What problems do street food vendors have in Indonesia?

Cover story: The street as a dining room

Sausage stands and chestnuts are as much a part of Vienna as the Ferris wheel. So eating on the street is a tradition. But when someone stands up and sells wraps with couscous and vegetables or sandwiches with pulled pork (buttery soft, plucked pork), it's called "street food" and it's a trend. A year ago hardly anyone would have been able to do anything with the term. Today, however, everyone is talking about street food.

"It was almost strange that street food was hardly an issue in Austria," says Daniela Terbu. "But this year it suddenly hit." Terbu is known as a connoisseur of the Viennese gastronomy scene: she made a name for herself with the blog "Die Breakfastinnen"; today she runs a communication agency for culinary topics. Since spring, the FHWien der WKW graduate has been able to observe how street food suddenly became a buzzword and series of events on this topic took place: Street Kitchen Food Market, Markterei, Street Food Cinema, Food Truck Park Vienna, Vienna Food Festival et cetera.

However, Terbu's personal conception of street food did not necessarily correspond to having to attend an event: "For me, street food is when I'm walking through a Grätzel, turning the corner and someone is cooking or there is a food truck." What is then the difference to traditional Viennese street gastronomy? "Good question. The coolness factor, I would say. The sausage stand on Hohen Markt or the Leberkaspepi can definitely be described as street food providers. "

From 0 to 12,000

Part of the responsibility for the street food trend is probably Roman Groiss, who studied corporate management at the FHWien of the WKW. It was he who, with his company Mondschein Events, organized the Street Kitchen Food Market in April and thus attracted 12,000 visitors to the Marx-Halle over two days. “I got to know the night flea market concept in Munich,” he says. "When we held the first moonlight bazaar in Vienna, we wanted to offer food there that you could pick up." The response from the restaurateurs was great - and because the bazaar itself was a success, Groiss decided to start a street food -Market hold.

Around a hundred applicants for the stands registered, 30 were finally allowed to be there. "A lot of people who tried their hand at restaurateurs for the first time in April have been out and about since then," says Groiss. "And the street food markets pop up like mushrooms." In the summer, Mondschein Events organized the weekly street food cinema on the Hohe Warte. As in the spring, Groiss & Co had to charge guests entry to cover the costs. "These barriers for visitors have to come down - there is no market flair, it has more of the character of a trade fair." But because it is expensive to create the necessary infrastructure just for day X, Roman Groiss does not see the future in events, but in the long term Business.

(c) Artisan Food Collective

Market instead of fair

Groiss is currently looking for a suitable location to run a kind of market hall - a food market should also take place there at least once a week: »Something like that is still happening in Vienna. Such markets are also a tourist attraction in other cities. "For example in Berlin, Rotterdam or London:" Street Food Thursday in Berlin's Markthalle 9 is well known. "

Incidentally, Groiss doesn't have a clear definition for street food either: “It's difficult to define. Sausages and kebabs are classic street food. For me, new street food is characterized by the fact that it is sustainable in some form, often organic, regional or healthy - and not industrially produced. When a company shows up at the Christmas market in a truck to fry industrially produced Kässpätzle, that's not one of them for me. "

(c) Philipp Lipiarski, Good Life Crew

"For us it is very unbureaucratic"

Street food restaurateurs often complain about complicated approval procedures. Alexander Hengl from the Vienna Market Office (MA 59) contradicts this criticism.

Street food is currently a big topic in Vienna. Is this also reflected in the inquiries to your municipal department?

Hengl: No not at all. We don't get more inquiries than before. In Vienna there are currently around 260 restaurants and bars with street stalls. In 2008 it was still 274, so the trend is falling slightly.

What exactly is MA 59 responsible for in this context?

Hengl: We are responsible for the approval of mobile street stalls, for food law and trade law controls ... in principle for everything that concerns stands with less than twelve square meters that do not require a building permit. Whether this is a permanent sausage stand or a food truck that only comes once a week is irrelevant for the approval.

Operators complain about the bureaucratic hurdles. How do you see it

Hengl: I keep hearing in the media that we are so angry and so bureaucratic. It is very unbureaucratic for us, I think. We do not send customers from one expert to the next, but rather invite the experts ourselves. Of course, not every procedure leads to approval. What is not possible is to wake up in the morning on Monday and say: "Today I will stand in the Prater", the next day on Stephansplatz ... - that’s not the case in Vienna. But if I want to stand on Graben every Monday and on Hütteldorfer Strasse every Wednesday, I can ask for it.

Does that mean that you are bound to a weekly rhythm?

Hengl: You have to be there at the agreed times, otherwise the permit expires. In theory, however, another rhythm is also possible. With a permit from the market authority, you can also stand on a market - this is the case, for example, on the Freyung. We also came under criticism when it came to markets: Other markets open at 6 a.m. - but it's just not possible to leave a space free until 12 p.m.

Other cities and countries have different regulations - are there any changes in Vienna?

Hengl: Apart from vague rumors about a new utility tax law, I am not aware of anything. We don't want it to be the same as in Paris: There, the city decides in which districts a food truck can be parked based on supply, prices and hygiene - we give entrepreneurs their freedom. With us you won't be able to push a grill plate in front of you as a pedestrian with a gas bottle on your back, as you can in Berlin. That won't happen in Vienna.

Speaking of gas: is it true that food trucks in Vienna are not allowed to cook on gas?

Hengl: That is what the experts have to judge. However, Vienna has a unique canal system. As a result, there is a great danger associated with this gas, which is sinking.

Eating on wheels 2.0

The food truck is actually the epitome of street food: In some American cities there is a truck on every second street from which burritos or burgers are sold. "Often there is only one area protection around restaurants," says Roman Groiss. However, the exact rules in the United States vary from state to state and city to city. In any case, food truck operators don't have it easy in Vienna. Marko Ertl from the »Wrapstars«, the pioneers of the Viennese food truck scene, can tell you a thing or two about it. Ertl and two colleagues have been running a truck since October 2013. The guests liked it from the start, but the start was still not easy. "In order to get a permit for a public stand, you need the consent of around twelve parties - if only one is against it, it won't work," reports the restaurateur. "We have now managed to get a site approved, but we cannot use it at the moment - because there is no electricity there."

Now one could say: If there is no electricity, then cook with gas! Only: gas is not allowed. "Trucks cook on gas all over the world, except here," Ertl says annoyed. In a few months, the Wrapstars truck will therefore have a high-performance battery that will make it independent of an external power supply. The basic problem for Ertl is that the legal situation is simply not designed for food trucks with changing locations: "The officers often have to lean out the window to approve something - or they play it safe." There are also cooperative ones People in the offices, only at the beginning was hardly noticeable: »While our colleagues from Germany reported that they had worked with them to find a solution, we were more likely to say: Prove that you were part of the Moving laws. "

The road is not enough

In the first year, Ertl and Co were only able to drive out three to four times a month due to a lack of permits. They are now regularly on the Rochusmarkt and on the Freyung, at universities and at events. There are also private events such as company parties. Including indoor catering, a total of 44 appointments were on the program in October. "Day-to-day business alone would not be enough to survive," says Marko Ertl, "but that is normal - even in the USA, many food trucks only make a third of their sales through day-to-day business, the rest through catering and events."

Today the Wrapstars have more employees than food on offer. The team has grown to nine people, and the menu still only features three different wraps - vegetarian or, if you wish, with meat. "We are particularly good at what we do," says Ertl. Everything except cheese and wrap batter is homemade. For him, this approach is what defines the street food trend: "A lot of hand-made items, a lot of effort and thought go into it."

Definition wanted

Daniela Terbu can't really get used to “sustainable” and “homemade” as defining characteristics of street food: “That would be nice, but unfortunately it's not true. I know my way around the gastronomy scene too well - only a few stick to it consistently. «In search of a differentiation from street food, we ask Fransisca Tan: She - as one of the few - has already dealt scientifically with the topic of food ( in the field of cognitive science at the University of Vienna) and recently organized the Vienna Food Week. “I'm fascinated by everything that is called street food,” she says. She personally connects childhood memories from Indonesia that have little to do with American food trucks and the most recent events in Vienna. “The term street food is currently often used as an instrument for marketing - you receive an invitation to a lecture and then there is 'DJ and street food'.” But she welcomes the trend: “You first have to have the capital to get into To be able to open a pub in Vienna. Now people are trying to find a way that has never been done before. "

There is no general definition for street food, says Fransisca Tan. “When I try to pinpoint the essence of this term intuitively, the core is the experience - street food is not just solid food, it also appeals to other senses. The personal touch is also typical - the most successful are those who say this food stands for me, for my approach to life, for my concept. "Behind this lies a development that not only affects street food:" You are interested in where from the food comes and who feeds you there. It's not just about the quality, but also about the people behind it. "Eating has always been something social, but this aspect has often been neglected in the past decades:" Now many people are slowly becoming more important again. "

Eating is in

Eva Fischer has also noticed this trend, after completing her degree in tourism management at the FHWien der WKW, she became one of the most famous food bloggers in the country: “I've been dealing with the topic of food for about eight years and I have noticed how generally it is Interest in it is growing. «When she was honored for her website foodtastic.at at the AMA Food Blog Award last year, there were 600 submissions, this year even 800 - that alone shows how intensively many Austrians deal with their food. “The fact that street food is so popular is just one of the resulting trends. Another, which has been around for a very long time, is, for example, that of regional products. And there will be even more trends. "

As a trained nutrition coach, Fischer specifically wishes for a development: “It's a good thing that food trucks are coming to Austria now. But the offer is still a bit burger-heavy, I'm still missing the healthy products: colorful grain salads, Asian fast food and gluten-free offers. “But whether salad, wrap, sausage or chestnuts - it is always healthier if you eat the food consciously and slow down a bit, says Fischer. Not only in the restaurant, but also on the street.