Starting a Mobile Takeaway

  • Price: £5.99
  • Published: January 2017
  • Type: Business Opportunity Profile
  • Format: PDF
  • Qualifications and skills
  • Key market issues and trends
  • Trading, commercial and legal issues
  • Legislation
  • Further information

Mobile takeaways cook and serve a range of fast food dishes, snacks and items and a selection of cold and hot drinks from a purpose-built or adapted trailer or van. Most specialise in a particular type of street food, for example burgers and hotdogs, fish and chips, or kebabs, or a particular 'world food' dish, such as Indian, Mexican or Polish.

Trailers are usually located at regular street trading 'pitches' or at popular sporting and other outdoor public events. Some mobile takeaways are also hired to provide catering services, for example for weddings or private parties, and there are also opportunities to provide location catering for TV and film crews on set.

Typical locations for mobile takeaway pitches include within or near to football stadiums and other sports venues, at music festivals and other outdoor events, at regular markets, at seasonal events such as fireworks displays, Halloween 'spook nights' and Christmas markets, in lay-bys on busy roads, and in town centres. There are high levels of competition for street trading pitches in the busiest locations.

Anyone operating a mobile takeaway will require a street trading licence from their local authority. Separate permission may also be required to trade in certain locations. For example, a mobile takeaway proprietor intending to set up outside a branch of B&Q, Ikea or Tesco will need to purchase a licence from Retail Concessions Catering, a private company contracted to manage car parks owned by each retailer.

This profile provides information about starting up and running a mobile takeaway. It describes the skills required, the training available, the current market trends and the key trading issues. It also explains the main legislation that must be complied with and provides sources of further information and support.

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