We have talked about different business models involving food. We’ve explored how to open a restaurant, run an online food delivery company, and sell food on Amazon. Well, there is an option that not many people tend to think about. One of the ideas we talked about was the takeaway restaurant, specifically the dark kitchen model. The street food industry accounts for an estimated 4.1% of the takeaway industry revenue. The street food industry has an annual revenue of over £600 million and it is projected to keep growing at a 20% rate (British Street Food).

Street Food?

Mobile food carts often sell street food in public spaces like markets and events. This is because it's easy to order and ready to eat and should be made with premium ingredients. Comfort food and old classics like mac and cheese, stews and curries are among the classics that you would expect. Check out this list of delicious food truck options.

  • Mexican Burritos and Tacos
  • Burgers
  • Pizza
  • Indian Masala Dosa
  • Bao Buns
  • Paella

What do you need to start a food truck business?

A food truck is immeasurably cheaper than a full-fledged restaurant. Not only that but it can also be opened without experience and without a crazy business plan. In order to open a food van business in the UK, you'll need excellent cooking skills, passion, and creativity, as well as business and marketing skills. You will also need the ability to market, plan and create menus that delight your customers.


Niche, Niche, Niche…

Whether it is a restaurant, Amazon groceries, or a food truck, the food business is a sword battle. In such a competitive environment, having a unique selling point is key. Are you bringing the experience of a particular culture into your cooking? What is it about your concept that will attract customers? Is it one-of-a-kind?

Whether it's a rough sketch or a detailed business plan, it is always useful to write one so that you have a certain idea of how you plan to launch and grow your company. Try to include all of these points.

  • A Summary of Your Business Idea
  • How You’re Going to Fund Your Business
  • A Marketing Plan
  • Details Of Your Menu and How Much You’ll Charge Customers
  • Potential Locations and Events You’ll Attend
  • Start-Up Costs and Overheads (Including Equipment and Initial Stock)

Manage Costs

Street food is cheap to sell. Renting a pitch can cost anywhere from £30 to £100 per day depending on the location. The stall will usually take a percentage of your takings. You should create a limited menu first so you can focus on getting a few dishes right. Later on, you can expand your menu or tweak it to fit the changing tastes of your customers.

You can even buy a gazebo, before buying a personalized food truck. Try to keep everything within your budget.


So Much Paperwork: Regulations, Licences, etc.

In order to sell food, you will need to register with your local authority 28 days prior to starting. Additionally, you may be required to register as self-employed and know your tax obligations.

It's likely that you'll need a street trading license if you're selling food, alcohol, or even playing music in a public place. The UK government has a licence finder that can help you determine which licenses you need.

For those preparing and selling food to the public, a Level 2 Food Hygiene and Safety for Catering certificate is legally required and all staff handling food in the business needs to take food hygiene training. The Food Standards Agency and Health and Safety Standards Executive have more information.

Liabilities And Insurance

Additionally, you'll have to consider how to get an insurance policy for your mobile food van business that best addresses the risks of your company. You should get a policy that covers accidents with the public, your employees, and your products. And it goes without saying that your van should be insured. Learn more about it on simplybusiness.co.uk.

Marketing Is Key to Bringing New Customers

You've got to be visible online as well as present a good presentation of your truck/stall in order to reach new customers. You should put an eye-catching menu on the front of the truck. Your packaging should as well be distinct and inviting.

Your online presence should consist of a website, delivery platforms, and participation in review sites, which will bring more customers to your truck. You should use as many social media platforms as possible: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and TikTok - engaging with customers and building a community.


We hope this article has helped you gain some insight into how to open a food truck. You might also be interested in this post on How to Start a Catering Company.


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