Trend in the spotlight: street food


Trend in the spotlight: street food

Box of salad from a street food vendor

Britain's street food scene has come a long way from its outdated image of cheap sausages and over-fried onions. Instead, the free-wheeling street food vendor has forged a reputation as the place to turn to for guests looking for eclectic, informal eats that are bang on trend.

Street food menus may be small, but by focusing efforts on one type of foodstuff, vendors can perfect their offering, bringing in-depth knowledge of their product to the fore. Team all this with a little showmanship in the preparation and presentation, and you have all the ingredients to captivate a crowd.

Success on the street food scene depends on your ability to stand out. By offering something unique, demonstrating expert knowledge and providing punters with an experience rather than simply a meal, street food vendors can encourage guests to spend more on their street food. In an industry where the competition between restaurants and catering outlets is fierce, it is best value which will win guests round as opposed to price - a shift that has led to the rise in popularity of experiential dining.

The value of experiential consumerism has in fact risen across the board with fashion and food outlets needing to offer more to customers in order to stay in the game. The success of concepts such as the 1,000-capacity Dinerama in Shoreditch, the ultimate street food dining experience, certainly proves this point.

In fact, the popularity of street food has led to once smaller-scale operations expanding considerably in size and translating to permanent sites. One of our clients, Rola Wala, is one such success story. The long-established London-based Indian street food player surprised guests when a month-long residency at Trinity Kitchen in Leeds turned into an offering of a permanent site in the Trinity Centre itself. Realising the potential of retail environments for their Indian street food which offers a unique range of gluten-free, low-carb and low-calorie options, Rola Wala's second site has brought them back to London this month, the city where it all began.

Combining knowledge of what the modern guest wants with expert knowledge of a product is the key to street food success, but this could apply to any area of the hospitality business.

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