Thursday, November 24, 2011

Encounter with a street cart vendor

Our 2 year old was was on a 2 day excursion with grandparents, we didn't have to think twice to grab this opportunity to venture out on a date night on a Wed evening.

As we passing by Jain College (Mansa's old college), she had this sudden urge to eat her favorite street food during her college days - a tiny food cart vendor off Diagonal Road in Basavangudi. Not having dared to experiment with street food in 10 years - I was pleasantly surprised with some of his innovative methods that he used in his business:

  1. He had no need for running water
  2. He didn't use any heat to prepare food (it was fresh snacks) 
  3. He used disposable gloves to prepare food (periodically disposing them)
  4. His only non-compostable waste was a piece of paper on which he served the food (he places that on a piece of dried leaf)
  5. He uses seasonal fresh fruit/vegetables which he sources daily and makes sure he washes thoroughly before serving. This could be a risk during summer months where gastroenteritis is common (I should mention that as of the next day our tummies were still doing great :)
Now - on an average his dishes cost Rs 10 ($ 0.2). People we saw would order 3 on average. We extrapolated that on a good day he would see around 400 customers (given the vicinity to a college close by). 
Mansa about to dig into some delicious 'tomator puri'
Using gloves to prepare food
Thriving Street Food Business run out of  a cart without fire and electricity

That makes Rs 12,000/day!  There are minimal operation costs - no rent, electricity and I would be surprised if he was a regular with the Indian Income Tax department.

Some street food for thought!

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