Can this Street Food Jobs help you get life ready?
Calling all food lovers! Sit down and let me take you away to food heaven. Imagine it: the crisp sizzle of a burger frying on the hot plates of the burger van while the chatter and clatter of coins and conversation pass you by; the sinfully sweet aroma of candyfloss and doughnuts combining with the savoury delicacy of chips, fresh out of the fryer.
A few years ago this would have been something many people would have only experienced at a festival or perhaps during their holidays at the seaside. But now with events such as the Digbeth Dining Club setting up near the Custard Factory, we are seeing a rapid rise in popularity and demand for the street food movement and in turn street food jobs.
With this delectable craze quickly becoming a nationwide revolution, is this a career that young people should be interested in pursuing?
Or like many other Instagramable food crazes, is this something that will simply pass us by?
NCASS, one of the UK’s only trade associations for street food traders, certainly doesn’t think so. Their organisation exists to assist many young (or older) entrepreneurs in setting up their own business in street food. Mark Laurie, the director of this Birmingham based organisation, certainly feels that the street food industry, in its trendy and youthful glory, is of huge relevance to the community, calling it ‘business in its rawest form. A pure market in a sense… which is enabling lots of new owner operator businesses’. He commented that “I think younger people get the foodie revolution that’s going on, they’re driving it, so it makes sense that they would be well suited to it.”
Birmingham is one of the most youthful cities in the UK, with approximately 46% of its population being under 30. It’s therefore not a surprise that events like The Digbeth Dining Club that takes place near the Custard Factory every Saturday and Friday, are such a huge hit within the city.
The street food industry provides a perfect environment for the young generation of today. We have grown up with technology; being able to navigate our way around almost every kind of social media without even thinking; knowing almost every food craze imaginable from all around the world.
Through this our culinary knowledge seems to have been enhanced and some might even say refined.
We have been inspired by many years of Mary Berry on the Great British Bake Off and have gained an appreciation for the finer foods of Master Chef. We get the allergies, the need for vegan food and halal meat and most importantly we LOVE food.
Maybe you’ve always dreamed of running a business in the food industry. Perhaps you are someone who can’t get enough of addictive and wonderful environment the street food revolution brings with it. Or maybe you are simply looking for an enjoyable job that can take the stress away from your studies. Either way, this revolution is something for everyone, as Mark Laurie explains:
“For some it’s a stepping stone, for others a way of life, some simply fall into it. It depends on the individual, I have customers who do it for the smiles on their customers faces and the camaraderie of the market, others can’t wait to open a nice warm restaurant with a real roof. You don’t really know until you’ve tried it. But I would say it is for glass half full kind of people. It’s hard work and it’s no licence to print money. For every (seemingly) over night success there are many more who tick along or don’t make it work.”
If you are interested in starting your own street food business as a young entrepreneur, NCASS is the place to start your journey. They are by far one of the most supportive and beneficial organisations to begin your business with for a variety of different reasons. One of which is due to their government scheme. They are one of the only organisations in the UK that offer this ‘legal and assured’ scheme that allows you peace of mind when beginning a business, something that is comforting to know for young and perhaps inexperienced entrepreneurs that are new to the world of the food industry.
With an investment of just under £5000, a bit of creativity and a bucket full of passion and ambition, with NCASS’s assistance you could find your way out onto the scene of this trendy industry. This can be true for anyone, whether you are looking for a full-time career or perhaps just a job to keep you going at university.
The NCASS have taken on university students before with great success. The Caribou Poutine company is just one of many examples. The company is run by two university students, Michael and Lizzy, who managed to balance out the stress of university exams in their second year alongside their first event at the Digbeth Dining Club. They are two very passionate young people who are characters of true inspiration for any student looking to break into the industry. They gave some advice for anyone looking to start up their own business:
“If you fully believe in it and put in the hard work you can make it happen! All the traders are so great and always help each other out, so get some good advice from those who’ve already done it – help is always there.”
So is the street food job just simply a new trend that will fade into the dark space where the Unicorn Frappuccino and charcoal ice cream has descended into?
With organisations like NCASS and passionate, young people behind this vibrant and enthralling scene, it seems likely that this is an industry that will stretch out and be kept alive by the up and coming generation of today.
Interested? NCASS are launching a competition to support young people with street food jobs or ideas to start their own businesses so follow NCASS for updates.
Written by Phoebe Kelly
Lyfeproof – Finding creative ways to get young people life ready. Particularly through mindset. We explain things that help you move forward in life or prevent negative outcomes. We create experiences and invite people to join. We share knowledge across sports, arts, sciences, financial literacy, employability mental health & wellbeing.
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