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Why street food could be the business opportunity for you……

binäre optionen banc de suisse http://denistar.rs/?enot=handelsplattform-bin%C3%A4re-optionen handelsplattform binäre optionen best binary options 2017 Street food is a celebration of culture and heritage. Therefore, it is no wonder that it is currently one of the most popular forms of eating out in the UK. Heralded as one of the most adaptable types of food its true popularity originated in Asia, spanning the continents and picking up along the way cuisines from Cuba, Morocco and Berlin. Today, you don’t have to venture far from your door to taste Middle Eastern falafel or Jamaican jerk chicken as street food markets pop up across the country to cater for the population’s growing taste for exotic and fusion cuisines.

www forex valuta se The origins of street food began where you would expect; on the streets, where vendors would offer cheap, easy to eat menu options to those wishing to experience a hearty yet cost effective meal.  This methodology has continued but has also adopted a completely new spin and today this market is experiencing further momentum as the ethos of cultural, heritage rich, tasty food has been adopted by Millennials (18-34), one of the food industry’s most influential consumer bases. 

binaire opties betrouwbaar By nature, street food is easy to eat on the go, has packaging that is easily disposable (and often recyclable) and the food is often locally sourced and visually pleasing.  Therefore, it is perfect fodder for ‘generation Instagram’.  According to a 2016 BBC Good Food Nation survey at present 90% of Instagram users are under 35. Of these users 30% admitted to taking a picture of their meal when they’re in a restaurant or café.  The bonus that these customers also tweet, like and share away pictures and offer frank opinions on their favourite food only goes to show that technology is hugely important to this sector.

binäre optionen comdirect With street food now a hot topic, consumers are more likely to travel across the country to experience the latest foodie craze or food festival and are therefore willing to spend more to be a part of this exciting and still very much emerging market.  Whether you choose to operate from a truck, cart, van or bike the high-volume of street vendors around today, gathering in food markets and other high-profile events, are as prolific as upmarket inner-city restaurants and gastropubs.  Once there to provide food to struggling parts of large cities, street food now exists to bring exotic, authentic and unusual flavours to a population that has adapted well to high quality, expertly cooked food without the pretention. 

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London has no doubt lent its diverse and thrilling atmosphere to the street food scene and this city has become one of the biggest hot spots for emerging street food businesses in the UK.  With celebrity lauded food festivals and trendy pop-up kitchens it has incorporated hundreds of differing cuisines and has introduced a city of people to world-wide flavours.  Rosalind Chik owner of Smokin Lotus, a London based fusion food concept that brings together the taste of Asia and the precision smoking techniques of the American Deep South tells us why London has embraced street food so whole-heartedly “I really think it’s because the food you can find out on the street is exciting, new and different.  It comes from our travels, cultures and is mixed together in ways that no-one has ever done before.  I think it really reflects the melting pot London is, as a city.”

There are many that have benefitted from this diversity, none more so than Lee DeSanges, owner of Baked in Brick.  Lee converted a Mini Cooper into a pizza grill and hasn’t looked back since.  A highlight of his street food career was winning the British Street Food Awards in 2016.  Explaining why he started his business “I built a wood-fired oven in my garden and after lots of ‘pizza parties’ and the love of street food events, I thought I would give it a go and I have never looked back.” For vendors like Lee, street food has become a way of life, accolades like winning the 2016 British Street Food Awards are an excellent bonus and a great nod to his hard work, long hours and commitment to producing great food.  Lee knows all too well why customers love street food and crucially keep coming back; “Customers like the thrill of following their favourite trader, seeing them and others be experimental with the way their stand looks and the menu they produce.” He adds “Customers like to know their hard-earned money goes into the pocket of an individual and not a big corporation.” 

Of course, being at the frontline of the market both have seen first-hand recent developments and customer reaction. Lee explains; “As the street food scene has grown, traders are keeping up with seasonal trends and pushing the boundaries of what they can produce from a converted vehicle to a 3x3 gazebo.” He continues; “Street food traders are (also) environmentally aware and where we can we try to use biodegradable packaging where possible.” 

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Any corner of any well visited street can become a street food opportunity.  In fact, however small the area, the fact that street food offers such intensive coverage can have huge effects.  Another benefit to this kind of service is that it can literally be packed up and moved on if for example an area loses its appeal or an up and coming area emerges suddenly.  This means that vendors with an ‘ear to the ground’ so to speak, can benefit directly and quickly.  This kind of reaction to trends and preferences is a positive to consumers, many of whom rely on those with a passion and deep understanding of food to help expand their palates and introduce them to cuisines they may not have tasted before. 

The speed at which street food is prepared is no doubt a draw for its customers who expect to order and pay for their meals in the time it takes to say “Nasi Campur” (a Balinese mixed plate of meat, veg and rice).  This speed, which would usually be met with some raised eyebrows at a more formal dine-in experience, contributes to its popularity with an audience that prefers things sooner rather than later.  Not forgetting of course that the authenticity and quality of street food available today can (and quite rightly so) be compared to restaurant fare as more and more casual diners are looking to break free of the confines of a table booking at eight o’clock.   

For the vendor, the appeal of a kerb side business lies in its low start-up costs.  In a 2017 report by CGA Peach, which tracked business owners’ current economic concerns, they found that one of the biggest apprehensions for companies are business rates and food costs (79% and 78% respectively), followed by rental and property cost and increased staff costs.  Minimising costs by becoming a street vendor, which in turn removes high rental costs, reduces food waste and cost and lessens staff overheads is a great way of starting out or even adding extra income to your already thriving business. 

Another appeal of street food for both the consumer and trader, is that it naturally lends itself to vibrant food festivals, long summer nights and a friendly/ social atmosphere.  Lee elaborates “Most street food events are accompanied by great music, craft ales, plus amazing cocktails.  Street food event promotors have also stepped up their game by putting on live music, making the whole experience as enjoyable as possible.” 

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As for the future, Rosalind is certain that there is much we are still to experience “I’m hoping the future will bring even more variety.  The world gets smaller the more we travel and new ideas, trends and specialised local dishes are coming over (here) all the time.”  Lee sees value in street food events and adds “I see street food getting better and better; more new traders are starting (all the time) and new street food events are being created.” He concludes “There will always be a market for bricks and mortar restaurants but casual dining like street food will soar past your typical restaurant.” 

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There are many stories of proven success in the street food trade.  One of the most notable is American franchise chain The Halal Guys who began in the year 1990 in a hot dog cart on West 53RD & 6th Avenue, New York City.  The Halal Guys benefited from the massive consumer demand for Halal food from the city’s Muslim taxi drivers.  Fast forward 27 years, five carts and two NYC restaurants, to today, where they are recognised as one of the leading halal fast food chains in the USA. 

This quick adaptability to consumers’ tastes is key.  Consumer trends, health concerns, food intolerances, general preferences and social/environmental inclinations are all easily catered for and modified to suit a vendor/ customer demographic or location.  Fads/ trends, whichever moniker you choose, they will always play a huge part in consumers’ eating habits and the ability to change your menus and service to adapt to these quickly is possible to achieve with relatively low cost. 

Brands such as Leon who although didn’t begin in street food have brought the style of street food to an eat-in environment have gone from strength to strength in recent years. Expanding to 46 sites in the UK since 2004, last year they announced plans to open 50 new stores by 2020.  This healthy street food style brand has been welcomed into the UK casual dining market wholeheartedly. 
Mexican street food restaurant Panchos Burritos is another example of a street food concept turned restaurant success, proving that however you start your business, the opportunities in expansion do exist.  Panchos Burritos began on the streets of Mexico, with Chef Enrique Martinez at the helm.  In 2009 Enrique brought his successful concept to UK.  He continued selling his food in UK street festivals, catering for parties and music festivals in the meantime.  Further highlighting the importance of these festivals, it is here where he met Klaus Bohne who almost immediately went into partnership with Enrique.  Together they brought the concept to consumers of the UK and now with three restaurants and a footfall of 5,000 customers between all three they are experiencing huge success.

On one of the secrets to their success, Klaus Bohne comments “The design is one of the most important aspects of any restaurant, as it is our centre piece, both organisational and visual.  The servery and layout of units in Panchos was key to addressing the issue of high footfall,” he concludes “The current design now maximises customer flow even at very busy times.”

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Food to go has never been more popular, according to data released by Euromonitor International, and in 2016 fast food registered growth of 3% thanks to affordable prices, the growing popularity of the ‘on-the-go’ trend and the wide variety of products available to accommodate different dietary requirements.  Also in a recent report by consumer intelligence group IGD, they found that post-millennials show a preference for food-to-go specialists, with a quarter saying they were their favourite places to buy food-to-go products closely followed by QSR’s at 24%. 

In a similar vein mobile payments are predicted to see dramatic growth this year.  More and more small businesses are taking advantage of the instant reach and functionality of this type of service.  According to research by the Faster Payment Service, in 2015 they processed 903 million one-off payments, and over the next decade consumers and small businesses are expected to increase their use of online and mobile banking, with an estimated 2.2 billion payments being processed by 2025. 
Long hours and taking on a lot of the workload independently is generally a given in the street food trade; however for many this is not necessarily a negative.  The choice to open up this type of business is usually one taken after a long process of market research, test-runs and conversations with other vendors, but it ultimately stems from a love of food. 

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We speak to a number of industry insiders to get to the root of the street food phenomenon and why you should seriously consider it as a business investment.

Becci Eplett, Marketing Manager, Huhtamaki UK
Peter Moore, CEO, Lolly
Jo Holborn, Marketing and Category Controller, McCain Foods
Aine Melichar, Brand Manager, Kerrymaid
Robert Burns, Marketing Controller, Westlers
Peter Brewin, Marketing and Communications Manager, Victor
Fabien Levet, National Account Manager, Pidy UK

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“Street Food – convenient, fresh, diverse and authentic.  What’s not to love about this continuing trend that is still burgeoning in the UK?,” begins Becci Eplett UK Marketing Manager of Huhtamaki, “With more and more street food vendors setting up their trucks, tables, vans etc. The convenience, choice and freshness of the food are important considerations to consumers.”  Peter Moore Chief Executive Office at Lolly an Epos Systems & Software provider concurs “Also the sheer diversity on offer, plus the low barriers to entry offered to catering enthusiasts who are keen to establish themselves, but have a potentially low starting budget.”

Robert Burns Marketing Controller at Westlers snacks adds ““One of the best things about the street food culture is that both customers and vendors approach it with a very open mind, there are no limits. Street food opens up the opportunities for experimentation and innovation, with new dishes being created all the time and classic dishes being updated or given a twist and consumers are incredibly receptive to it.”  Becci appreciates the benefits of street food and believes that consumer trends are very easily adapted to suit “Healthy eating remains a priority and street food epitomises this trend.  The use of ingredients in recipes which result in healthier dishes will usually take precedence over food choices that are low in fat or sugar, for example; with fresh superfoods becoming even more popular.”
In terms of growth, street food has seen a steady rise that looks set to continue.  Peter Moore attributes this to the wide variety of outlets available.  “The eating out culture in the UK continues to grow, particularly for boutique and independent vans and semi-permanent street caterers offering something individual,” he continues “According to Santa Maria research 94% of street food consumers said they have no plans to slow down or stop eating the amount of street food they have enjoyed so far.”

“Street food culture is also very fluid, without the constraints of a permanent menu,” adds Robert “It means vendors can test new ideas out all the time, keep what works and remove what hasn’t proved popular. Hot dogs fit perfectly within the street food trend, with Westlers beech wood smoked frankfurters offering a high quality base to be topped with a range of ingredients such as buffalo mozzarella, caramelised red onion, Swiss cheese, jalapeños and pulled pork, to create the perfect personalised dish. This makes them ideally suited as a street food, where customers are no longer content with the status quo, as they seek out new cuisines and twists on established classics.”

“It is an increasingly popular choice with consumers because it really offers the best of both worlds” explains Fabien Levet, National Account Manager, Pidy UK, “It’s quick and convenient but equally, provides people with plenty of variety and easy access to a fusion of flavours from around the world. Consumers are always keen to try new things for a reasonable price, without going out of their way and street food is the perfect solution.”
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How can street food vendors stay ahead of the competition in such a saturated market?

But what do food retailers have to do to stand out and be successful? Victor Manufacturers’ Marketing Manager, Peter Brewin says that marrying a bold brand identity and flexible approach to front of house design is the key to the ultimate customer experience.  “It is important to recognise the changing needs of diners.  Millennials or those aged between 18-34 years old now make up 22% of the population.  This is a generation of discerning diners who expect innovative dishes and prompt service as standard,”

Becci agrees “Eating has always been a very social affair, and now, the possibility of being ahead of the trend, the first to know of a new supper club, pop up, event, café or food is worth its weight in ‘social’ gold!” she continues “Street food lends itself to social media and according to Huhtamaki research, an incredible 41% of food-to-go consumers use social media to upload photos or to interact with a food outlet; 89% of them use Facebook. 

Remaining in the know regarding classic street food options is vital if traders want to attract custom Aine Melichar, Brand Manager, Kerrymaid comments; “Burgers remain one of the best loved and most popular out of home menu choices, so it is important for operators to acknowledge new burger trends and on trend formats.” Aine also expresses the importance of flavour fusions to implement a clear shift away from traditional flavours.  “Ethnic flavours are starting to make an appearance on menus.  Hot and spicy seasonings are coming into their own with sriracha and harissa pastes complementing consumer demand for spicy seasoned burgers.”
Aine does however think it is important to always introduce an element that consumers know well “Although these new trends are increasingly popular, consumers still want to have a traditional topping of cheese on their burgers.  Kerrymaid slices are perfect for this; they come pre-sliced and are easily peel-able, making service more time efficient, regardless of the environment.”

There is a place for all types of food in this sector, explains Fabien; “There don’t tend to be any boundaries and nothing is too out of the ordinary, giving venders plenty of flexibility.” And what of consumers’ dietary needs and preferences?  Is this the way to make your outlet ‘stand out from the crowd’?  Fabien believes Gluten-Free is the way forward, he elaborates “Street food venders might consider catering for alternative dietary requirements because of the large percentage of consumers who require these dishes, whether this is due to allergens or personal preferences. We have extended our range and introduced our ‘award-winning’ gluten-free pastry cases.  These are ideal for producing an easy gluten-free alternative with the same great taste as our traditional pastry.”

He summarises “It’s a dining experience that involves all of the senses immediately and therefore, people tend to be more interested in trying new things. Many street food venders may choose to offer a more traditional theme with a freshly made selection of gourmet sandwiches and pastries.”
Gourmet fast food has undeniable links to Street Food, the ‘instagrammable’ food options sold at many a hotly anticipated food festival are testament to the flair and personality vendors put into their products.  Robert can see a direct correlation with consumers’ desires for a truly tailored experience.  He explains “A recent independent Hot Dog Report cited that one of the biggest emerging trends across foodservice as a whole is that of personalisation. Consumers want to be able to say they’ve had something unique to them and outlets are seeing success by positioning their offering as ‘make it for me’. This is becoming an increasingly popular draw for customers who are after something limited edition or unique and is something that aligns itself very nicely with the street food offering. We find that hot dogs in particular sit nicely under both the street food and ‘make it for me’ categories as a classic on-the-go dish that can be personalised in a number of ways.

He continues “At Westlers, we encourage our operators to give customers the opportunity to put their own twist on our range of premium frankfurters. In order to make the most of their hot dog offering, we have found that outlets see a sales uplift when they offer a range of seasonally themed dishes. Offering a range of serving suggestions and toppings to our customers via our online hub, as well as direct to the consumer via social media has been incredibly effective in highlighting the versatility of hot dogs as the perfect dish to get creative with.”

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Street food is enjoyed outside, therefore a demand for high quality packaging is absolutely necessary.  Huhtamaki, which has been providing packaging solutions for food providers for over 60 years, explains further “The rise of street food has meant an equal surge in the demand for premium quality disposables which fit the varied needs of street food concepts.  From soups to curries to tacos and burgers; the variety of street food on offer has led packaging specialists Huhtamaki to develop the ‘Taste’ and ‘Eatwell’ ranges in response to such trends” Becci explains, “Customers can enjoy an authentic street food experience and have food served in contemporary containers – either pots or trays – which allow for handheld eating on-the-go.”

She continues “Created to provide the market with a versatile and comprehensive disposable packaging solution suitable for a wide range of takeaway foods, the aptly named Eatwell range of paper food containers is the perfect choice for operators serving healthy, gourmet or indulgent eating concepts.  It is perfectly suited for street food concepts; be it an Asian noodle stir-fry, sticky barbeque pulled pork or Spanish paella.  The introduction of the large, 24oz size can be used to serve more hearty soups and Asian-inspired sauces.”

She concludes “Choosing packaging such as Eatwell and Taste from Huhtamaki, which can be custom-printed is a fantastic opportunity to build engagement with consumers, drive sales and generate social media publicity.”

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Deciding to run a business in this market means that you automatically have lower start-up costs.  However this does not mean you should necessarily be looking for the cheapest options available to you.  Peter Moore explains further “Don’t economise on the key equipment that is essential to your food service, such as for example an industrial sandwich toaster or an espresso machine.  If your customers are looking for a premium coffee they are likely to know the difference between a good and bad one,” he also suggests that frugal business owners may also consider renting equipment if it will save you money.

Robert agrees and believes that investing in good quality equipment is essential “As street food businesses tend to be independently run operations that are regularly travelling, compact and reliable equipment is key to a smooth running operation. Products need to be thoroughly cooked with a quick turnover with the ability to be held as needed. Westlers can provide customers with a range of equipment, such as roller grills which are the premier cooking method for perfect golden brown frankfurters and hot dogs. The rollers seal in the natural beechwood smoke and give a golden brown glossy finish time after time, creating a perfect base for a range of toppings inspired by cuisines ranging from classic Texas BBQ to Asian and Italian influences.”

Peter also stresses the importance of a well organised back of house “Don’t forget good support when it comes to EPoS, payments and real-time back office, particularly for visibility of running out of best-selling items to maximise success/ profit.”

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According to Peter “British Street Food News reckons that by 2020 local authorities will have their budgets slashed by over 70% (of 2012 levels).” He adds “It is expected that more councils will redefine their street trading, markets and concessions policies as street food will provide a key opportunity for them to raise much needed cash”

At Westlers, they can see the street food market going from strength to strength as more independent businesses tap into current consumer demand for quirky and interesting fusions of cuisine served in a unique way.’ Robert continues “In order to stay at the forefront of the movement and capitalise on the street food market long-term, we are currently working on bespoke flavours and varieties of the Westlers frankfurters, the first of which is the Fiery Frank to launch later this year. This new launch will answer the consumers’ continuing search for new flavour varieties, offering them a hit of smoky heat and providing operators with a new base to try out innovative and exciting topping suggestions with their customers.”

Jo Holborn, McCain Foods Marketing and Category Controller predicts topped fries as the next big thing; McCain developed gluten free Staycrisp Fries in partnership with a range of street food traders who are at the frontline of the topped fry trend.  “Initially they crossed over from U.S casual dining menus to the UK street food scene and were a big hit with consumers,” begins Jo “But we expect them to become even more popular as more and more operators wake up to the opportunity.  Consumers love them and they can make a big impact on the menu and the bottom line with very little additional outlay or operational requirement.”

She adds “ We’re also going to see more innovation from the early adopters, who are already serving topped fries but want to stay ahead of their competition, offering the most exciting and unusual new combinations of ingredients.”  Adrian Luckie from jerk specialists Mama’s Jerk is one of the businesses McCain’s has been working alongside.  He explains “We’ve got a jerk chips option on our menu which performs really well; we use Staycrisp Fries sprinkled with jerk seasoning;  Delicious!” Adrian is also hopeful for an injection of Caribbean into street food “Everyone seems to be getting more health conscious so I predict that a lot more menus will be adding healthier versions of existing dishes.”

Monday, 3rd July, 2017
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