Streats Meets Street DotsPosted on 13 September 2017 by Fern Thomson
We all know about London’s permanent street food residencies, the same traders serving up on the same days of the week, but what about those little spots where a rotation of two or three trucks park up to provide something new and different each and every day? More likely than not, these spots (or ‘dots’ as you’ll come to know them) are courtesy of Street Dots, a company who is modernising the street food sector so that street traders can easily find and book pitches to get their grub out to the masses.
Street Dots launched their first three ‘dots’ in 2014 at Broadgate Estate (where we filmed this video with them), after founders Atholl and Darren realised how difficult it was to secure a pitch in what they thought was an antiquated sector. They felt it was especially challenging for new traders who are yet to build a reputation, much like the Bunnychow brand they were working on themselves in 2013. Cue the birth of one of the most recent revolutions in the street food sector. Street Dots had arrived.
Street Dots are all about streamlining the booking process for traders, and thus increasing the size of the sector. By means of technology, Street Dots ensures that booking, paying for, and trading at their dots is the most painless of procedures. This is done through the Trade Smart app, designed specifically for the 400+ approved* street food traders themselves to manage their own schedules up to five weeks in advance. Having said that, Street Dots will put down certain restrictions in order to ensure that each trader is given the best shot at maximising their sales. For example, algorithms exist that take into account surrounding restaurants, food offers and other traders booked on neighbouring dots for the day, such that no one is in direct competition and at risk of losing out. You can feel the nurturing nature of the business, right? It’s easy to sense that this is a company by the traders, for the traders.
That’s not to say that consumers can’t also benefit from Street Dots’ innovative ingenuity. A separate version of the app exists, listing the specific traders pitching up at the specific Street Dots locations for the next two weeks.
Street Dots currently operates 40 dots in various London spots, with plans to expand across locations such as Oxford, Manchester and the South East, resulting in an estimated 200 dots nationwide in the next 12 months. They also head up Taste Buchanan, an indoor street food hub in central Glasgow which acts as an incubator, giving young food brands a 2-3 month stint at trading within Buchanan Galleries Mall.
To see more of the work that Street Dots does, check out their social media in the links below.
*In order to become an approved street food trader with Street Dots, register online at www.streetdots.co.uk