09 | Jul | 15

Richard Johnson

Start Me Up

People are forever asking our advice on getting started in street food. Most recently, a new trader wanted to know if a pearlescent paint finish was really the way to go in 2015. Apart from directing them here, and here, we struggled to answer. There’s The Complete Guide To Profitable Catering by Bob Fox, but I don’t think Bob tackles paint finishes. Nothing, really, from a trader’s perspective. That’s all about to change. In a series of three How To features over the next few weeks, Flic Luxmoore from The Jabberwocky (above) will be telling it like it is. For her extended thoughts you’ll have to buy Street Food Soliloquy her new book. Next time you’re being shafted over a pitch fee, or getting blocked on twitter, you’ll be so glad you did…..

SOCIAL MEDIA

If you are thinking about setting up a street food business, you probably always knew that it would involve a little bit of social media. Unless you are living on the moon you probably felt, right from the start, that at the very least you would need Facebook to make this work. You may have already suspected it, but social media in street food is much more important than just allowing you to reap the admiring praise of happy customers or scoring sexy pictures of your food. Twitter, Facebook and the rest are not just for talking to customers, they’re there to demonstrate that you are a legitimate, bone fide business who is actually trading and thriving. In street food, it’s sad to say, we have a reasonably high attrition rate. People start hopeful businesses all the time, but due to a thousand unfortunate circumstances they don’t all last. Sometimes they don’t even get off the ground in the first place. With that in mind, booking a street food trader, especially a new-upcoming-exciting-innovative-startup street food trader, is a bit of a gamble. As an event organiser, you want to be sure that the folks you’ve booked will turn up on the day, especially if you’re organising a private event and have already paid them. You establish that in the same way we all find out everything these days: you stalk them on the internet. If, in their travels, the event organiser finds a website alongside a well-travelled Twitter and a bustling Facebook page, chances are the business isn’t on its last legs. If you are thinking about starting a street food business, get your social media set up straight away. Then start talking – this is great practise, early on. Don’t worry if no one is listening, we all have to start somewhere. Talk about how the business is coming along, post pictures of the food you have been making and how excited you are to get cracking. Both Facebook and Twitter have start dates, and the older that date is, the more things have happened between then and today, the more established your business must be. Plus it reduces the chance, however slight, of you missing out on that perfect twitter @ tag or facebook URL. There are loads of other great reasons to have a bustling social media profile behind your business, so if you’re still not convinced I’d recommend you check out our book, Street Food Soliloquy, for some solid reasons to put in the effort or visit our website to find out more about us.