Get, equip, pimp – GO! How to set up your street food market stall
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Get, equip, pimp – GO! How to set up your street food market stall

At Zettle we’ve learnt that big things start small. Last week we introduced you to Andy Waugh who runs several restaurants and a monthly pop up. However, everything started small with only a simple meat counter at Broadway market.

“I bought a refrigerated serve-over-counter and came to London with a box of meat and sold all the meat I could at Broadway Market. That was just one day a week. It was really amazing, I loved it. Such markets are fantastic as a way of life. So from that we got into street food. It was no choice of our own, it just sort of happened. We won an award and then started doing pop ups. Just for fun really. It’s a great way of finding new customers and new ways of increasing the revenue. Because markets are usually only on during the day, leaving us nothing to do at night time.”

Are you ready to grow by starting small? We’ve listed three things you should consider before setting up your first street food market stall. Read carefully.

1. Get a stall. Or food truck. Or gazebo.

You can either buy or hire your own stall or food truck. If you prefer to own, second-hand deals can be found in trade publications, unless you want to go wild and buy a new stall or truck from a specialist manufacturer. Do your research – check other stalls and talk to other traders at the markets to get an idea what would work best for you.

2. Equip the stall

It might be tempting to cut expenses by using cheap cooking and food storage equipment, but if anything could threaten your new street food business, it’s poor hygiene. No one is going to buy food from you if they think there’s a risk they might get sick! Ensure your equipment is safe and properly checked. Make friends with the local Environmental Health Department within the council and pester them with all your queries so you can ensure you comply with all regulations. For more info, read through the NCASS checklist with legal requirements.

Andy’s advice: “We didn’t think about how we were going to attack the problem of health and safety. Looking back, I was an idiot and we had some shitty gas equipment. So my advise to anyone going forward is to make sure that you have the right equipment and that it’s safe and you get somebody to check it.”

3. Pimp the stall

If your customer can’t see you, you’re as good as dead. Grabbing your customer’s attention is the first step in bringing them in. Work on your branding and frontage. Put up an appealing sign. Do something creative with your menu. The possibilities are endless! And don’t forget to get some nice tables and chairs that are easy to maintain.

Andy’s advice: “I was such a cheapskate at first and wouldn’t invest in metal tables. And as soon as I did it changed my life. They clean so much easier and you can smash them around.”

Well? What are you waiting for? Getting everything ready can take time, but remember that big things really do start small. One last piece of advice – don’t forget about making sure that you can get paid in an easy way. Zettle card reader lets you take cards on the go – and is the perfect street food stall companion. Best of all? It only takes minutes to get started. Easy.

Do this today:

  • Approach at least five different street food traders and ask them why they’ve chosen that particular type of market stall.
  • Start reading up on street food market regulations.