What Is Street Food?
What Is Street Food?
Street foods are ready-to-eat foods sold by vendors in public places. Not unlike food trucks, street food vendors can be found in a variety of locations including markets, fairs, and other special events. Convenient and affordable, it exists in many different forms and is popular in a variety of different countries and cultures.
What Is Considered Street Food?
Though many street foods are characterized as fast food, it's important to note that they can be found in many different forms. Beyond the fact that it is sold by vendors in public places, there isn't one specific thing that defines street food. Rather, it can be identified based on a variety of different characteristics. These characteristics include:
- Readiness: In general, street foods can be enjoyed as soon as they are purchased. Vendors prepare food for guests and serve it on the spot.
- How it is sold: Street food is typically sold by vendors operating a food truck, cart, or stand.
- Cost: Though prices can vary depending on your location, most street foods are relatively inexpensive.
- Waiting time: In most cases, wait times for street food are significantly less than ordering from a restaurant. Many street foods are already prepared when they are sold, while others can quickly be cooked.
Frequently Asked Questions
Whether you’re new to street food or are looking to improve your street food service, it’s important to stay educated on how to succeed. Below, we’ve included answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about street food businesses.
What Do I Need to Sell Food on the Street?
Having the right equipment and supplies for your street food business can put you in a position to succeed. Consider buying the following items to ensure you run a convenient and functional street food business:
- Food cart: Mobile food carts and kiosks make it easy to organize and display your foods while giving you a place to work from.
- Serving equipment: Depending on what kinds of food you offer, serving utensils such as tongs, ladles, and spatulas can help serve food efficiently.
- Disposables: Providing your customers with disposables like forks, straws, and paper plates can make it easier to enjoy food on the go.
- POS equipment: Having point of sale equipment such as a card reader or cash drawer on hand allows you to collect payments conveniently.
How to Get a Permit to Sell Food on the Street?
Similar to a food truck, street food vendors must obtain the proper permits and licenses to legally carry out their business. Before applying for a permit, be sure to contact your local government, as the necessities for acquiring a permit can vary depending on where you live. In most states, you are required to have a kitchen facility to prepare food and act as your primary address. You’ll also need to arrange a health inspection for the facility to verify it is up to local and state regulations. Once this has been completed, you can complete an application for a license. It’s important to note that in most cases you’ll need to pay an application or license fee.
Street food can be found across the globe and is a significant part of many different cultures. Accessible and affordable, these foods allow us to experience traditions from other countries in ways we can’t in our own. Whether you’re looking to start your own street food business, searching for inspiration for a new menu, or just looking to learn about how other countries eat, educating yourself on street food can be highly beneficial.