How To Start Your Food Market Stall Business

Posted on Posted in Restaurant

Did you know that well-loved British supermarket Tesco, started as a food market stall? Who would have thought!

Have you ever wanted to set up your own dream food business?  If you have the drive and desire, it could be an excellent choice to enter the world of food. With the starting costs being very low, healthy eating trends on the rise and consumer interest in street food at its highest, this is the perfect time to take a leap and start your food market business! Not everything will be smooth sailing… early morning starts and long hours with a smile will be your bread and butter. 

Here at GoKart, we work with many street food traders across London’s most popular sites, including Mercato Metropolitano and Shoreditch Boxpark. Our team has written a step-by-step guide to get you up and running on how to start your own food market stall.

What Dishes Do You Want To Sell?

This is the most important part of your food business. From fruit and vegetables to trendy foods such as vegan cheese, your choice of product will influence your entire business plan. It’s essential to pick a product you are genuinely interested in. Your energy and enthusiasm for your own food products will draw in your customers and they will remember you and your business warmly.

Create a USP for your business that sets you aside from your competitors. If you have a passion for organic farm produce, inform your customers, making sure you have an approachable and friendly manner. Make sure your display and your working area are always clean and tidy. Customers have long memories, so always make them feel comfortable and excited about your dishes.

Sourcing Your Ingredients

So you have picked your dishes to sell. But where do you source the ingredients? Food suppliers are a key part of your business. Providing high quality and nutritious food will increase customer satisfaction, which is essential in the early stages of your business. If your customers are happy they will return to your food stall and purchase more. Your reputation as a reliable source of tasty food will grow, and your now returning customers will recommend you to people they know, expanding your customer base. 

When it comes to supplies, there is a delicate balance. Buying too much of your ingredients and you will lose money, but if you buy very little stock you could soon be out of stock. Here at GoKart, we provide high-quality food suppliers to small and medium-sized food businesses at a great value for the cost. Simply download our app, find your ingredients, order, and pay. Food-supplying made easy. 

Choosing The Right Location

Location, location, location. Think carefully about where you choose to set up your food market stall and what type of customers go to this food market. Ask yourself: How often do I want to sell? How big is my budget? What food market environment do I fit best into? What travel arrangements suit my business? Also, take into consideration a market where your product isn’t readily available. Create a customer profile to target the customers you want. Who will need and want your dishes? How much will they be willing to spend on your food? All of these questions should be included in your business plan.

Click here to find all the food market locations  across London.

Understanding Startup Costs

Different food markets have different costs. As such, it will be impossible to determine an average cost. Divide your start-up costs into one-time costs and recurring costs. Your food market stall and a sign are one time costs. However, stock, a market stall license,  wages for your staff and business insurance are key recurring costs. Make sure your business plan includes these. Visualising these costs will keep you on track to success. Remember that your budget does not have to be very large to create a successful food business.

Organisation is vital for a successful food business. Therefore, you must take practical steps to ensure your route to success is recorded and adjusted. Make sure your bookkeeping is up to date, your profit margins and relevant costs are recorded as well as your total number of sales. All of these considerations will ensure your food business will be a success.


Check out this interview with the owners of Shrimpy, a food pop-up, and discover how they created a successful food business with a small budget.

The Other Stuff

You will need to market your business. Decide on your brand and what makes you a unique food business. Invest in a sign that promotes your brand clearly and presents an original design. It is estimated that by 2026 60 million credit card transactions will take place in the UK. If you want to take advantage of this trend, make sure you have a card reader at your disposal. A few other expenses remain business cards and promotional material as well as equipment. All the little amenities will be essential to making your stall a success.

Legal Requirements

Last but not least, legal. To start a food market stall, you will need to:

  • Obtain a market stall trader’s licence 
  • Register for self-assessment with the tax authorities at HMRC. 
  • Read and understand the Trade Descriptions Act, The Sale of Goods Act and food hygiene legislation. 

You will also need business insurance. The most important are the following: 

  • Public liability insurance – this protects you if someone is injured or their property is stolen
  • Product liability insurance – this protects you if your product causes damage to a person or their property. 
  • Other important types of insurance you may need include stock insurance and business premises insurance. Find out which you need and you are all set.

Good Luck!

From all of us at GoKart, we want to wish you good luck setting up your food market stall. Here at GoKart, we changing the way restaurants order food supplies. Simply download our app, pay and order to your doorstep whilst saving money. Our dedicated team can help you find the right suppliers, understand the costs of your business and offer advice on your business.

Book a call with our friendly team here.

More About GoKart

GoKart is a revolutionary app that lets restaurants order supplies through their phone. Our catalogue of 50,000 products includes sustainably sourced ingredients and eco-friendly packaging. We works with 100’s of restaurants across the UK – connecting them with the right suppliers and saving them money.


Explore our suppliers:

➡︎ Meat Suppliers

➡︎ Fish Suppliers

➡︎ Fruit & Veg Suppliers


Ready to order? Book a call with our team today.

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