Food & Drink

Grab and go – south London’s food truck scene is growing

Turning a street corner in the city, chances are high that you will find yourself in front of a truck selling its modern take on fast food straight out of a van.

South London is known to have the highest density of food trucks, with more and more places setting up shop at markets, festivals, or busy street corners.

The trend that originated in the United States has taken major cities around the Western world by storm and is also changing London’s culinary scene.

The ever-growing popularity of street food can be explained in different ways. Although the average dish is generally more expensive than takeaway meals from traditional fast food joints, it has an upscale quality that comes from using only fresh ingredients and local produce and refraining from prefabricated products.

Street food can be anything, ranging from burgers to salads to elaborate dishes that could easily be found on the menus of high-end restaurants.

Due to the sheer amount of food trucks populating the city, vendors have to be creative and come up with authentic and original creations in order to stand out in this highly competitive scene.

Food trucks have become a popular lunch option in busy London. It is not uncommon to see long queues forming in front of them at lunchtime, when workers swarm out of their offices to chow down on some quick and delicious food right by the curb. Markets and the city’s various food festivals are other areas saturated with food stalls and trucks.

Just consider Greenwich Market, where visitors have the option to not just settle for one dish, but sample different types of food, as portions tend to be manageable and encourage one to try out more.

The issue of competition put aside, aspiring chefs shouldn’t be deterred to consider the street food scene as a starting point. It poses much less of a risk than opening up a stationary restaurant and requires a much smaller investment.

It is not by chance that most entrepreneurs emerging in the scene today do not have a culinary background or any formal training.

The challenges that come naturally in this scene, like seasonal changes that can cut down revenue for outside businesses, are still plenty and easy to overlook. So how do you beat them?

Once you’re mobile and ready to cook, it is important to get as much good word-of-mouth and exposure as possible, both through public and privately catered events. Getting leaflet printing done through is certainly possible and can also be an efficient low-cost advertising option that helps you boost your crowds.

It is also advisable for any young street food entrepreneur to set up shop in busy areas on fixed weekdays to slowly build a solid lunch crowd.

Despite the potential downsides to the business, it seems as though people have given their blessing to this type of culinary venture.

There is just something about seeing your food being freshly prepared right in front of your eyes and the low commitment that is required in picking up a quick bite on the run.

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