How to start a roadside food stall business?

AamirH

Active Member
Wild guess. Work for McD for few months and gain experience.
I wanted to know about legal complications involved. I guess McD experience will be useless in that aspect.

First think about what time is convenient to you. If you will be open only in evening better go for "wholesome" meal like setup like Punjabi or Chinese. While its more demanding but it will also reward you better. If you will be open for few hours during day, its better to serve some snacks. Checkout the places where there is concentration of this kind of stalls. See what's selling, how's the quality, hygiene etc.

Easiest job could be opening up a desert parlour. Keep few icecreams, sauces, nuts and some canned fruits. Use them in different ratios and you have a desert. Not much of hassle.

If you can arrange for finance, get a Chota Hathi sort of rickshaw as its much easier to move it around and will save lot of time since you'll be working double shift.
Chota Hathi. Over budget. I am just a poor man with big dreams :) I can afford only carts :D
Amir ! 1-initially just approach local municipal office or Panchayat office whichever is applicable to area where you want to start, with a written application stating eatery/outlet name and kind of business ie: cooked meal/prepack or fast food, and if possible with layout plan (if it is a concrete shop then, for toilet purpose as authority may ask) and no- objection letter of land owner.
2- Once you have a permission you are king, give some advertisements or approach personally cooks/helper etc as it will be better idea so that you can convince them with your future plan and offer them some percentage apart from salary.
3- once everything is ready, grocery,oil, spices, gas and crockery etc and ready to serve your meal/snacks, call ME:grinCMT members for business.
Rest I will tell you when you will disclose as from where exactly you are as all Lucknowities are Nawaab by nature and shaokeen for....;)kabab, shabaab
Thank you very much Sir for the detailed information. And yes ofcourse, special discounts for BCMTians family. BTW I am a hardcore foodie from Lucknow currently in Hyderabad.

Aamir...congrats ..u know now and acknowledge what u really want from life and must say u realised it fast. lots of talented guys here with lots of experience who can give u gud advise. just wanted to tell u about getting cooks or guys who make great samosas etc...for this u will have to ask around ..eat at various places to get a better taste distinction and also find out who the cook is and ask them if they will work for u or they can suggest.
best samosas i ever had was in Kolkata...they make the best samosas..
all the best
You are one of the greatest cook/baker of BCMT family. I may need your suggestions in making healthier yet delicious snacks. Thank you Ma'am :)

Life is too short and I can't afford to live confused anymore :supz:

- - - Updated - - -

In the year 1993, when I was in 2nd year of my catering college at Mumbai, we started something on the same lines. We actually started selling veg sandwiches on a cycle at the crowded Dadar Beach. The idea was to generate extra pocket money for us. We kept it very simple. We had a big chopping board fixed on the cycle back seat for chopping and preparing sandwiches. We used to buy fresh loafs of bread, butter, cucumbers, cheese, tomatoes etc etc as per requirement.

Our college used to get over by 1700 hrs and by 1730 hrs we used to reach the beach and within 10 mnts we used to start delivering sandwiches. Within two days we were a hit with the visitors. Though the product was very very basic but since the sandwiches were fresh and prepared in front of them and also the fact that we turned out in our chef coats, well groomed and with plastic gloves also made a huge impact in the mind of the customers. By the end of the week within 2 hours we managed selling sandwiches from 10 loafs. It was a cool profit of Rs500/- every day for us. (big money for students that time)

But the happiness never lasted for long. Why? Because, we had no permissions whats so ever. The local gang of stalls reported us to the cops because they were lossing quite a bit of money due to us. So we had to back off.

Now the essence of the story is

1. Have all your bases covered with the govt departments. The municipality, the food authorities, the local unions etc etc. Have all your licenses in place.

2. Whatever you do, make sure your presentation is the best. With presentation I include the staff as well. Plastic gloves for instance maybe a small thing but this kinda hygiene the public notices.

3. Know your client. I believe you will be catering for masses, so price your stuff accordingly. You could reduce your profit margin, but if you selling in numbers it will make up for it. So pricing strategy is also important.

4. think of a logo and a name. I always believe that if a chain can be identified by its Logo, then you have a successful business.

Regards
Dear Dheeraj Sir, I am really thankful to you for sharing your story. Truly inspiring !

I must admit I am big foodie and during my colleges days I have visited countless roadside stalls, to small restaurants, takeaways, highway dhabas, foodcourts, tiffin centres, upscale theme restaurants to posh boutique restaurants in different cities across India. Being a traveler, you get a eat out and try different things in different places and most of them turn out to be simply wonderful ! This help me observe how good restaurants take care of 'customers delight' and ensure that they keep coming back. Believe me, I feel I learned a lot. My only aim is to earn that 'customer delight'.

Once I read somewhere, a dhaba owner said - "No matter what, people will never stop eating. They may stop wearing clothes but not eating. So keep them feeding, don't stop".

1) My only concern is establishing a legally fit business with complete paperwork. With blessing and advices of BCMT family, I guess I will sort this out !

2) I will take care of many such things. I have jotted them all since my college days :)

3) Deal. Inexpensive and good !

4) Did I tell you I am a part time graphic and web designer? Ye toh free mein ho jayega \\:D/

Many thanks,
Aamir


DKay, Excellnt advice! Getting all the paper work done before you start is important. Otherwise you will be victimised by Municipal Corporation, Health Department, Police, PWD, and who not! Also, the hygiene and appearance matters. I have two examples to quote.

1. Thomas a childhood friend and classmate had a successful business of plywood in Kerala before he played in the Stock Market recklessly and lost everything and had to leave Kerala to settle down in Bangalore. He was finding it difficult to sustain his family in the meagre income he was earning as a n accountant. He hit upon the idea of taking advantage of his wife's excellent culinary skills. He will make a big degchi full of Biriyani and take it on his scooter near an industrial area and sell mid-day meals, dressed in an apron, paper cap and gloves. His business boomed and later he got some contracts to supply lunch to a few factories and earned a decent income till he died of cancer a few years ago.

2. The son of one of my teachers was a foodie. He studied for engineering and was well employed but he was keen to give a try at food stall. I am talking of the days when Gurgaon was still a gaon and Udyog Vihar was the main area with large number of employees. He set up a kitchen at home employing just one cook and a delivery boy and trained the guy and his wife to produce delicious mid day meals, mostly Idli and Sambar which was not easily available those days. He would supply to one or two companies and also cater to kitty parties.
The USP of both these guys was the clean food and different menu than what was being offered by the competition.
Being a mango man and regular of Musaddi Lal's "Office Office", I know how things move in my country and thats the disheartening part :(

While it is very logical to say that all the paperwork should be in place, I am wondering if such a thing is at all possible without having tons of money to pay as 'speed money' or plain bribes!
Being the totally corrupt country that we are I would bet that this 'paperwork' is not as easy to obtain as is being made out here!

It would be enlightening to know what the ground realities are, from someone who has worked the mill.
Anup Uncle, thats why I am starting with a cart and not concrete commercial space. Whatever be the case, expenses under table will be least in case of cart. But yes, I need to know exactly how much will that be and how legitimate and full proof the paper work will be :confused:
 

Raj ROVER

Well-Known Member
Amir you are welcome in GOA if you have in mind to start from Goa, I promise, you will not face any issue till I am posted here...it can be unions, hooligans or any authority.
that much I can assure here but cannot disclose my profile as we are not permitted.
 

vipu

Member
Dear Amir,

Good to know that you want to do something by your own and want to make it big. But since as you say Finances(as always with most of the people) is also the big factor. I would suggest you to do some Reky before kicking off. And I would suggest don't think way ahead about HR, Operation and all. Just think about the First stall and move accordingly.

First of all Decide the place where you want to start... I would not like a very busy market or some place where there will be more rush but less customers.
There should be ample space for about 10-20 persons could stand and eat. And would be best if the crowd is also coming to eat.

Second, you'll be required to do some paper work.

Getting License from Municipal corporation.(As suggested by all)
NOC letter from authorities/police stations.
Company name, Logo and other registration (optional, can be done later when you have money)

After the documentation... and deciding what you will be having.

Visit some market, stalls and shop for eg. samosa(Don't know will it be easy to find in Hydrabad, just take it as an example)
and Taste all. Shortlist some good one and try to influence the person who is cooking(Provided he himself not the owner :p)
Its upto you what you offer him, but keep the offer within the limit, so at the end you are not in Losses.

Now you are done with the Place, authorities and cook.

Now comes the service, Try keeping place neat and tidy.
Person who is serving should have plastic gloves, everyone should have a Cap. Use chopper for slicing the salad will help in saving time as well. All these could take some extra money but will be one time investment for a long run and of-course will stand you out of other stalls in competition.

Now the final part... Marketing, most important one.

If you are starting with only 2-5 snacks only then you don't need a Menu board(menu board, not menu card) But I would suggest put rates of the Dishes very clear for all.
Have those small aluminum packs for packing.
Use paper plates and plastic spoons.
And a Delivery boy for some range say 1-2 kms. (Could be pushed for 2-3 month)
** Select dishes according to the weather, as Momo will be good idea in winters, but you will see a clear drop in sales in Summer.
Have some soups along with.
Make some combos as well with discount.
Open in evening time, need to start in full day.


By the time you will be able to start the Food chain, you yourself would have know about HR, Operation and other thing.


Phewww.... I have typed a lot. :p Pass me something to eat :D
 

kprixie

Active Member
@ Aamir..thanx for ure kind comments and praise...i would love to help u with healthy snack, cookies, cake recipes anytime. i can see u have got loads of great advice. my best wishes to u.
 

jeetcp

Mediocre me
This is more then anyone can get specially from an online forum. Kudos.

Amir you are welcome in GOA if you have in mind to start from Goa, I promise, you will not face any issue till I am posted here...it can be unions, hooligans or any authority.
that much I can assure here but cannot disclose my profile as we are not permitted.
 
Do some research, Pick Items, how to show them, prepare them, logistics, etc. is good to start.
Gradually, Business picks-up in after a time only.
You have to focus more on Product & Service.

Paperwork can be done in few days or weeks time or immediately on requirement.
If want to start with Cart. Cart License is must in City area.
Local Municipality provides that.
If food Cart then norms may be different and difficult, but You have to check that too.
Ask them what they need in paperwork.

Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...............................
(besides some under the table settlement after some visits)
Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh........................................................

Check here for an example in Delhi:

::WELCOME TO NDMC::

Best of Luck..................
 
Last edited:

Aargee

Member
Alright, my experience is not as sound as DKay's, but, worth mentioning...

Story - 1
In 2007 (not 6 months, but after 10+ years of serving in IT), myself & 3 other guys decided to call it "QUITS" & venture into the same food industry; we kept planning & planning for over 8 months & then finally we concluded that we'll go with Franchisee that serves North Indian food (because the IT park where we worked didn't have one & there were several guys who wanted one) as they're less riskier, comparatively easier to start & run one.

We hunted for one for over 3-4 months, meanwhile we kept talking to the DGM of the IT park; he was already hindering that he & his people need "cutting", ofcourse not to the face.

Then came cost of Franchisee was about 2L non refundable, then about 1 Lakh for operational & then another 2 Lakhs for furnishing. Then came legals & as per SEZ rules, one has to have the chimney pipe running up to the roof (made up of tin) & the cost for it alone worked about 1 Lakh!!! Then comes DIN & TIN; we also learned that the SEZ might facilitate for other COVERment approvals, ofcourse with "other" fee excluding the rental, electricity & water.

Phew!!! Then we changed our plans to only find another Franchisee who're good to heat the food at IT park & find a kitchen outside. Good idea, we identified some place, reworked the plan & then finally...BOOM!!! The DGM of IT park said, as per SEZ norms, one cannot bring food cooked outside & bring it inside to sell. We really got frigging tired by then as we spent nearly 10 months or so only trying to figure out how things works.

But end of 10 months, we all learned one invaluable truth that...nothing, absolutely nothing works in this country without money & power. Anyone with passion or servicing attitude has to keep that buried deep inside their heart & come to the industry with just only one thought - MAKE MONEY WITHOUT A HEART. It's quite justified with people having this kind of attitude because it's not just them, but the entire system just turns them to money making monsters!!!

So what happens if someone still fights out of the system & tries to justify themselves? If you ask me, don't such people exist?

Story - 2
Yes, I saw one such outlet & let me share what happened to them. This incident happened over 7+ months ago in the current IT park. For name sake, this popular outlet A serves pure Veg with several other outlets. Another outlet M was serving more of non Veg & were making more money (not in terms of people) than outlet A. One fine morning outlet M was closed & notices being put all over by the IT park management stated that outlet M was serving contaminated food due to which they were shut. Bah!!! If they were serving contaminated food, then why didn't the folks eating at the joint fall sick? Needless to say, after 10 days or so, the notices were taken out & after a month, they're now operating...at new increased prices!!!

Conclusion - I'm not decorating you through this post, but, just a forewarning that, you've to remain ruthless, unforgiving, heartless, determined, strong will power to get into start venturing something on your own.
 

AamirH

Active Member
@ Aamir..thanx for ure kind comments and praise...i would love to help u with healthy snack, cookies, cake recipes anytime. i can see u have got loads of great advice. my best wishes to u.
Thanks again. Cupcakes demand is booming here in Hyderabad, there are hundreds of offices and industries here and in office parties and treats cupcakes are replacing the boring sweet boxes :grin:

This is more then anyone can get specially from an online forum. Kudos.
That is why I always say its one big family - BCMT Family :)

Do some research, Pick Items, how to show them, prepare them, logistics, etc. is good to start.
Gradually, Business picks-up in after a time only.
You have to focus more on Product & Service.

Paperwork can be done in few days or weeks time or immediately on requirement.
If want to start with Cart. Cart License is must in City area.
Local Municipality provides that.
If food Cart then norms may be different and difficult, but You have to check that too.
Ask them what they need in paperwork.

Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...............................
(besides some under the table settlement after some visits)
Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh........................................................

Check here for an example in Delhi:

::WELCOME TO NDMC::

Best of Luck..................
Thanks for link. Seems like such detailed fee list is no where mentioned on internet for Hyderabad, but looking at the vast food industry here I assume that costs will be in line with what is mentioned in NDMC site, and may be a little less "under table" expenses than Delhi.

Alright, my experience is not as sound as DKay's, but, worth mentioning...

Story - 1
In 2007 (not 6 months, but after 10+ years of serving in IT), myself & 3 other guys decided to call it "QUITS" & venture into the same food industry; we kept planning & planning for over 8 months & then finally we concluded that we'll go with Franchisee that serves North Indian food (because the IT park where we worked didn't have one & there were several guys who wanted one) as they're less riskier, comparatively easier to start & run one.

We hunted for one for over 3-4 months, meanwhile we kept talking to the DGM of the IT park; he was already hindering that he & his people need "cutting", ofcourse not to the face.

Then came cost of Franchisee was about 2L non refundable, then about 1 Lakh for operational & then another 2 Lakhs for furnishing. Then came legals & as per SEZ rules, one has to have the chimney pipe running up to the roof (made up of tin) & the cost for it alone worked about 1 Lakh!!! Then comes DIN & TIN; we also learned that the SEZ might facilitate for other COVERment approvals, ofcourse with "other" fee excluding the rental, electricity & water.

Phew!!! Then we changed our plans to only find another Franchisee who're good to heat the food at IT park & find a kitchen outside. Good idea, we identified some place, reworked the plan & then finally...BOOM!!! The DGM of IT park said, as per SEZ norms, one cannot bring food cooked outside & bring it inside to sell. We really got frigging tired by then as we spent nearly 10 months or so only trying to figure out how things works.

But end of 10 months, we all learned one invaluable truth that...nothing, absolutely nothing works in this country without money & power. Anyone with passion or servicing attitude has to keep that buried deep inside their heart & come to the industry with just only one thought - MAKE MONEY WITHOUT A HEART. It's quite justified with people having this kind of attitude because it's not just them, but the entire system just turns them to money making monsters!!!

So what happens if someone still fights out of the system & tries to justify themselves? If you ask me, don't such people exist?

Story - 2
Yes, I saw one such outlet & let me share what happened to them. This incident happened over 7+ months ago in the current IT park. For name sake, this popular outlet A serves pure Veg with several other outlets. Another outlet M was serving more of non Veg & were making more money (not in terms of people) than outlet A. One fine morning outlet M was closed & notices being put all over by the IT park management stated that outlet M was serving contaminated food due to which they were shut. Bah!!! If they were serving contaminated food, then why didn't the folks eating at the joint fall sick? Needless to say, after 10 days or so, the notices were taken out & after a month, they're now operating...at new increased prices!!!

Conclusion - I'm not decorating you through this post, but, just a forewarning that, you've to remain ruthless, unforgiving, heartless, determined, strong will power to get into start venturing something on your own.
Thank you Sir. By your description it seems we work for the same company but different locations :grin: I can't risk huge money because I don't have much. I will not go to bank for loans, at max may be I will take a soft loan from my company.

I am prepared for worst, if it gets much of exploitation, I will report and expose. It may not be that easy but I have nothing to lose. This all may "postpone" my dreams but not kill them. I am just free young bird !

Amir you are welcome in GOA if you have in mind to start from Goa, I promise, you will not face any issue till I am posted here...it can be unions, hooligans or any authority.
that much I can assure here but cannot disclose my profile as we are not permitted.
Sirjee I am overwhelmed by your love and support towards a complete stranger. I love BCMT for the sole fact that people come out of their way to help others irrespective of any barrier, makes me feel no matter wherever we are or from, we are just one big family \\:D/

I visited Goa during Eid holidays in August, had this conversation happened before that, I would have surely met you. Wonderful experience of attending Eid prayer on the road of Jama Masjid while it was raining heavily and we were completely drenched :D

Goa is a virgin territory when it comes to "Food Globalization". I will definitely setup in Goa after some success here in Hyderabad. I hope that happens sooner than I expect :) Many thanks !

Dear Amir,

Good to know that you want to do something by your own and want to make it big. But since as you say Finances(as always with most of the people) is also the big factor. I would suggest you to do some Reky before kicking off. And I would suggest don't think way ahead about HR, Operation and all. Just think about the First stall and move accordingly.

First of all Decide the place where you want to start... I would not like a very busy market or some place where there will be more rush but less customers.
There should be ample space for about 10-20 persons could stand and eat. And would be best if the crowd is also coming to eat.

Second, you'll be required to do some paper work.

Getting License from Municipal corporation.(As suggested by all)
NOC letter from authorities/police stations.
Company name, Logo and other registration (optional, can be done later when you have money)

After the documentation... and deciding what you will be having.

Visit some market, stalls and shop for eg. samosa(Don't know will it be easy to find in Hydrabad, just take it as an example)
and Taste all. Shortlist some good one and try to influence the person who is cooking(Provided he himself not the owner :p)
Its upto you what you offer him, but keep the offer within the limit, so at the end you are not in Losses.

Now you are done with the Place, authorities and cook.

Now comes the service, Try keeping place neat and tidy.
Person who is serving should have plastic gloves, everyone should have a Cap. Use chopper for slicing the salad will help in saving time as well. All these could take some extra money but will be one time investment for a long run and of-course will stand you out of other stalls in competition.

Now the final part... Marketing, most important one.

If you are starting with only 2-5 snacks only then you don't need a Menu board(menu board, not menu card) But I would suggest put rates of the Dishes very clear for all.
Have those small aluminum packs for packing.
Use paper plates and plastic spoons.
And a Delivery boy for some range say 1-2 kms. (Could be pushed for 2-3 month)
** Select dishes according to the weather, as Momo will be good idea in winters, but you will see a clear drop in sales in Summer.
Have some soups along with.
Make some combos as well with discount.
Open in evening time, need to start in full day.


By the time you will be able to start the Food chain, you yourself would have know about HR, Operation and other thing.


Phewww.... I have typed a lot. :p Pass me something to eat :D
Vipu, this is something epic, loads of information :) Wait for few months, free meal passes are on the way to your home :p
 

Aargee

Member
Let me clear some ground realities...

Thank you Sir
BTW...it's RG, not Sir/Madam ;)

I can't risk huge money because I don't have much
Saying goes, you cannot have the biscuit without taking the risk ;)

I will not go to bank for loans, at max may be I will take a soft loan from my company
It's always difficult to balance between work & personal life, now that you're adding a business in addition...you're even complicating

I am prepared for worst
Then take the calculated risk

if it gets much of exploitation...not kill them. I am just free young bird !
I see a way too young blood; all you need is patience & experience. This attitude will get you no where :)
 
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