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Burger Vans

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by paultervit, May 1, 2008.

  1. paultervit

    paultervit UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 40 Likes: 0
    Has anyone on here ever had any experience with running a snack van\burger van?
    I am currently insestigating the idea and have a couple of questions I was hoping I could get the answer to on here i.e.
    Is there any real profit to be made?
    How do you go about getting a pitch?
    Is it worth buying a new van or going for a second hand one?
    Any advice would be helpful.
  2. JoyDivision

    JoyDivision UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 2,713 Likes: 189
    I would imagine a new one would cost at least £30,000 so that is out of the question when you can get good second hand ones for £3000-£5000. If you buy a new one and the venture dosn;t work out the van will loose quite a bit of value, where as a second hand one won't.

    You could ask your local council about getting a pitch. I think you have to some kind of licence too but I am not sure.
  3. Tim R-T-C

    Tim R-T-C UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 549 Likes: 64
    The most common place I see them is at major outdoor events. Do some research and find out which of them are near you and get in touch with the organisers to find out what they charge or how you go about booking a place.

    No point getting setup if you find that someone else has already booked all of the spaces at the events for the next year.
  4. vvaannmmaann

    vvaannmmaann UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 12,454 Likes: 3,202
    I doubt you will be allowed anywhere near a big event.It is a closed shop.The contracts are stitched between the big boys on an annual basis.
    Look at trading estate/retail parks.Low overheads = more profit.You may still need to speakto the owners of these sites.
    You will still need to keep the Food Police (Health and Safety,Local council,Environmental Health ) happy.You will also need proper insurance.
    You may also find a layby that is not "owned" by someone else.
    Try looking on Evilbay.Look at Catering Vans,you may find a bargain!
    Oh and extra onions with mine ta!
  5. derren

    derren UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 133 Likes: 13
    Here in Hereford, some sucessful vans operate on retail parks such as where B&Q is. At a guess they must be making a tidy sum.

    I would also guess that its upto individual councils on decisions where you can pitch. Don't forget all the food hygene certs you need.


  6. Mister B

    Mister B UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 2,301 Likes: 520
    I know a guy who runs a burger van.

    He used to be a labourer on a building site and fancied a change, bought a van and hey presto.

    He isn't exactly raking it in but he makes more than enough to lead a comfortable lifestyle. He tends to work the trading estates from 06.00 until 14.00 and then laybys in the evening.

    Spoke with him a while ago and where he is succeeding, is by offering things like jacket spuds & paninis as well as the usual burger van fare. That way he appeals to the, ahem, more sophisticated customers;) whilst still satisfying the normal punters.

    Good luck with it.

    Mister B
  7. dave_n

    dave_n UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 2,860 Likes: 276
    be aware that a lot of the good pitches for burger vans are sown up...and if you encroach on someone's turf you could find yourself dealing with more than u bargained for...a lot of the burger van pitches are run by local 'families' if you catch my drift!
  8. themagicwand

    themagicwand UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 65 Likes: 2
    I once saw a right old dust up between two ice cream vans. I kid you not, one ice cream van was chasing another ice cream van around a park - kids and parents were literally jumping for their lives. It would have been quite funny if it wasn't for the fact that the violence was very real. Wouldn't touch the "mobile catering" market with a barge pole - too many hard men with their own patches. You can do without that kind of intimidation.
  9. Jezclayton

    Jezclayton UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 525 Likes: 63
    It is also the case that if you do find a good pitch, someone is likely to come looking for "rent" if you get the meaning.

    I know of one nightclub owner who charged a kebab van £2,000 a month to park on land he didn't even own. The deal was that if he paid, the club bouncers would ensure there was no trouble. If he didn't pay the bouncers would remove him.

    Who say's extortion is dead?

    The best bet is to strike a deal with a local builder's merchant. Just don't expect to get rich.
  10. Logan

    Logan UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 208 Likes: 11

    Brilliant way to earn profit but hardworking...

    The profit margin is nearly 60% of the turnover, including all expenses,even your salary ( If you will work at the van of course)

    An average van with an average location can turnover around 300 per day, double it on weekends... Which means a monthly income around 3000,after the expenses...

    Also need to add your investing cost will not be more than 5000...

    If you can grant a permit from council, find a good location , brave enough to work 7 days a week,from 11 in the morning to 12 at night, there you go
  11. Logan

    Logan UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 208 Likes: 11
    Also if you are interested in that

    get in touch so can give you a better view...
  12. nhobbs93

    nhobbs93 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 1 Likes: 0
    hi m8 wondering if u have any info on what and were we go to get purmets,insurance and those kind of things thank you very much
  13. skyhi2

    skyhi2 UKBF Contributor Free Member

    Posts: 855 Likes: 161
    Did you notice this thread was nearly 18 months old ?

  14. dave_webb

    dave_webb UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 93 Likes: 5
    Why not get an ice cream truck.
  15. gadgetgeekstv

    gadgetgeekstv UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 2 Likes: 0
    Hi guys, for those of you who have burger/chippy vans you might be interested in this:


    Bullseyetv are producing a brand new 12-part series for SKY1 HD all about the latest gadgets and technology

    We are looking for fast food van operators to take part in our show and help us create a gadget for yours vans to make your work faster/easier/cheaper!

    If you are interested or would like more information, please contact Alex.Kent(at)bullseyetv.co.uk or call 02031893175.

    We look forward to hearing from you
  16. avugar

    avugar UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 1 Likes: 0
    Hi all!
    Friend of mine had given me his burger van instead of money he borrowed or me.
    It is fairly new burger van/trailer, which I want to run myself. Can anyone advice me on how can I find a good location for it, like somewhere near London Eye, or anywhere in central London.
    I assume that I may have to contact the local authority, but confused about how would I tell them that I want to operate it in the specific place that I like.
    Thank you for your help!
  17. amy9

    amy9 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 83 Likes: 5
    Why not sell something a bit different?

    There's no shortage of places to get a greasy burger from.

    Maybe it's just me but I'd love to see more variety in street food.

    Even just burgers, but better quality burgers, with interesting toppings.

    Or Mexican. Or fancy sandwiches.....
  18. Method Man

    Method Man UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 240 Likes: 50
    If anyone needs to be reminded of the inherent risks in pitching up on the wrong patch/burgers and hot dogs selling in general then look at the case of Gary Thompson.

    Leicester's hot dog/burger supremo gunned down on his drive whilst stepping out from his Rolls Royce iirc.

    It was a fair while ago now but still fresh on a lot of people's minds in some parts.

    Not a trade I'd get into without a lot of research (and maybe a Glock)
  19. amy9

    amy9 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 83 Likes: 5
    I had no idea there was so much serious criminality surrounding burger vans.

    Why can't people just play nice?!
  20. HFE Signs

    HFE Signs UKBF Contributor Full Member

    Posts: 750 Likes: 78
    Its very hard work, early starts, if you go for the big shows you can make a bomb but site fees can be very expensive and booked long in advance so the weather can make a good show into a bad one... I did doughnuts so the stock wasn't wasted as you mix it as you need it.. good luck and I know a good place for signs if you need any ;)