StreetDots charges base rents ranging from £30 to £120, depending on the selected site, which it splits with landlords for the lunch and breakfast slots.
It plans to roll out site availability to other cities after securing a £500,000 funding boost from private Singapore fund BOH Pte, which bolsters an initial £350,000 investment made in January.
The booking platform is in negotiations with landlords in Leeds and Manchester, with a view to expanding its Trade Smart app into the cities within the next three months. The company eventually hopes to expand into every major UK city, according to a spokeswoman.
StreetDots, which was founded in 2014, currently has land partners at almost 50 ‘dots’, or pitches, in London, including British Land’s Broadgate Circle, Blackstone’s Devonshire Square, Westway Trust’s Portobello Market Canopy, and TH Real Estate’s Bermondsey Square. It has eight dots at Taste Buchanan, owned by Land Securities.
More than 300 mobile caterers and restaurant brands, which StreetDots vets, are registered with the app. They include MyPie, Kokodoo, Chalana, Maremosso and Eat the Farm. The type of pitch varies from site to site depending on what landlords are looking for whether gazebos, trucks or stalls.
The dots can be booked a day at a time via the app that takes care of compliance, licensing and marketing on behalf of traders. Traders will get the pitch they want if it is still available and their operation fits with what the landlord requires.
StreetDots hopes to operate from 200 dots in the next year and expand its user base of independent street food businesses to include restaurant brands wanting to reach new customers, pilot new locations, or showcase a particular product.
Founders Atholl Milton and Darren Callcott plan to add ancillary services such as pre-ordering and click and collect to help street food vendors access the growing delivery market. They also want to expand the pitches available to evening slots.
“We’re not only hoping to streamline the business of outdoor street food, we’re hoping to grow the market,” says Milton. “UK street-trading laws are guided by legislation that is over a century old and its processes seem to be stuck in about the same era.
“Our vision is a digitally managed UK-wide network of dots that is hassle free for anyone that wants to sell great food on the streets.”