Asia on wheels !
- small budget
- deliver / take away
- the countryside
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Having been a city dweller most of my life, I now lives in a quaint village in the country. Not too far away, there is a fair-sized shopping centre. When you live in town you can easily have all sorts of take-away food delivered. But not where I live, the only food we can get delivered is pizza.
A van sets up shop outside our local church two evenings a week as well as two lunch-times a week in the car park of the shopping centre... selling what? Pizzas!! Not that I’ve anything against pizzas but it would be nice to have an alternative. There are highly populated villages like mine all over Europe and North America. What I find is missing is Chinese food, ready to pop into the microwave. That’s how I hit on the idea. Since there are thousands upon thousands of pizza vans roaming all over the world, why shouldn’t the same principle work for Chinese or other Asian caterers? It seems that nobody has ever given the idea serious. Thought but Chinese food would, in fact, be better adapted than pizza to doing business out of a van.
When you go to pick up your pizza, unless you have telephoned your order beforehand, you have to hang around waiting while the pizza is being made, in good weather or in bad. Whereas the Chinese caterer has already prepared all his food, all you need to do is take it home to reheat, even the following day. Chinese food offers a large choice and, what’s more, it’s a healthier, less fattening option.
If you are already in Chinese catering this could be a good way to dramatically increase your turnover. One member of your family could mind the shop/restaurant while you are on the road.
If you are starting from scratch you’ll need a small premises where you can prepare the food (check out safety and hygiene requirements) and a place to park your vehicle. You’ll have no trouble finding a fitted and equipped vehicle either new, second-hand or to hire.
What you’ll propose is just the usual fare found in Chinese restaurants and take-away. Check with your local authorities about the regulations concerning street vending.
Some supermarkets will be happy to rent space in their car park once a week. You could also do the same outside big stores that are open on Sundays, eg: DIY stores or garden centres. These stores are always crowded with families who probably won’t feel like cooking when they get home. Even those who have already eaten a big traditional Sunday lunch will be enticed by the supposedly lighter nature of Chinese food! Anyway, Chinese take-away is a nice way to round off your weekend.
You could also rent a place in outdoor markets, flea markets or fairs. There are lots of possibilities as long as you keep away from built-up areas which already have plenty of Chinese take-a ways. Keep the customers informed of your whereabouts each day by regularly delivering publicity leaflets to all letter-boxes in the areas you work in.
As soon as you find a better name for your business, hop in your van and away you go!