Everyone’s heard now of “street food” which, in the Australian ‘burbs isn’t necessarily referring to an outdoor market food stall, a greasy burger van or sausage sizzle. It’s a name to describe food prepared and cooked freshly in front of the customer.
But it’s not fast food because of its genuine freshness. No frozen meat patties or hash browns should be in sight.
So why is it so successful?
1. Depending on the type of venue, many street food outlets are less expensive than traditional restaurants to set up.
The fitout of a mobile food truck or small kiosk drains the finances much less than a full café.
It isn’t always the case, however, that “street food” is always less expensive to set up.
When it’s located in a food court or shopping strip, there are usually demands on owners to set up a full commercial kitchen and provide a quality fitout.
2. The reduced size of the more traditional street food fitout means that equipment and food stock are more limited
and therefore, the menu on offer is more limited.
This can be a good thing, because customers know that the operator prepares and cooks food that’s a specialty.
No fuss, often no waste, and always reliable!
3. Street food outlets are a great way of expanding an existing restaurant’s “brand”.
The addition of a food truck or eat street outlet as a “bolt on” to a mainstream bricks and mortar café or restaurant
is seen as a way of exposing the brand to more customers.
It’s also a further source of income.
4. Street food outlets enrich the food scene culturally.
There’s so much personality and cultural awareness surrounding this business model.
They’re sometimes the location for other cultural events, and so often, in the cooking and preparation, they offer quite a bit of theatrical performance.
It’s fun to watch your food being chopped, tossed and cooked as you wait listen to culturally based music as you eat.
5. The street food model can be a good spring board for future café and restaurant operators.
A food truck or small eat street outlet can be a testing ground for a new start up to see if the model really works.
There’s a big advantage in getting a feel for the market before jumping right in to the bricks and mortar scene.
6. Prices are almost always less, particularly from a food truck or small outlet.
If the location is in a food court or shopping centre, that may not necessarily be the case, due to heavy overheads,
but traditionally, costs can be kept down in those smaller venues.
Owners don’t have to suffer the overload of paying for a large restaurant space, building maintenance or paying wages for a large staff.
So, will it be fresh Vietnamese salad, Taiwanese steamed buns or spicy tacos?
It’s a new way of eating and a great way of starting up or expanding a current food business.