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23.02.2016
How can we get our street food business going - can we patent our recipes and which certificates do we need?
My friend and I want to start selling our street food goods - based on a top secret recipe - at a local food market but have no idea where to start.The recipe has come from his mother and as far as we are aware, nothing like it is currently being sold elsewhere in Britain.
Duncan Stanley, founder of Brum Yum Yum, a street food market in Birmingham, said: Over the past few yearsa€™ street food has become so popular that many have tried their hand at a local market or two.
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Some of these will be business tips aimed at making you more efficient while others will be questions geared towards making you stop, think, and take stock of where you are and where you want to go. In a world where there are coffee shops on every corner, were you worried that you were entering a very crowded marketplace?  Was there one thing or one moment when you knew you had to just jump in with both feet and see if this venture would work?
On the east coast, people say Secret Squirrel when they know about something great that no one else knows about; like a space that no one knows about yet or a route to somewhere that avoids traffic drama.
We are based in Los Angelos.  Our main challenge is that we brew to order so as to get our customers the freshest coffee but the brewing process takes 18-24 hours so rush orders have another meaning to us than other businesses.
Where are you selling your products today?  Direct to customer, wholesale, some combintion of both?
A combination of online and wholesale currently.  You can find a list of our current retailers here. What sort of marketing do you do to support your product?  Obviously you’re pretty active on Twitter, what other social media channels do you use?


Regarding selling wholesale, have you found that you have to engage in a different sort of marketing strategy to help support your retailers?  If so, what have you found works best for your product and your budget? By far the best way for us to support our retailers is by doing in store demos.  We do them always with a new retailer and then as often as we can on an ongoing basis. Your product appeared to be very well received at the Fancy Food Show.  What was your experience like exhibiting there?
Want to get your hands on your own cup of Secret Squirrel Cold Brew coffee?  Check out their website for more information (they even have t-shirts with their squirrel logo!). She is keen for us to get it out there - we really believe it will be a hit and have tested it on friends who agree.
Many have gone on to run their businesses full-time with great success.Starting small is a good idea, as is having a unique dish that nobody else currently sells - old family recipes are always a favourite. All catering can be gruelling, but as good street food is all made from scratch, the work can be really intense. For a small annual fee NCASS can help you to ensure you are fully compliant with all rules and regulations.
This is how street chefs tell their followers where and when theya€™ll be serving and build contacts with events, suppliers and other traders. What are some of the challenges do you perceive you’ll have to overcome to get there? Any favorite memories or experiences you can tell us about that remind you that all your hard work is worth it? We have done the maths, know how much we want to sell the product for, how much it costs to make and have a catchy name lined up ready-and-raring to go.
If you find your food is popular and you enjoy the work, you may wish to consider a full-time career in street food. Your street food business can lead to great things with some street chefs now releasing cookbooks and making television appearances. You can also complete your food hygiene training with them online and they can advise you on all aspects of the business.It can be notoriously difficult to get a pitch on one of the busy street food markets, especially at weekends.


Others will advise you better on tax issues, but as with any business, if you make a profit you may be liable to pay tax on it.As far as patenting food is concerned, it is technically possible depending on the dish, but is complicated, costly and would probably not protect you from another vendor cooking a similar dish.
However, there are very, very few street food millionaires.Stick to the street food principle of concentrating on one dish or one style of cookery and making it the very best you can.
Having a unique dish or cooking style is obviously an advantage, but you may have to begin by trading at smaller, fringe events. Nowadays the standard is very high and therea€™s a lot of competition, so youa€™ll need to be on your A-game to succeed.You will need to register your food business with your Local Authority at least 28 days before you intend to begin trading. If your food is popular you will be noticed and you will be offered pitches at bigger events.When starting out ita€™s really difficult to know which events are worth attending and which are not. My advice would be to make your dish the best it can be and make your brand as strong as possible. Many street chefs work from home kitchens, but your local Environmental Health Department may wish to carry out an inspection.You are required to hold food hygiene certificates and you must also keep and maintain accurate records of your food production and storage.
My advice would be to stick to events you can afford to trade at, build your following, hone your skills and get a bit of experience before paying high fees for bigger events.Pitch fees vary between events with some charging a fixed fee (often around A?100), some a percentage of takings (10-20 per cent) and others a mixture of the two.
Are there any other costs involved?We want to start it as a small weekend venture, cooking up batches on a Saturday evening and selling them on a Sunday morning. Safe food handling must be observed at all times.Risk assessments must be completed and you must also hold a Public Liability Insurance policy.
Finally, a pretty standard piece of street food advice is: 'However much you think it will cost to set up, double it.



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