How to Start / Open A Smokies, Sausages and Eggs Street Vending Business in Kenya

Smokies, Sausages and Eggs Street Vending Business Plan (Kenya)



Introduction

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This survey looks at small scale ready to eat sausage, smokies and boiled eggs vendors. This as largely represented by vendors in towns selling from mobile carts or hawking in hot pots. The regulatory conditions in most counties vary but the business model more or less tends to be the same. Though the survey refers to the business as the “Smokies and Egg business” it also includes sausages. The survey will be biased towards sizeable urban centers.

Categorization

Generally the Smokies & Eggs business operates in 3 ways:

1.Cart Vendor – This is the vendor who sells from a metallic cart which can be wheeled and positioned at a particular place. This vendor may specialize in smokies or have a little of everything: eggs, smokies and sausages.

2.Hot Pot Vendor – In this case the vendor puts his products in a Hot Pot and moves from one corner of the town selling. Again these can have a little of everything though most find it convenient to focus on smokies and sausages.

3.Specialized Eggs Vendor – This kind specializes in boiled eggs. They put the eggs in plastic basins or crates and move around selling.

Basic Set Up

a) Equipment

i)Cart

There are two types of carts:

The official Farmers Choice Cart

This is a branded cart sold by Farmer’s Choice. The cart is professionally designed with comparatively smooth edges, efficient wheels and well painted complete with a Farmer’s Choice logo. Though officially the cart is supposed to be used only for Farmer’s Choice products, some vendors disregard this and include eggs.

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The cart is available at Ksh.13, 000 from Farmer’s Choice factory in Kahawa West.

Jua Kali Cart

These are made by independent metal artisans. Some of the blacksmiths are only of rudimentary skills and aim to replicate a basic cart. It is common to find such carts with rough edges low quality painting which peels of after sometime. Because the wheels are at times of poor quality the carts may require much effort to push around or often breakdown.

Still there are some which are made to relatively high standards and equal the Farmer’s Choice carts. The carts can be bought or custom ordered at any jua kali metal workshop though in many towns you will find 2 or 3 workshops which are especially good at making them.

In Nairobi ready carts can be bought along ‘Jua Kali’ in Shauri Moyo. Also in Nairobi second hand carts are readily available, relics from those who quit the business or decided to upgrade to better quality pushcarts.

The average price of Jua Kali is Ksh.6000 but ranges from KES.5000 to KES.8000

ii)Jiko

Jikos are placed in the lower compartment of the cart and used to provide the heat to keep the products warm. A jiko which produces enough heat while conserving fuel is desirable.

The jiko can be bought at any sizeable open air market or supermarket. The price averages Ksh.500 for a standard quality jiko.

iii)Forks, Spoons, Knives and Bowl

These are for handling the smokies, eggs, sausages, kachumbari. Any standard utensils can be used.

iv)Hot Pot

Hotpots are used by hawkers who want to move around a town hawking smokies and eggs. The price ranges between KES. 1000 and Kshs. 2,500 for a standard quality hot pot.

b) Licenses

There are two major licenses;

County Government License

This is the trading license issued by the local authority. The prices and terms differ from one location to another and may touch on things like area of operation and classification of the vendor as a hawker or otherwise. The price averages Ksh.3000 per annum.

Medical License / Certificate

This is a mandatory requirement for those selling ready food items. It is issued by the government hospital in the area. Applicants are commonly tested for typhoid and cholera. In The cost is Ksh.1000 but may vary slightly from hospital to hospital.

Some counties are stricter than others in inspecting and enforcing this requirement so you may find some vendors comfortably functioning without this license. Particular information about licensing can be acquired from the county government’s offices.

c) Stock

Smokies and Sausages are bought from stockists in the region. In some areas Farmers Choice sales trucks visit a town several times a week and vendors purchase in bulk. A few may purchase from supermarkets though the price is slightly higher. Farmer’s Choice is the preferred brand both for sausages and smokies. (See Revenue for prices and margins)

d) Process

The business involves preparing eggs, smokies or sausages for sale to customers. Eggs are hard boiled while sausages and smokies are deep fried. While individuals can cook the products themselves, most towns tend to have a core wholesale hotel which prepares the items and resells to vendors, who in turn retail through carts.

Such wholesale hotels may also offer cooking services, where a vendor may come with his smokies for instance and the hotel deep fries them for a small fee averaging Ksh.20 per packet.

An attractive feature of the wholesaler hotels is the vendor’s ability to purchase exactly the number of ready products he needs say 5 or 9 smokies.

Established vendors are able, if need be, to open and maintain a line of credit with the wholesaler hotels. For new vendors the hotels offer a stock buffer as they try to establish the average number that they can move in a day so as not to over stock or be left with stale products.

Competition & Survival

Average No of vendors existing

36 in county headquarters / 11 in sub

 

county towns

 

 

Averaged no of vendors that have

43 %

opened in the last 1 year

 

Average no of vendors that have

57%

existed for over 1 year

 

 

22% of total

Average no of vendors that have

 

closed in the last 1

 

Reasons For Closing

More profitable alternatives - 31%

Regulatory problems - 27 %

Losses – 12 %

Other – 30 %

Making Sense of the Figures

The fact that there are more vendors opening business than closing means that opportunities still exist in the smokies & eggs market. Smokies, Boiled eggs and sausages are quick, relatively affordable snacks that are consumed on impulse. To many consumers they offer a supposedly superior, unique and entertaining taste and compliment usual snacks such as mandazi, roast maize and bread.

The barriers to entry in the business are minimal. Though Ksh.30,000 maybe the optimal amount to open and run a standard Farmer’s Choice cart, there are operations that have formally started with far much less say Ksh.5,000.

Also there are many vendors who operate informally, meaning they don’t acquire the necessary licenses and operate at very basic levels. For instance there are boiled egg vendors who started with about Ksh.600, while smokie vendors selling through hot pots can start with Ksh. 1,500 or less if they operate informally.

This business also requires no specialized skill to start and run. Anyone with a sense of business and who can communicate to people can run it. Simple deep frying skills are just an added advantage.

The barriers being this low means that competition will continue to increase. Of course barring any regulatory obstacles such as zoning or a ban on food hawking. Different county governments may also raise the bar in terms of fees and licenses.

For now and in the medium term the market is big enough to profitably sustain any new entrant, though the share of profits attributable per vendor is reducing. Increased competition means that it takes longer to break even.

Demand is increasing but at a relatively lower rate than supply. Whether there remains to be demand in the future depends on whether other alternatives will be available, price, any new negative health information regarding the products or government policy either at a local or national level . The latter partially means that demand is supply driven. If a consumer does not find a smokie vendor at a convenient place then there is nothing to entice and no effort made to go looking for a smokie rather the urge if any is manageable till the next time she finds a

vendor. Thus if for instance a county government bans smokie and eggs hawkers the demand subsidizes and there is very little possibility of there emerging a black market unlike what would happen if alcohol was banned.

Policy which also leads to an increase in the price beyond comparable products and local income levels will reduce demand. If there is inflation and the cost of

living goes up demand greatly reduces.

It is important to note that the competition situation is not uniform across the country. Though there maybe a boiled egg vendor in each town, there might not be a smokie vendor. Competition reduces as one moves away from Nairobi.

In a town like Embu for instance there are no street smokie vendors, and the gap is filled by small hotels near bus stages. In Machakos there are more people selling sausages and eggs than there are selling smokies. Yet due to poor quality of sausages in the town the average sales per vendor are below the average in similar towns. There is a big gap in some towns that waits to be satisfied as demand is present. As long as there are people consuming eggs and other snacks from street vendors (like samosa in Machakos) it means they will as well consume smokies if made available in a convenient place at the right price.

Sometimes a town’s policy and culture are the reason this kind of business maybe absent. Lack of support such as stockists or craftsmen making carts may also contribute. A notable point is that Nairobi consumes 70 % of Farmer’s Choice products that means some markets may be under served in terms of distribution.

At the present rate of growth where 4 in every 10 vendors have opened in the last year, and only about 2 leaving the market within the same time we predict in the medium term (2 years), keeping everything constant, the market will be saturated in most urban areas, revenue will stagnate and there will no room for growth.

With eggs being homogenous, and sausages and smokies largely coming from Farmer’s Choice and two or so other minor suppliers there is no radical differentiation in the products. Hence location is much more important in influencing revenue than any attempts at branding.

A location with high street traffic is ideal. Yet with most county governments trying to implement some sort of urban planning which is aimed at to zoning some businesses in particular sections of a town flexibility in terms of location is reducing.

In Nairobi for instance cart vendors are not officially allowed in the CBD. Hence they operate in downtown areas of the city near bus stations and markets like Nyamakima and Country Bus station. However at night , from around 8PM, the vendors many of them unlicensed invade CBD proper positioning themselves in high traffic streets like Tom Mboya, Moi Avenue and Ronald Ngala. Boiled eggs hawkers even move from bar to bar selling their products.

To operate they sometimes have to bribe county askari, at other times they are arrested and let out only after paying kickbacks or fines. Still considering the traffic that a street like Tom Mboya exposes them to the vendors consider the risk worth it.

Dynamics of ideal street location differ from place to place. For some space is controlled by street cartels, whereas in others one has to negotiate with competing businesses in the area. In other areas it’s a simple walk in affair, identify space and set up. In Nairobi as in other major towns there is a mix of all that. There is no first hand rule regarding space on the street. What may be the formula in one part of town may not be the method in another part. Conversation with other people operating business in the neighborhood will give pointers to what works in the particular place. There is more flexibility in the estates and smaller towns.

Though there is not much room for differentiation vendors have come up with ways to gain a competitive edge. The most established of these methods has been accompanying boiled eggs with Kachumabri. (A salad of tomatoes, onions and sometimes pepper)

Presently Kachumbari is used with smokies too. There is also the use of tomato or chili sauces. Some innovative vendors are also making kachumbari which goes beyond the traditional ingredients to now include vegetables like carrots and beetroot. These methods of differentiation tend to be localized such that in a particular town or area if one vendor starts using sauces the rest imitate fast. The lead only lasts for a short time.

For smokies and sausages the quality of the cooking could be and is another point of competition. This is in regard to the quality of oil used (does it leave an after taste?), is it well drained or is the smokie unnecessarily too oily? Is it well cooked? Customers form impressions just by a quick glance at the smokies or sausages.

Another form of differentiation is in the presentation whereby some vendors aim to present a clean professional image. This could be through dressing, grooming, keeping the cart and his environment clean. The way the vendor handles the snacks also matters: avoiding touching the food with bare hands instead using clean polythene papers. This among other goals is aimed at building trust and attracting consumers who would otherwise not purchase snacks on the street for fear of infections.

Customer service, though rarely used, is another form of differentiation. By and large among many vendors have a casual attitude towards service, and not much effort in trying to cultivate good relationship with customers. Perhaps this is informed by the transit nature of the business.

There is not much customer loyalty especially in urban centers where consumers are on the move. Still there is an advantage of developing a good customer rapport for there is always a chance that you will encounter the same customer again. For instance vendors located near or at bus stations will find that a percentage of their customers are regulars who work around like drivers and touts. Or passengers going or leaving for work.

Vendors in Nairobi CBD don’t put too much effort in differentiating, few go beyond the now common kachumbari. The high traffic composed of people of all walks of life ensures that they are able to sell despite the quality of their products. As competition increases this is changing albeit slowly.

Price based competition is not common in this market. The margins don’t give much room to compete on price. If a vendor was to compete on price then the difference would be Ksh. 1 or 2 which might not motivate consumers to forego some convenience say by walking an extra few meters for just a shilling’s difference.

Consumer purchase decisions for smokies, sausages and eggs sold on the street are largely based on convenience and an unplanned almost instant urge. Rarely does someone leave the house and say “I am going to purchase a smokie”; they will have gone to the shop or to the office and on the spur of the moment decide to consume a boiled egg. Thus price based competition may not add much to revenue.

Generally there is a limitation to what a vendor can cost effectively do to differentiate the products. Thus location and access to high foot traffic remain the major spots of competition and survival.

More profitable alternatives rather than losses are the leading reasons for closing this business. This means majority in this business are turning a profit but the returns could be shrinking. Also the relatively higher number of businesses that have operated for over a year means there is still reason to stay. With minimal fixed costs say in terms of rent and other overheads being low the threshold to break even and turn a profit is also low. Kindly note the above figures are urban averages and the competition situation may differ from region to region.

Regulatory problems are a major issue in some regions. Some county governments are strict about areas of operation. In other places public health officials are strict about vending and hawking food on the streets. Before investing in the business it is important to find out what the regulatory issues are in a particular location.

Losses and low returns have been reported. This especially happens when a vendor is in a low traffic location. Mismanagement say by gnawing on the capital, irregular working hours, and dishonest staff also contribute to losses. Poor quality of products may lead to losses as well. Poor quality largely affects sausages. If not done well they appear stale, small and twisted. At times this is blamed on the brand of sausages or smokies for that matter.

To overcome the limitations that come with lack of great location and to stimulate growth some vendors use some form of simple distributorship. This basically involves having as many carts as possible in different locations. Some partner with shopkeepers by giving them a number of smokies or sausages in a hotpot, which they sell to their customers for a small commission. The shopkeeper does not take any risk so that if there are any reminders the end of the day the vendor takes them back.

Though there is no much room for differentiation in this business, in estates where there is no cut throat competition there is opportunity to do some little branding. Some have done this by giving a name to their business (Smarty Smokies) then moving beyond just having a cart and including some attention grabbing and differencing equipment say a colorful umbrella. The other is to clearly advertise what is on offer. The usual is to say “Delicious Smokie and Sausages”. But there is room to go beyond this and to exactly describe the additions, say Delicious Smokies served with Unique Kachumabri. Proprietary Kachumabri which can’t easily be copied drives up sales and gives the vendor a lead.

Competition & Survival Summary:

There are opportunities in the business but competition is increasing driven by the low barriers to entry.

Competition is not uniform throughout the country. Boiled Eggs are available in most areas but there are gaps in smokies and sausages.

The revenues in the business are enough to let any new entrant break even, however beyond the break even point the profit will depend largely on location, competition in the area and individual initiative.

Most of the smokie and eggs consumer purchase decisions are based on impulse and convenience. This is what makes Location the most important factor influencing revenue.

Impulse buying means that customer loyalty is comparatively low. That may be the reason some vendors treat customers indifferently seeing no need to invest more than necessary in a customer they may never see again. However because consumer behavior cannot be 100% predictable there is an advantage in developing a positive customer relationship.

The products are homogeneous, and there is little room for differentiation, still the market responds favorably to innovative efforts to make the offering

richer say by Kachumbari, sauces and others such. Due to the basic nature of such ‘innovations’ competitors quickly catch up and it becomes a cycle and a matter of who is doing it best. On the hand if one has an extremely novel addition say a Kachumbari or sauce then she may develop a relatively loyal customer base. Low margins mean that vendors are reluctant to invest in complicated or advanced sauces which might eat up the profits.

In some circumstances simple distribution can be used to increase market reach.

Revenue

 

Smokies

Sausages

Eggs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

520

(26)

320

(16)

620

(31)

Average Daily

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenue (Kshs.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lowest Revenue

220

(11)

120

(6)

260

(13)

Recorded (Kshs.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Highest Revenue

6220 (311)

1240 (62)

8020 (401)

Recorded (Kshs.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The figures in brackets are the actual items sold.

Average Wholesale & Retail Prices

 

Average Wholesale Prices

Average Retail Prices

Sausages

390

20

Smokies

300

20

Eggs

300

20

1 packet either of sausages or smokies has 22 of items.

A tray of eggs has 30 of them

Wholesale prices quoted largely apply to Farmer’s Choice products and depending on source, location and wholesaler the price may ranges between Kshs.290 and Kshs.330. There are also Farmer’s Choice ‘backdoor’ sources who may offer lower prices.

Price of eggs slightly varies from region to region and also seasons. In the last 1 year (August 2012 to September 2013) it has oscillated between Kshs.270 to Kshs. 330

Making Sense of Revenue

Other than the cost of purchase of the smokies, sausages and eggs other expenses incurred are charcoal for those using carts and have to keep the products warm. On average a vendor will spend Ksh. 50 on charcoal in a day. This figure may go to as low as Ksh.30 or as high as Ksh.150 depending on the quality of the jiko, charcoal and hours of operation. There is also the cost of fuel and oil used in deep frying the smokies or boiling the eggs. This cost varies depending on the type of cooking oil and fuel used.

To save costs some vendors prefer to deep fry smokies and sausages using charcoal while other claim that charcoal leaves the products smelling of smoke thus they opt for cooking gas. Whichever the method fuel cost will be about Ksh. 0.50 or less per item.

There are also other miscellaneous costs include salt, water and for those serving kachumbari the cost of tomatoes, onions and pepper. The cost is about Ksh.15 per packet of smokies and Ksh.40 per crate of eggs. This will also vary with the season with prices lower during the higher season.

Like mentioned there are also wholesaler hotels that either sell ready made smokies, or prepare the smokies and sausages on behalf of the vendors, meaning that one can come with a packet of smokies and the wholesaler fries on his behalf. The hotels charge about Ksh.20 for deep frying a packet of either. When purchasing ready the difference also averages Ksh.20.

The wholesaler hotel also sells ready smokies not necessarily in whole packets but in smaller numbers say 8 or less. Vendors prefer them because they seem to have efficiencies which save time and money. Also if the stock runs out during the day when they are far from their homes or a place they can cook the items they are able to restock immediately just by visiting the hotel

The downside is that a vendor has to sacrifice quality and work with what the wholesaler hotel gives. Sometimes the quality is lower than may have been if an individual had prepared personally. Also purchasing from the wholesaler means there is no room for differentiation in quality of preparation. Thus all the smokies or sausages in a location are similar if purchased from one wholesaler hotel.

Any hotel coming with more preferable terms either in quality, credit or wholesale price would upstage the dominant hotel in the region. It’s an opportunity to explore.

Prices of smokies presently (September / October 2013) at Ksh.20 tend to be the same across the market. Partly prices of smokies tend to be pushed by Farmers Choice through their recommended retail prices. They even produce stickers with the price.

Prices of sausages on the other hand differ between areas. With price points of Ksh.20, Ksh.25 and Ksh.30 recorded in the market. Other than Farmer’s Choice there are several other smaller companies producing sausages. This includes Alpha Fine Foods, Oscar Food Industries, Chefs Choice and Olive Enterprises. Farmers Choice dominates the market with its Pork and Beef Sausages while Alpha Fine Foods for instance produce beef sausages. Some of these tend to be cheaper than what is sold by Farmer’s Choice while others tend to be slightly expensive. Farmer’s Choice is considered to be of the best quality. They also have a better distribution network.

There are mixed reactions among vendors about the quality of the sausages. There are claims that sausages from a particular company though cheaper oil up and become hard when they are deep fried. Sometimes this is blamed on the wholesaler hotels.

Generally sausages are being edged out of the street vendors market. In Nairobi for instance only about 1 in 20 vendors sell sausages. This largely has to do with the poor quality of some sausages which disappointed customers. The relatively expensive Farmer’s Choice sausages mean that to get decent margins then the price has to be above average, which means customers go for the alternatives in this case smokies and boiled eggs.

Boiled Eggs sell at two price points of Ksh.15 and Ksh.20 with the latter being the most common. Usually vendors buy eggs from suppliers in the region. Since the price of eggs may fluctuate several times in a year the higher margins egg vendors enjoy are considered some sort of buffer against such variations since they don’t adjust the selling price every time the price moves up or down

It is rare to see price based competition within the same location. Still when it happens it does not lead to an increase in revenue. For the most part this is because of the instinctive way of purchasing smokies which means a consumer will rarely walk around searching for a ‘cheaper’ vendor. And then considering additions such sauces and kachumbari and sometimes bribes to county authorities, there is not much left to play around with price.

For the cart vendors smokies are the fastest moving items. Smokies have become more trusted by customers in terms of quality. Their appearance straight and smooth also appeals to customers more. They are also easy to prepare and handle. Boiled eggs, which traditionally were not sold by the cart vendors, are increasingly becoming part of their offering.

Mobile vendors tend to either combine smokies and sausages in hot pots, or sell boiled eggs either in trays or basins. For these eggs are the fastest moving. Overall there are more mobile egg vendors than those of smokies and sausages, however there are towns dominated by smokie hawkers.

Smokie and sausages tend to be most within stages around Nairobi and towns counties bordering Nairobi, because of the ease of handling and selling to passengers. Yet each town has its own way of doing things. In many of the small towns in Embu and Meru there are more people selling eggs than smokies and sausages, with the latter two often being none existent.

Nairobi CBD is an exceptional case. During the day vendors (This is in collusion with Council askari) are restricted to only certain sections in the outer radius of the CBD say like Bus Station, Railways, Nyamakima, Muthurwa market and surrounding areas.

At night the space is more open and vendors push their carts to the CBD proper. The very high and diverse population in the city means those who operate in the CBD record above average sales as compared to any other part of the country. Sometimes way above average. For instance on a Thursday, the 3 rd week of September a vendor at Bus Station had sold 193 eggs by 6 pm. That means a gross profit of Ksh.1930 but out of this there were a bribe ranging from Ksh.100 to Ksh.500 paid to county askari, ‘space fee’, kachumbari, transport and other miscellaneous expenses. Still in such a day he could make Ksh.900 to Ksh.1, 500 gross profits. However this was not the norm everyday. There were days when they

were totally prevented from operating by the city authorities. (For instance since October many of the vendors at Bus Station have been chased away by the county askari.

There were days he sold only 50 eggs, besides there were times when the bribe ate almost into his profit, and when he was arrested and his two days or so profits swallowed in fines. That said the estimated average daily sales if he managed to sell were 65 eggs. Working day and night the vendor sometimes hit over 300 eggs. Yet it is not a walk in walk out affair; the competition for the informal space in the CBD is intense and involves those already in the location and the county authorities. There are no first hand rules about this.

At night there is more flexibility and less limitation especially among the mobile hawkers who move from bar to bar. Boiled Eggs move faster in bars. Still the vendors have to contend with city askari. At the end of the day they also recorded above average sales. Generally it’s much easier to join the market at night.

For planning purposes it’s not advisable to use the extreme Nairobi CBD figures to estimate possible income. Nonetheless the figures hint at the possibilities though the conditions are far from ideal.

Although Nairobi CBD has the highest above average revenue vendors in some great locations also record above average sales. For instance one of the vendors in Kiambu operating near the matatu stage sold 291 smokies on a market day in October. The average sales at the position are 70 smokies. Still in Kiambu there are vendors who operate only on market days when the town is flooded by people. Some of these are vendors who work from nearby satellite town centers but come to the main town on market days. On such days they average 110 smokies.

The Kiambu situation is reflected in many counties across the country with particular conditions about licenses, and areas of operation.

Revenue is largely influenced by location. A number of those in prime locations don’t make extra effort to win customers for instance by having Kachumbari since they are assured of customers. But with competition increasing such aloofness is easing.

Distribution increases revenue. Basic distribution involves either partnering with some shopkeepers or having carts in different parts of a town and employing someone to sell on behalf either on commission or a daily wage.

A number of vendors have experimented with larger scale distribution. For instance a vendor in the Mathare bought 12 hot pots and then hired some young people to go round the estate selling smokies on commission. He did the same for eggs. The main challenge was the high turnover of staff. This was caused by the low capital needed to join the business. A hired vendor would reason “I do the actual work, get paid on commission while with Ksh.500 I could start mine?” The distributor vendor stopped the egg vending but still uses the hot pot sellers. The relatively high entry cost and bureaucracy of starting a cart business means there is no high turnover with people employed to sell through carts.

Summary

Location has the largest influence on revenue. A good revenue ensures higher sales. In this business a good location is defined as one with high foot traffic of varied background. Also a location where there are many people on the move rather than stationary

Presentation and additions are the next influence. These include accompaniments such as sauces, kachumbari and the like. Appearance of quality in terms of not being burnt, oily and a general healthy look.

Presentation also includes grooming and overall cleanliness. This is an

important consideration among a section of female consumers.

Smokies are the most popular as compared to sausages and eggs. Sausages are being edged out of the market.

Consumer Behavior

As mentioned in the above sections consumer purchase smokies and eggs on impulse. That said in any prime location there will likely be more than one vendor and customers quickly able to make a quick choice if there is any hint of differentiation. Additions such sauces and Kachumbari are the first attractions. Where all the vendors have such the next quick consideration is presentation; an appeal to cleanliness or a neat arrangement that gives the impression that the products are really delicious. A neat arrangement with every product on its side gives the impression of sweet and clean. Also the way the smokies and sausages appear, influence purchase; color, are they oily? Do they look healthy and fresh or are they dry and twisted?

Grooming; hair, clean clothes, shoes and such give a quick impression of the quality of the products. Women are especially particular about the cleanliness and appearance.

Men are the largest consumers of both smokies and sausages; they are also more impulsive as compared to women.

Women largely prefer smokies, though there are still those who consume boiled eggs. There are also quite many women who prefer to take away the smokies. For this group the wrapping matters. Relatively women are more loyal than men. A woman will walk a few extra meters to purchase from a vendor they trust more.

Customers purchase smokies and eggs not to get full but more or less to satisfy a craving, an instant gratification. That is why taste is important. It’s what makes a customer have more than one.

That said taste is a function of the preparation skill, the kind of oil used, the storage and even the source of the smokies.

Many vendors prefer the reasonably expensive Farmer’s Choice smokies for their supposedly superior quality which entices customers. Nowadays Farmer’s Choice smokies come stamped with their logo which can easily be identified by customers.

An appealing taste tempts a customer to make an extra purchase. A repulsive taste in a market with so much choice will make the customer defect.

Like mentioned above there is always an advantage in extending common courtesy to customers however on the move they maybe. Acts of politeness and great service remain with the customer and there is always a chance they will visit the same locale again however long in the future.

Summary:

Consumers purchase of smokies, sausages and eggs on the street is impulsive, thus they will purchase from the vendor who is most conveniently located at a particular time.

Still consumers value any additions that value for their money or better still more than what they paid for.

Customers are largely motivated by Instant gratification in purchasing smokies, eggs and sausages from street vendors. Thus taste is important.

Presentation and appearance are important.

Men are the largest customers, but women are more picky and loyal in their purchases.

Like in any business great customer service is a plus

Manpower

Most of the businesses are run by owners who reward themselves by profits. In cases where an owner employs a vendor the reward is either by a daily wage or commission on the total sales. The daily wage ranges from Ksh.150 to Ksh.200. while the commission ranges between 20 and 40 %.

Commission on sales is the preferred reward method since it motivates the worker to give his best. In situations where workers fear that they may clash with city authorities and perhaps get arrested either for operating in the wrong places or lack of license trade , medical or otherwise they may insist that the owner guarantees to come ‘ rescues’ them in case of any eventuality at his cost .

Trust and initiative are important considerations before hiring. There is nothing to prevent a worker taking advantage of the employer’s investment,

in the cart and licenses to sell his or her own products. The employee can stock his own products instead of selling the owners items.

Average turnover is 2 months .Most workers quit to start their own businesses or pursue more profitable alternatives.

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