Ok So you have your cart legal, got your permits, and insurance. What about food? Most people new in the business start off buying hot dogs from Sam’s Club or some place like it. That’s fine if you want to be like every other hot dog person in town. What are you going to do to make your product better? I mean a store-bought hot dog pretty much tastes the same no matter who cooks it. So you buy your hot dogs from sam’s Club and to make a profit you have to charge $2.50 to $3.00 (your legal remember?) Sam’s sells a hot dog and a drink for $1.50. How can you justify charging double what they do and your customer gets no drink.
You can try to have hot dogs shipped in from another part of the country, something that is not in your local area. The problem is it will probably cost more to ship them which will raise the cost of your product. You will most likely have to buy in bulk to get the cost down, that’s fine if you have the freezer space.
There is a better way: have your hot dogs made for you. Most places have a local butcher shop that will make hot dogs for you. Talk to the person in charge and have them make you a batch. I can guarantee they will be better than any store-bought and will be your own. At Bombdiggity Hot Dogs we go through so many hot dogs we have a sausage company make ours. One of a kind and our brand. You can’t buy them at the store, and our customers love the one of a kind thing.
I know someone will say there is no butcher shop where they live. Ok so build up on the condiments. Do something different. Try something that doesn’t normally go on a hot dog and call it your own.
How much food should you buy? Well only what you can sell in a weeks time. This will take a bit of practice like anything else. There is no magic number, you will have to learn on your own. The same holds true for your sides like chips, nachos, and sodas, only buy what you will sell in a weeks time or however many days you plan to work.
Next topic: The 3 most important factors for success: 1 Location 2 Location 3 Location
We are in the final stages of our interviews and will post the info here and at TrapperSherwood.com. These are great free audio interviews with successful hot dog-cart owners.