Street food trader
Street food traders run their own businesses, serving customers food and drinks from a stall or van.
Salary range: Variable
How to become a street food trader
You can get into this job through:
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
You can prepare for this job by doing a food production and cooking intermediate apprenticeship, or a senior production chef advanced apprenticeship.
You’ll usually need:
- some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
It’s common to get experience working in a cafe, pub, restaurant or hotel kitchen first and then set up your own street food business.
- you’ll need to register with your local Environmental Health Department before you start trading
Experience in catering or customer service will be useful.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- customer service skills
- the ability to work well with others
- maths skills
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- the ability to sell products and services
- knowledge of transport methods, costs and benefits
- excellent verbal communication skills
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Restrictions and requirements
You’ll need to:
- have a full driving licence
- get a food hygiene certificate
You’ll need a Street Trading Licence unless you operate only at events on private land.
The Nationwide Caterers Association has information about setting up and offers advice about driving licences and regulations for towing catering vehicles.
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day tasks may include:
- stocking up on food ingredients and drinks
- driving your mobile unit to a venue and setting up
- checking the temperature of fridges and food
- handling raw food safely
- preparing and cooking food to a high standard
- serving customers and building up repeat business
- washing up and keeping your work area clean, tidy and safe
- keeping track of finances and marketing your business
You could work on festival sites, on the streets or on a market stall.
Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time and physically demanding.
Career path and progression
With experience, you could move to a busier pitch.
Extra training in cooking and cuisine could help you to improve or widen the range of products you offer.
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