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Food & drink

Street food trader

Street food traders run their own businesses, serving customers food and drinks from a stall or van.

Annual Salary

variable

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

41 to 43 variable

You could work: in your own business; managing your own hours

3%
Future employment

There will be 3% fewer Street food trader jobs in 2025.
In your local area

What's it all about?

Day to day tasks

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

Working environment

You could work on festival sites, on the streets or on a market stall.

Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time and physically demanding.

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
Apprenticeship

You can prepare for this job by doing a food production and cooking intermediate apprenticeship, or a senior production chef advanced apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
For more information
Work

It's common to get experience working in a cafe, pub, restaurant or hotel kitchen first and then set up your own street food business.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

More information

Career tips

Experience in catering or customer service will be useful.

Further information

You can find out more about careers in catering from the Hospitality Guild and the Nationwide Caterers Association.

With experience, you could move to a busier pitch.

Extra training in cooking and cuisine could help you to improve or widen the range of products you offer.

You can find out more about careers in catering from the Hospitality Guild and the Nationwide Caterers Association.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • customer service skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • maths skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to sell products and services
  • knowledge of transport methods, costs and benefits
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work on your own
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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