A street food stall - or van, truck or bike - is a great way for new food and drink entrepreneurs to test the market without incurring the overheads of opening a restaurant or cafe.
Likewise, the nation’s growing appetite for street food means that outdoor trading is an opportunity for established bricks and mortar operators to reach new customers and spread awareness of their brand; as well as extra sales on the street, a mobile unit acts as a marketing tool for the restaurant itself.
But street trading is not without challenges, newcomers and experienced operators alike often get caught off guard by the difficulties of finding trading space, according Atholl Milton co-founder of StreetDots, an app that enables street food traders to book pitches at the touch of a button
StreetDots works with a growing number of private and public land owners to create smart trading pitches or ‘dots.’ Booking these is managed by StreetDots ‘Trade Smart’ app. Once traders have uploaded compliance documents and information about themselves, they are free to drive on, trade and drive off without having to negotiate with land owners. The app also handles rent and helps operators manage their calendars and track sales data.
Milton said: “StreetDots technology liberates operators from the bureaucracy of finding a pitch, freeing them to concentrate on serving great food. Our network is a great launch pad for indoor brands looking to make a move to street trading,” he said.
StreetDots is targeting fast food operators as it expands its network of street trading pitches UK-wide. It is to expand its network of ‘dots’ from 30 to 70 nationwide by Spring, as well as introducing retail and restaurant brands to its network. It is actively searching for new traders in key cities in The North, Midlands, South West, and the South East.
It was co-founded by Milton, a street trader, when he discovered how difficult it was to find somewhere to park up and sell. Instead of perfecting his cuisine, South African dish ‘bunny chow’, he was spending hours on the phone chasing local authorities and negotiating with big market owners.
To find out more email: Joinus@streetdots.co.uk
www.streetdots.co.uk or search for ‘Trade Smart’ at the Apple and Android stores.
The Street Dots Story
The romance of starting a street food truck soon fizzled out for Atholl Milton when he discovered how difficult it was to find somewhere to park up and sell. Instead of perfecting his cuisine, South African dish ‘bunny chow’, he was spending hours on the phone chasing local authorities and negotiating with big market owners. A conversation with retail designer Darren Callcott led to the idea of StreetDots, a network of pitches or ‘dots’ onto which traders could book using a one-stop app. The idea was to reclaim the sector from bureaucracy and return it to young businesses that are looking for a launch-pad for their brand. www.streetdots.co.uk
How Street Dots Works
StreetDots works with private and public landlords including British Land, Land Securities and TH Real Estate to run a network of smart trading pitches or ‘dots.’ Once traders are registered and vetted, they can book a pitch instantaneously using StreetDots Trade Smart app. Rent, documentation, and other admin is handled online, so trucks, stalls and gazebos simply have to roll on, trade and roll off. Foodies in London and Glasgow can check out what’s cooking on their local dot via the StreetDots app, or by following @StreetDots on Twitter.
StreetDots’ primary income derives from a rent-split with the landlord on each dot. The app is free for traders.