will target.
How important is branding for your street food business?
In this vein, establishing a strategy for the types of pitches you will compete for will help focus your business’s brand. Brand is an essential element for a street food business, as it is one of the only aspects, apart from the food itself, which will really set you apart from the crowd. And this all begins with creating a unique identity. Knowing who your business is will aid in the types of pitches you apply for. Creating a social media presence is also an important step in building a customer base for your food, and can even help in securing particularly competitive pitches.
From logos and fonts, to uniforms and menus, creating consistent branding throughout your stall will aid in your acquisition of new business. Prices for pitches can vary massively, but by clearly laying out your brand in your business plan, you can solidify your event strategy. Therefore, you can begin to make more accurate financial projections.
Legal requirements in setting up a street food business
Establishing your customer base and your business’s unique identity are both elements of your plan which vary from idea to idea. There are however, certain legal requirements that your street food business must meet in order to be able to operate within the law. The most important of such requirements is registering with your local authority. All food preparation premises must be registered with the Environmental Health Office at least 28 days prior to trading. In addition, each individual who comes into contact with the food being served must have hygiene training to work on the premises. There are varying levels of training, and the required level will depend on the employee’s role. You must also have separate hand and pot washing facilities by law.
In terms of trading, if you intend to trade on public streets or a roadside, you will need what’s known as a Street Trading Licence, which are assigned by your local authority. Also, if you choose to employ anyone for your stall or van, you must take out valid Employer Liability Insurance which should be displayed in the workplace.
Establishing all three of these elements in your business plan: your customer base, your brand and how you will meet legal requirements, will place your business in the best position to compete effectively in the market. If you would like help with putting together your plan, get in touch today! Contact us online using the form on the right or call 01604 420 420.