While it may seem like the pandemic was the only reason for the growing popularity of food van vendors in the UK, they’ve been a staple of British culture for decades.
Lockdown did, however, give improved opportunity to those interested in launching their own business within the arena – restaurants and eateries had their metaphorical hands tied, unable to get customers through the door due to restrictions.
Food van vendors, meanwhile, weren’t as hard hit by lockdown – and our newfound love for the great outdoors resulted in a surge of hungry punters.
So, what does it take to set yourself up as a vendor and what’s all the fuss about?
Here, we delve into some of the most interesting numbers in regard to street food catering.
The food van industry is growing exponentially – at a rate of 20 per cent year on year, to be precise.
Did you know that 50 per cent of Brits buy street food at least once a week? What’s more, 64 per cent are actually willing to fork out above the average lunchtime spend if it means picking up some good quality street food.
When you compare the cost of launching a restaurant versus the amount it’ll set you back to open your own small catering trailer, you might be astounded to read that the latter will leave you £45,000 better off. That’s right, a small catering van will cost, on average, £5,000 in comparison to a bricks-and-mortar alternative at £50,000.
The start-up costs associated with vans are considerably lower than other food businesses, but the positives don’t stop there.
The beauty of a food van is that you choose when your day starts and when it ends, depending on how successful things have been. While you might find a spot that serves you well and delivers a host of reliable customers, unlike a restaurant you don’t have to commit to opening hours and feel guilty about letting people down if you choose not to open.
Similarly, if the weather defies typical British conditions and delivers a host of glorious sunshine, then you can stick around as long as you want and capitalise on the opportunity while it’s there.
The important stuff
By this stage, you’ll be thinking: where do I start? You’ll be pleased to know that Ford van leasing company Van Ninja has put together a handy guide on the street food industry, what you need to do to get going, and tips on how to get yourself ahead of the game and ultimately make your business a success.
Take a look at the infographic: