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Kerb Life Podcast : E12

Breaking Down The Bun

When it comes to lunch in the city - how much are we willing to pay? How much does it cost to make? What represents value and are we paying enough for food today? KERB opens the book on the numbers game, finding out the true cost of serving a street food dish, why prices are what they are (from quality ingredients to experienced staff and constant running costs) and how the queues on the street translate onto balance sheets. In interviews with Emma Reynolds of Tonkotsu, KERBanists Burger and Beyond and Anna Maes, Robin explores the risks and rewards of running a street food stall and how in a current environment of high-street precariousness, with restaurant chains shutting left right and centre, how food businesses survive in a city like London - with its ever-rising rents and high competition.

Podcast Summary (It's way better to listen)

What did you have for lunch today? How much did that meal cost?

In this episode reporter Robin Leeburn joins KERB’s traders to break down the true costs of putting together London’s finest street food menus. And even a burger ain’t just meat in a bun, just ask Craig Povoas at Burger and Beyond…

Experienced traders reveal the numbers behind the street food game – how the queues translate on the spreadsheet and why it’s vital to learn to love the spreadsheet and stay innovative as a fully fledged catering co: finding new venues, hitting the festival circuit and joining private events masters KERB to deliver on a grand scale.

And this week’s big interview guest is Emily Reynolds, co-founder of ramen sensation Tonkotsu. Emily reveals how early forays into sushi stumbled, before her and chef Ken Yamada kickstarted the ramen craze in the capital. For Emily, along with great food, you’ve got to focus on the financials to stay ahead in the high-cost, high-competition food game.

Interview Summary

Diners at KERB’s lunch markets at Granary Square, Kings Cross and the Gherkin

Craig Povoas, of Burger and Beyond, breaks down the true costs of making some of London’s finest burgers – at Public, Woolwich

Project Sandwich’s Charlie Gilpin reveals the numbers you can achieve as a market trader and the importance of becoming a ‘catering company’. Recorded at KERB Kings Cross, Granary Square

Tony Solomon,co-owner of Anna Maes mac and cheese specialists with his partner Anna Clark, on staying nimble to keep afloat in the food scene. And why you shouldn’t take too many napkins… Interviewed at Box Park Shoreditch

Tonkotsu founder Emily Reynolds on costs, growth and survival in food, at Tonkotsu Soho

Music credits

Joseph Stewart, chaneling Michael Jackson on Hungerford Bridge

Alexander Nye strumming the blues at Blackfriars Station

Bassonist Istvan Berta playing in the tunnel under Blackfriars Bridge

Harry Jay Steele improvising on guitar at Kings Cross Underground Station