Street food has taken off over the last 10 years, especially in the West, and is now becoming part of the food culture.
This is due in large part to the 12 advantages street food has to offer. This includes being relatively cheap, the wide selection of food in one place, and the social aspect street food offers.
However, this is not the only reason, there are quite a few more advantages of street food (and some disadvantages) which I will explain in this article.
1. It’s comparatively cheap
A street food or food truck business is a relatively cheap business to start up. There are no expensive rents, business rates, utility bills, or running costs that are associated with a brick-and-mortar restaurant.
These savings can, therefore, be passed on to the consumer, making street food very affordable and one of the main advantages of street food.
2. There is a wide selection of street foods
Because street food is relatively cheap you can get to try a wide selection of different foods in one place. You can try sushi for starters, Pad Thai for a main, and crepes for dessert.
So in some street food markets, you can try a starter, main, and dessert for under $20 (£16) all from a different continent.
And if you are with friends and you all want something different, then you don’t have to compromise. The world is your oyster!
3. Street food is often good quality
The people who cook and serve you street food are more likely to be the owner of the stall or food truck.
This means they have a vested interest in providing a good service and are more likely to care about the quality of their products and what they are serving their customers. Their whole livelihoods depend on it.
4. You can see how the food is handled and cooked
We have all probably heard about the horror stories that can go on in the back of restaurants (we won’t go there right now).
One of the great advantages of street food is that made in front of you, which means you can see exactly how your food is handled and cooked. You can also see how clean the back-of-house operations are.
This gives people more peace of mind about eating at a particular stall or food truck. Moreover, transparency helps to raise the standards of food and hygiene in general.
5. It’s authentic
If you are anything like me, I like to see my Pad Thai or Jerk Chicken cooked by someone of Thai or Caribbean heritage.
To me, it suggests I am in safe hands and that the people who are cooking my food know what they are doing. The end result is going to be authentic and not a watered-down version.
6. Fast food, not junk food
Street food is pretty much fast food, in that it is designed to be served quickly for you to grab and go. So you can get what you want, quickly and eat where you stand or head off to the office or home.
7. New cuisines are always being introduced
With the relative ease of setting up a food truck or street food business, comes the introduction of new types of food. Menus can be more easily adapted and updated to create new offerings.
There is the food you may have never heard of, creative food fusions, or updated classics created for the modern palette.
8. It’s Social
Eating together has to be one of the most social things as humans we do and has the power to bring people and cultures together.
At communal street food markets, you are more likely to hang out and chat with the people around you when you have a cluster of food truck stalls together.
Add music or entertainment to the mix and you have a winning combination!
9. The Music
Festivals and a number of outdoor events that serve street food, also have some pretty cool musical acts. So whenever you think of street food, think of the other entertainment that can be found in the mix.
10. It’s mobile
The nature of mobile food trucks or street food stalls makes it easy to pitch up anywhere there is a demand for food.
Some areas are pretty remote, with not much to offer in terms of food (think office complexes or industrial estates). Food trucks or food markets are therefore a need or welcome addition.
11. Helps the local economy
Most if not all of the street food traders and food trucks are local businesses. Therefore spending your dollar at these establishments can help to create jobs for the community and keep your money in the local economy.
12. It’s an easy business to get into
As mentioned at the start of this article, the cost of starting and running a food truck or street food business is significantly lower than having a brick-and-mortar restaurant.
It also has a low barrier to entry in that you don’t need much experience or qualifications. This is partly why there has been an explosion of street food and food truck businesses opening over recent years.
The disadvantages of street food
Despite the many advantages of what street food has to offer, like most things, there are also a few disadvantages.
Street food can be weather-dependent & seasonal
Depending on where you are in the world, you may not have the pleasure of all-year road good weather. Here in the UK, for example, it can rain quite a bit and we also have four seasons, with Autumn and winter getting pretty cold.
This means as street food is designed to be consumed outside, you may not be able to get to your favorite food if the weather is bad.
Can limit the type of food sold
If you go to a restaurant you will often find 10 different main course options. But this isn’t possible from a food truck or stall.
This is because street food traders are mobile and have to transport their stock and equipment to each location. As a result, the choice of options may be limited to 3-5 options.
So there you have it, the 12 advantages (and the few disadvantages) of street food that make it a movement that is arguably here to stay.
If you can think of any more advantages or disadvantages of street food leave a comment below and I will update the article.