Building A Mobile Street Food Business From Scratch

Starting a food business is a fantastic way to use your culinary skills and make money at the same time. Although it takes some work, it is also relatively easy to get started at grassroots level. One of the areas in the food sector that is seeing a significant boom is street food or mobile food businesses. Just a few years ago, more often than not a portable food vehicle would have been reserved for events such as carnivals and sports matches, but now they are one of the most popular sources of lunch and dinner time in large cities.

Here we are going to take a look at some of the ways you might develop your mobile food business and thrive in this growing industry.

Getting Started

As with most business, there are a number of things that go into getting started. You should begin with an idea about what kind of food you want to sell and the location or locations that you plan to operate in. These are two critical parts of running a successful operation in this field. The type of food must fit into the market you are looking at, there is little point in developing a three-course menu because this sector isn't servicing that customer base. Likewise, the location should be accessible to offices, tourists, and businesses because you will be looking to attract people on-the-move.

You will also need to consider what it takes to run this style of operation. You will likely want to go down the route of using an inverter generator to run your equipment, so you should look into the most cost-effective way of doing so. This might mean using a Red Diesel Fuelbox or just sticking to standard diesel, it will come down to how you use your generator and the expense of running it. Don’t forget, you are going to be needing to keep food refrigerated, run a cooking appliance, and use other equipment so the wattage of said generator will need to be sufficient.

Photo by jgkstretty from Pixabay


Once you are set up and in your location, the next step is to attract people to your new business. If you are targeting the lunch crowd, you should be aware that most office workers will have their preference for a meal and to entice them you will need to utilise promotions and marketing tools. One of the most effective ways of promoting your food truck is by leafleting with coupons. The first few days or weeks that you are in operations are vital to your long term success, the more people you can attract through your promotions then the greater the word of mouth will be and that is where your operation will be made or broken.

Customer Service

As important as promotions are to your business, that word of mouth is going to critical. All restaurants live and die by reviews, the difference with a portable food establishment is that the reviews tend to come from local word of mouth rather than Trip Advisor. So with this in mind, you must make sure that your customer-facing staff are the best version of your business. Not only should they be offering the food with great customer service, but also making your establishment the best for their needs. Again street food outlets tend to be used for people who aren’t looking to hang around so employing the use of wireless card payments and hot plates will be advantageous to your success.

Main photo credit 

Photo by naobim from Pixabay