Street Food Trader

Job Description:

Street food traders prepare and sell food or drink to customers from a market stall or truck.

Job Category:
Food & Drink

What you will do:

You could work at a market, festival, tourist or street site.

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • stocking up on food ingredients and drinks
  • driving your mobile unit to a venue and setting up
  • checking the temperature of fridges and food
  • handling raw food safely
  • preparing and cooking food to a high standard
  • serving customers and building up repeat business
  • washing up and keeping your work area clean, tidy and safe
  • keeping track of finances and marketing your business


You’ll need:

  • maths skills
  • the ability to sell products and services (creativity)
  • knowledge of transport methods, costs and benefits
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

As well as:

  • customer service skills
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations (leadership skills)
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail (organisational skills)
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a street food trader in the UK, specific GCSE subjects are not mandatory. However, certain subjects can provide a foundation of skills and knowledge that may be helpful in this profession, such as:

  1. Mathematics: Basic math skills are important for managing finances, calculating prices, and handling transactions.
  2. Business Studies: This subject provides insights into business principles, marketing, and customer relationship management, which are essential for running a successful street food business.
  3. Food Technology/Home Economics: Having a background in food-related subjects can be advantageous, as it provides knowledge of food safety, hygiene, and cooking techniques.
  4. English Language: Good communication skills are essential for interacting with customers, writing menus, and promoting your street food business.
  5. Design and Technology: This subject can provide practical skills in designing and building your street food stall or food truck.
    While specific GCSE subjects can be helpful, becoming a street food trader primarily involves hands-on experience, passion for food, and an entrepreneurial mindset. Here are additional steps you can take to pursue a career as a street food trader:

Gain Cooking Skills

Develop your culinary skills and experiment with different recipes and cuisines to create a unique and appealing menu for your street food business.

Food Safety Certification

Obtain relevant food safety and hygiene certifications to ensure your food business complies with health and safety regulations.

Business Planning

Create a detailed business plan outlining your target market, menu offerings, pricing strategy, and marketing approach.

Market Research

Conduct market research to identify popular food trends and potential competition in the area where you plan to operate your street food business.

Licensing and Permits

Familiarize yourself with local regulations and obtain any necessary licenses or permits required for operating a street food business.

Practical Experience

Consider working in the food industry, either in restaurants or catering, to gain valuable experience in food preparation, customer service, and business operations.


Connect with other street food traders, attend food events and festivals, and join food-related communities to learn from experienced professionals and gain exposure for your business.

Remember that being a successful street food trader requires dedication, creativity, and adaptability. Building a loyal customer base and maintaining high-quality food and service are crucial for thriving in this dynamic and competitive industry.

Working Hours and Environment:

As a trader you can decide which hours you work, but to stay competitive you’ll need to keep similar hours to the other food stalls around you. This usually means working long hours over weekends and public holidays.

You could be working at festivals and events, at food markets, or on the streets.

The job can be tiring, as you’ll be moving around a small space and preparing lots of the same dishes for most of the day.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience, you could move to a busier pitch.

Training could help you improve or diversify what you offer.