Street Food and food trucks are a relatively new food-related cultural phenomenon in Europe's metropolitan areas. Entire street sections or neglected industrial sites regularly turn to large open-air kitchens where vendors grill, cook or fry. In the beginning, these events mainly attracted so-called “foodies”, but then turned quickly into mass gathering events attracting people of all ages and different status. Street food has thus rapidly evolved from a small niche market to an attractive field of self-employment especially for career changers and migrants. The low-threshold barriers to start a street food business combined with the specious promises of success contribute to the proliferation in particular. International research on the effects and potentials of food trucks and street food vendors primarily focuses on USA and Canada. However, the social backgrounds and conditions under which street food emerged in Germany are different. In this paper, I will show the role of institutional and cultural conditions on the perception of street food vending as a form of self-employment in Germany. Therefore, I will present findings based on qualitative interviews with street food vendors in Germany. In conclusion, I will compare these results with international research in order to reveal parallels and differences in motivation, area of operation and self-attribution.
Food Production and Sustainability
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Research Assistant , Institute For Work Science, Ruhr-University