If you’re at work reading this, you’re probably thinking of that great food idea. Continuing reading if any of these apply to you:
- You want to open a little place of your own, where there are queues round the block all waiting to taste that food you’ve created.
- You want to start a street food business and bring a dish to the masses that you can’t get anywhere in London or the UK.
- You’re the one that gets tagged in any Instagram/Social Media post about food because you’ve talked about quitting your job and starting your food business.
Do you know what 90% of successful food businesses in London did before they started? They did a load of research – where, when and how you plan to sell food has a huge impact on how your idea becomes a business.
It might sound obvious but the first thing you should do is go to markets! It’s called market research for a reason. Here’s our list of markets around London to go and check out, find your local one and go to that, and make sure to pop by a KERB market to see London’s best street food traders.
Once you have done a bit of market research, feel that you want to start a street food business and have ideas of the next big dish, here are a series of questions that you should consider when picking what you want to create:
- Has anyone done your dish before? If not, why not?
- Is your version of the dish new or have a unique selling point?
- Does it require a huge amount of preparation that would be tough if you had to do it at scale?
- Does it require loads of equipment or a particular piece of equipment?
Some of the world’s greatest food brands started small and street food is about as small as you can get. If you have the right idea then you can be looking at becoming the next Honest Burger or Pizza Pilgrims.
Let’s start with a question – why do people go out to eat these five things:
- Fried chicken
- Fish & chips
The answer is it’s a massive effort for people to make these at home,so people are more than happy to go to a restaurant and pay people to make it. The effort to make one burrito is genuinely not that different to making one hundred burritos.
Check out this list of restaurants compiled by Eater on the button below. Pick a few and work out what are they doing that means they’ve been put on that list. They aren’t Michelin starred, they aren’t particularly on trend, but they are doing something delicious and worthwhile. Take your notebook and write down what you see.
Go and eat a lot of food
All credit goes to Eater London for this amazing map of restaurants.
One last question
What do you want this business to grow into?
Do you want a restaurant? Do you love the idea of markets?
Or do you see Golden Arches?
All the decisions you make in your business should be with a goal in sight (if you want to grow). It might not be that you want any of the above, but you want a nice lifestyle business, that’s totally fine for the first few years. However, you 100% need a goal to aim for because your priorities will change over the years of running your business.
Getting your street food idea right can mean the difference between going for an empire or sticking with catering on the street or at events. Understanding your point of difference is everything in so many ways, so take your time and think about it!
Sign up to our full course
If you enjoyed this article and want to start a street food business, then we’ve got some good news. We have a full course that will get your idea from your notebook and onto the street.