Coming hand-in-hand with the growth of food markets, increased desire for authenticity and no shortage of would-be entrepreneurs quitting their desk jobs to dish up far-flung recipes from vintage vans, the food-truck industry is set to be worth $2.7bn by next year in the US alone. And as the standards (and sales of Airstreams) soar, many of the first wave of street-food startups are now graduating to permanent residencies and restaurants, turning their Saturday trading spot into successful culinary careers. Fancy having a go yourself? Great, but before filing your resignation, read on – below, we’ve collected five key lessons from street-food pioneers on how to do it properly.
Tap into a new niche
Even more important than that killer pun trading name is the idea behind it. The co-founder of Crosstown Doughnuts, Mr JP Then, started selling handmade sourdough doughnuts from a market stall on Leather Lane in 2014, and advises opting for originality. “Find a food niche you can own and make sure yours is truly the best,” he says. His own creations, designed to be a high-end accompaniment to artisan coffees, proved so popular they are now available in a dedicated Soho store as well as in Selfridges, Whole Foods Market and a network of stalls across London. “Ensure it’s relevant and already in demand somewhere in the world. London is a melting pot of cultures and is very accepting of international food concepts – if you nail it, the hungry faces will follow.”