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Recent years have seen the rise in the popularity of boutique food outlets in Cape Town. There are so many fantastic local markets and festivals where you will find an array of food stalls and trucks. If you have a passion for starting your own restaurant, then starting out with a food stall is a clever way to start out small and get your brand’s name out there.
Is vending for you?
If you live and breathe new recipes, have good social skills and enjoy working different hours in different environments, then the street food life is for you. Once you have decided whether you want to be a vendor at markets or festivals, go ahead and research the various options and vending fees. In Cape Town there are different events on every weekend, so getting your stall in here means that you will have to be available most weekends. If this ties you down too much then perhaps you should look at doing private events or corporate functions. These will take up a lot less of your time, however might not secure a continuous side-business income.
What food to make
When deciding what food to make, keep it simple, but different. With so many hamburger, coffee and health stalls out there, it’s the food stalls that stand out that are the ones we will return to over and over again. The type of food you serve needs to appeal to the target audience you are serving. If your stall is a regular at music festivals then you are going to want to serve quick, easy, budget-friendly food that fixes a hangover and keeps the millennials energised. If you are at a relaxed farm market every weekend then you will want to make higher quality, more artisanal food aimed at an audience which wants to sit down and enjoy the entire experience.
Making your stall stand out
Your brand needs to come across in the stall layout, atmosphere and overall feeling. To accomplish this make sure your stall is decorated in a way that represents your brand. For example, if you have an organic smoothie stall at a slow market, you will use old crates, wooden pole fencing, fake grass and other rustic items to give your stall that earthy feel. You want your products to be at a competitive price. Make sure you have worked out your costs and profit margin before deciding on prices.
While the start up costs for a food stall or truck might be slightly high, the day-to-day running of your small business will be quite low. Your vending cost will differ from venue to venue. Other costs include the actual ingredients, gas, furniture hire and staff.
Now that you have decided the street food side business path is for you, get started. Cape Town is buzzing with amazing events to get involved with this summer and it won’t take too much for your delicious stall food to gain some traction.