Street food business are popping up in every major city and town across the UK, spurring plenty of healthy competition. If you’re looking to stand out from the pack and capitalise on the new wave of nomadic eateries, you’ll want the best business tools available. With a few simple apps, tech upgrades, and outside trader-friendly gadgets, your street food business will be on the road to success.
Street food businesses are the next wave in urban restaurants. Most street food businesses are mobile, giving them a distinct advantage over traditional restaurants. Popular amongst young people and workers, street food stalls can be commonly found at festivals and city centres across the UK.
Starting a street food business is similar to starting a restaurant but with a few distinct challenges. A food truck business is highly weather dependent. This makes the “busy seasons” (when the weather is nice) critical to survival. Additionally, street food businesses thrive with a strong social media presence to build influence with younger patrons. Tech-savvy street food vendors can have a big edge over their competitors.
If you’re looking to maximise your profit margins, outfitting your food business with the latest and greatest business tools is a good start. These simple tools help manage everything from payment to food safety and offer your customers additional conveniences to keep them coming back.
1. Card payment facilities for your customers
Having a card payment facility for your customers is essential for any street food business. Consumers nowadays rarely carry cash and prefer the option to pay by card. In 2017 it was reported that contactless payments surpassed those made in cash, with £9.23 the average contactless transactional value.
Setting-up your street food business to accept card payments is easy and there are plenty of cost effective options out there, such as mobile card readers and mobile card terminals.
- Mobile card readers work with a smartphone or iPad, and a mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) app.
- Another affordable option is to use a mobile card machine (like the ones in restaurants), which uses a GPRS signal. Mobile card machines also offer conveniences for customers, like the ability to offer contactless payments through debit or credit card and also Apple and Android Pay.
If you don’t have much time on your hands, companies like Payacardservices can help you roll-out a card payment solution by managing the end-to-end process from application to the delivery of the card terminals.
2. Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot
Mobile Wi-Fi hotspots can entice crowds to gather around your food business, especially if you’re set up in a park or public space without a Wi-Fi connection. These hotspots work through a tethering plan, which most carriers offer at a small additional cost.
For the best connection for your street food business and your customer’s devices, consider purchasing a mobile hotspot router. These handy devices provide a boosted Wi-Fi signal using your phone’s 4G or 5G connection. The best portable hotspots have ports for antennas to boost the signal even further and extra battery life for long summer days.
3. Social Media Apps
A social media presence is a necessity for any successful food truck business. Social media helps your customers find your truck, and reviews help spread the word about your food. Social media managers like Hootsuite and TweetDeck can help you manage your online presence, and mailing apps like Constant Contact can keep customers in the loop for upcoming events.
4. Food Safety Managers
Food safety and quality is essential for redefining your customer’s definition of street food. FreshCheq’s food safety log software helps you keep track of temperature automatically, along with a host of other tasks. Street food businesses that use FreshCheq also receive a food safety certification decal, demonstrating your food’s quality to customers.
As the street food market rapidly expands, more customers are gaining an appreciation for the new era of street food. With tools that boost your efficiency, customer engagement, and food quality, your business can pull ahead of the competition.