It used to be that the traditional way for a restaurateur to start up his or her own business was to serve an ‘apprenticeship’ as a chef, under the leadership and guidance of established chef proprietors. This provided not only experience, but also credibility – which was needed in order to attract financial support for the new venture (as working as a junior chef, it is unlikely the nascent restaurateur would earn enough to fund their venture themselves).
Now restaurateurs have found a new route to market. They are trialling their restaurant concept on the streets, either on stalls in markets or in mobile vans. So over the last few years, street food has become more chic and more diverse. Forget ice cream vans and mobile fish and chip shops – these days every kind of cuisine is on offer. And for many providers, it is intended that the street offer is just the prelude to a more permanent presence in the market. London restaurants that started this way include Pizza Pilgrims, Yum Bun, and Meat Liquor.
The alternative, of course, is to create a ‘chain’ of street food outlets… and never go for bricks and mortar premises. The advantage of this is flexibility…