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Street food trader

Alternative titles for this job include Mobile caterer

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

Average salary (a year)


Typical hours (a week)

41 to 43 variable

You could work

in your own business managing your own hours

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a street food trader

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role


You can prepare for this job by doing a senior production chef advanced apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More Information


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.

More Information


  • you'll need to register with your local Environmental Health Department before you start trading

Career tips

Experience in catering or customer service will be useful.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a street food trader from the Nationwide Caterers Association.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

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
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

You'll need a Street Trading Licence unless you operate only at events on private land.

The Nationwide Caterers Association has information about setting up and offers advice about driving licences and regulations for towing catering vehicles.

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In your day-to-day tasks you may:

  • stock up on food ingredients and drinks
  • drive your mobile unit to a venue and setting up
  • check the temperature of fridges and food
  • handle raw food safely
  • prepare and cook food to a high standard
  • serve customers and build up repeat business
  • wash up and keep your work area clean, tidy and safe
  • keep track of finances and promote your business

Working environment

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

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

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could build up and manage a number of pitches.

You could base your business in permanent or larger premises and employ staff.

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

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Kitchen Team Leader Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £20,280.00 Annually
  • Location: Not known

ASK Italian Abingdon, Level 3 Apprenticeship – Senior Production Chef

  • Wage: £17,846.40 Annually
  • Location: Abingdon

Courses In England

T Level in Catering

  • Start date: 03 September 2024
  • Location: NANTWICH

Catering (Connect)

  • Start date: 02 September 2024
  • Location: Bootle

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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