Effects of the Informal Street Food Vendors’ Operations on the Socio-cultural and Economic Wellbeing of Nyeri Town Public

  • Asborn J. Misiko Dedan Kimathi University of Technology
  • Rodgers Isaac Kisiang’ani Dedan Kimathi University of Technology
Keywords: Informal Street Foods, Vendors, Streetpreneurs and Consumers
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Nyeri town boasts of informal street food vendors found on almost every street, offering products ranging from indigenous to trendy cuisines. During evening hours, the informal street food operators compete for the street space with the town public. The design and the size of the town’s major streets have not been reviewed to accommodate the increasing number of informal street food vendors and the growing urban community. This study investigated the effects of the informal street food vendors’ location, products, operating time and modus operandi on the Socio-cultural and Economic Wellbeing of the urban community in Nyeri town. The researchers combined the integrated model, neo-Marxist and neo-liberal theories to contextualize the development and growth of informal street foods. Neo-Marxist theory posits that the informal sector expands as urbanization increases, and the Neo-liberal theory –argues that entrepreneurs pursue informal sectors in order to operate outside the official business frameworks to explore the subject of the study. Using the cross-sectional survey design, the study adopted the enumeration and convenience sampling techniques to select vendors and consumers respectively that responded to the questionnaire administered face-to-face. The qualitative data was analysed using the thematic content analysis, and the output was transformed into quantitative data to give percentages and frequencies. The informal street ventures inconvenienced street users, especially during rush hours. The food-related waste and a cocktail of food aromas made the street ambience less attractive. The equipment used on the streets and the unsecured fire points posed a great risk to the public. The study concludes that informal street food ventures provide employment that sustains livelihoods. The informal street businesses facilitate the flow of resources, and promote the mainstream economies like agriculture, retail and food manufacturing, thus contributing to wealth creation in the county. The study recommends benchmarking to explore ways to change the perception that informal street foods are unsafe, unhealthy and the ventures make the street look unattractive. In countries like Thailand in the city of Phuket, informal street foods are conducted in an organized manner


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23 February, 2024
How to Cite
Misiko, A., & Kisiang’ani, R. (2024). Effects of the Informal Street Food Vendors’ Operations on the Socio-cultural and Economic Wellbeing of Nyeri Town Public. African Journal of Tourism and Hospitality Management, 3(1), 30-55. https://doi.org/10.37284/ajthm.3.1.1778