Street food has been around for many years across the world but here in the UK, it is only just starting to become a popular trend.

Here in the UK, British people crave fast food and getting food to their door. But since the pandemic, there seems to be a new craving for street food.

From being locked in doors and taking full advantage of every takeaway we could, we now want to go outdoors and explore different cuisines and support our local businesses.

James Tulley, owner of Deja Street Food, said: ”It’s probably one of the UK’s fastest trends, especially in the bigger cities. Street food brings world culture into your local area, which for me is what it’s all about. It brings different qualities and styles of food from all around the world.”

It is becoming popular because of its range of cuisines which makes each experience feel different to the last.

“We serve different street food from around the world, we do tacos, burgers, sushi, dim sum, you name it. We do absolutely everything.

“It gives me somewhere I can experiment and serve foods that I personally like to eat. Thankfully, a lot of people seem to enjoy it too. We bring a lot of different cuisines to one place. So rather than seven burgers, we do lots of different things in one menu,” the 43-year-old explained.

James Tulley, owner of Deja Street Food

Deja Street Food serves food every Saturday in Saltburn and has been running for four years.

James, whose day job is as a chef, said that he had to constantly evolve his business to stick with the times. It went from a food truck serving bacon rolls to doing heat and eat meals to going into street food post covid.

Heat-and-eat meals were where he would serve a different menu every week from a different country from around the world.

“I don’t know how on earth we managed to logistically do it and get everything ready on time.” James said, “We were constantly working on one menu as well as doing many for the next week and having it ready to drop at certain times. We did that for about a year.”

James’ customers range in ages from young adults in their 20s to people in their 70s and he enjoys interacting with each and every one of them.

“The social element is probably my favourite part. People pop their heads into the kitchen and say that was amazing or the flavours were great. You meet so many people by feeding them and making them happy,” said James.

“You provide pleasure to people and somewhere where they can sit down and converse together with their friends and family and enjoy quality time together.

“It’s a huge part of being alive and one of the good parts of living. Enjoying things together, talking and catching up. We give people good food and make them feel good. It’s a really nice thing to do for a living,” said a smiling James.

Sometimes James’ 12-year-old son helps him in the kitchen which has helped him learn about working in a kitchen and how to interact with members of the public.

James joked that he gets stupid amounts of tips from families seeing him and sticking a fiver in his pocket for serving them food. Which means he gets to get himself some nice stuff as well as spend time with his dad.

To get these customers, James has had to work hard on promoting himself on social media using Facebook and Instagram so people come to buy his food.

Deja Street Food’s signature sushi

James said: “It’s about promoting what you do and showing off your food. Take nice photos of your food and share them. Your customers will also take photos and they’ll share and tag you in it.”

He described it as a daily exercise where you have to post stories and interact with customers on it so they come back to you.

He also said that he now has timers on his phone to remind him to post on social media so he continues to get engagement and wider promotion.

James said that he uses food bloggers all the time and that they are part of his business plan to grow the business.

It is hard to compete with the big fast food chains but with street food’s variety and promotion from businesses, it is rising in popularity.

James finished by saying: “I think that that we’re gonna have a huge influx of street food. It’s only gonna get better. I don’t want to eat boring things week after week. I want different interesting flavours constantly. That’s why I do what I do and that’s why I love my job.”