A street food stall
Operating on pavements from 4pm to 10pm everyday, the street stalls only need some noodles and cheap plastic chairs with no need to rent land or hire employees.
Nguyen Thi Hue, a noodle soup stall holder situated in front of Vietnam Commercial University said, “This is the main source of income for our family. We make VND1.5-2 million in profits per day, sometimes even more." She further revealed that the cost price per bowl of noodle soups is just VND5,000(USD0.24), but she retails the bowls at a healthy VND10,000-12,000(USD0.48-0.57).
Tran Van Binh, a hawker work in front of Hanoi Teacher Training University said, “I sell about 100 sausages and 2,000 fried fermented pork rolls each day. The items are really cheap but I make tens of millions per month.”
This cheap but profitable business had changed the lives of many people. Nguyen Phuong Thao, a vendor selling noodle soup at Lang Street said, “This street food stalls helped me build a spacious house and pay the fees for my two kids that are studying at college. I'm planning to buy them motorbikes soon."
However many people complain about the stalls as they obscure the pavements, block roads during rush hour and leave a mess in their wake. Food safety is another concern.
“People come here because the noodle soup is better and cheaper than found in restaurants” Hong Nhung, a student at Hanoi University of Culture said.
Another street hawker said they haven’t seen any food safety inspectors. “Sometimes the neighbourhood security come by to clear the street but we always return after they're gone,” she said.
Street food vendors are supposed to meet certain standards on food point of origin, hygienic eating utensils, and coverage of ingredients from sun, rain and dust.