Have you ever thought about setting up a food market stall? Whether you’re cooking in your own kitchen or at a Guide Michelin restaurant: A street food market is a great place to try out a concept and reach new customers.
We had a chat with Andy Waugh, the culinary genius behind The Wild Game Co. He told us how growing up in a butcher’s family on the Scottish highlands shaped him and his business today.
“My family exports about 80 % of the game they produce. Game has a bit of a stigma of being expensive and hard to cook. So one thing I was doing was trying to keep the prices down and get people really simple recipes,” says Andy.
A winning concept for sure! In addition to his street food business, Andy now runs a restaurant and a monthly pop up, all with the authentic flavours of the Scottish Highlands. And it has all happened in five years.
So are you tempted have a go at street food too? We’ll walk you through the basics.
1. Find your passion
Ask yourself what gets you excited, explore your favourite markets and check out the competition. The Wild Game Co. concept stuck out in London, which was an important factor behind its success
Andy’s best advice: “Have a good product that you love and keep it simple.”
2. Find your market
Stroll around markets and look for one that appeals to you and where you think your potential customers hang out. Use your instinct – is this is a good place to try out your concept? When you find the perfect match: Ask around, or go online, to find out who to get in touch with to book a site at the market.
Andy’s best advice: “Be persistent. I found a market I really wanted to trade in and literary phoned them every week until they gave me a spot.”
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3. Keep track of your paperwork
Boring. But necessary. When you’re trading with food in the UK, there are a number of legal requirements you have to comply with, like license & registration; food hygiene certificates; fire safety and insurance. For tips on what you need, check this list.
Andy’s best advice: “Make sure your place is safe, clean and tidy.”
4. Test your product
Don’t get stuck behind your desk getting lost in Excel while trying to finish you business plan. It’s better to have half a product and a market stall than to not get out there at all.
Andy’s best advice: “Just do it. And don’t be afraid to change something that doesn’t work.”
5. Set up your market stall
Food truck or gazebo? Decide what type of stall you want. Obviously you need some kind of cooking equipment, a fridge for safe food storage and hand washing facilities. An eye-catching sign can make the difference of being noticed or not. Put out a couple of nice tables and chairs that are easy to clean and handle. Be creative!
Andy’s best advice: “You want to signal that your food is safe, well prepared and cooked using the best produce. Make sure that shows.”
But don’t panic – we’ll dedicate a whole blog post to this next week.