A Different Type of Mobile Catering Business. What Do You Think ?

Hi - wonder if you can help me - am wondering about a business similar to yours but slightly different as in I was thinking of driving around rather than being static.

I was thinking of operating a mobile van that can serve chips, curries (my speciality!) etc etc around residential areas on certain days of the week.

Do you have any ideas for me? Loved reading your story! I am nervous too!! I have run an EBay business for years selling clothes but the market is getting so flooded it’s not really worth it anymore - everyone and his mother wants to make millions on Ebay now!

Would ideally like to work in my local area - drop leaflets etc to let people know days times I would be there and hopefully build up a trade from there - what do you think?

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Also, if I don’t do that and do the catering from office car park etc - how do I find out who owns the car parks, industrial sites etc to ask if I can park on there?

Sorry for so many questions but your story has inspired me!!!!!!!

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Jun 06, 2015
What did you decide?
by: Jess

Hi they say great minds think alike. We are in the idea phase of a very similar project. I hate the idea of being fixed in one place like a lay by or market. But it's still a back up idea if needed.

Did you get to do what you wanted?
If yes how are you doing?
How was the council about registering?
How much was your licence?

I'm really looking forward to your reply.

Jess x

Oct 09, 2013
A Different Type of Mobile Catering Business. What Do You Think ?
by: Anonymous

hi Trevor,

There might be a way round this problem, if your going to drop leaflets what I would do is find a local pitch close by and get a permit from your local council, then drop some leaflets round the residential houses and wait for the calls to come in. As your already got a permit off the local council to trade I can't see anything wrong with you just moving off your pitch to deliver your food and then return back to your pitch. what the council don't know won't hurt. It's worth a try and if you don't you wouldn't know if it would work..


Nov 03, 2012
Mobile catering
by: Tricia

I would check with your local council about stopping and selling hot food. My local council (Wigan) told me that it is illegal to stop and sell hot food on the street and that only ice cream vans are allowed to sell in this mobile way. You can have a permanent pitch which you register with the council for which you need a licence or on a private industrial estate with the landowner's permission. It may differ where you are but definitely check with the council as that may be why no one else is doing it. I heard an ice cream seller in London was fined for selling hot dogs! So obviously it isn't allowed there either.

Nov 01, 2011
different type of catering.
by: trevor

hi i read your comments and i cant see how you'd get away with it. tight fisted councils would still fine you as its classed as a catering business. you'd be stealing someone else's trade. i made enquiries once to leeds shitty council. hope this helps. trevor

Mar 09, 2011
A different mobile business
by: Anonymous

I think it is a great idea, years ago I had a vegetable round operating in a similar way. Go for it!

Mar 07, 2011
Great Update
by: David

Thanks for the update; it proves that you really have to be creative with your catering business and think of ways “outside the box” to promote and sell your hot food service. Well done and a great show of entrepreneurialism.

Feb 25, 2011
Moving around!
by: Anonymous

Hi I dont know if this is a current post or not but here goes anyway!

I own a mobile fish and chip van which i take around the local towns and villages (some of which have a chippy)

Most of the places i go have a population of 2000 or less. When costs and everything are considered it works out very profitable, there is even a second van just started up and room for a 3rd providing we all stay away from each others turf so to speak.

The local industrial estates want high rents and costs just start climbing when you start looking down that route so im personally of the opinion that moving around local residential areas is a far better option, but i guess it would depend on your own local area and maybe doing some canvasing beforehand would be beneficial

Feb 18, 2011
Try the Smaller Industrial Units
by: Anonymous

I worked on a small industrial unit some years ago and we had a silver van set up for selling hot pies, sandwiches and drinks etc come visit every day at about the same time. It did a roaring trade.

Perhaps visit some small industrial estates or even small parades of shops without any food outlets, and see if the management/staff would be interested in you making them part of your regular round, rather than housing estates.

I can't see that you would sell enough around residential streets to make it worthwhile.
Hope this helps?

Feb 16, 2011
Mobile Catering Business
by: David

Hi There,

Driving around selling hot food may not be the best way forward, similar to an ice cream van but instead offering hot food. Firstly you need to ask yourself if there is a real need for this service.

What?s the difference between what you?re offering and the local curry house or kebab shop that already offers a similar service in the form of home delivery?

Now if you were driving around offering something different like donuts, crepes etc
This may be more appealing to people and there also would be less competition. I really think you have to offer something unique and tasteful for this to work.

If you chose to go down the second route, you will need to find a suitable location, ask for permission from the land owner and then start registering you food business to get it up and running. I think that you are creative and have some good ideas; just make sure need that you put some real thought and planning into it before you commit financially.

Keep going and keep us updated.

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