There has been a lot of comments slinging around with regard to Colin Kaepernick’s decision to sit during the National Anthem. However this is much more serious.
A hot dog shop in Kaepernick’s hometown of Turlock, CA, Main Street Footers, has taken a hot dog named in the quarterback’s honor off the menu. The CK7 included chili, coleslaw, Jalapenos and something called “Kaep Sauce.” It is still listed on their online menu, but it is no longer available in the store. It was $6.05 and was first released during the run to Super Bowl 47.
One of the co-owners said people were on both sides of the fence on this topic, but they decided it was just easier to remove it from the menu, rather than deal with the controversy surrounding it.
Just what exactly is Kaep sauce? So far its a secret. That could open up a whole different discussion here. Now that Colin has lost his name on the menu board its gotta be down hill from here on out.
Always cooked fresh Bombdiggity Hot Dogs & Cateirng
Restaurants Brands International , the parent company of Burger King and Tim Horton’s, had a nice start this year, thanks to the hot dog.
Why it took so long for a fast-food chain built around “flame-grilled” products to make a a hot dog line, is anyone guess but they did. Burger King added its Grilled Dogs line on Feb. 23, about five weeks before its quarter closed. That introduction was an instant success and likely part of the reason RBI delivered such strong results in their 1st quarter.
Hot dogs may have been an unlikely choice, but the company proved the idea was spot on when it actually reported on April 28. Burger King delivering a 4.6% increase. Overall system wide sales grew 7.9%
“Innovative product launches and continued expansion of our global footprint drove favorable comparable sales and system wide sales growth for the quarter,” said CEO Daniel Schwartz in the earnings release. “We believe our focused approach on delivering a great guest experience and growing franchisee profitability will support long-term, sustainable value for our guests, franchisees, employees and shareholders.”
While both RBI brands have been doing well, it’s likely to only get harder from here. Burger King operates in a space where there is constant pressure to produce the next big thing. Grilled Dogs meets that need for now, but it won’t be long before consumers want something fresh.
Thanks to Fox Business for the story
All this talk of Hot Dogs make you hungry? Check out our Hot Dog Catering Menu
Twitter is a great tool to use in your mobile hot dog business. It lets customers know where you are and best of all its free! Using Twitter also allows you to build relationships with your customers. Here are some simple practices you can use to improve your following on Twitter and in your business.
To build customer loyalty, strike up conversations with your followers. You can take requests for special orders and deliveries. While you are at it ask followers what their favorite locations are around in your local area. If you get a good review about your food on Twitter, retweet the comment for more exposure.
Just posting tweets without some personality will go unnoticed. Try to make people laugh with witty comments or humor. It lets your customers know there’s a real person behind the business, and they’re likely to keep an eye on the page if they’re entertained.
Twitter is a tool you can use to drive people to your location, but you can also use it to drive people to your website and blog. Businesses can use Twitter to direct followers to their websites to learn more about the company and to increase sales if they have an e-commerce site like Bombdiggity Hot Dogs.
Your number of followers isn’t always a measure of your success on Twitter. When you first start doing this only a fraction of your customers will be on Twitter. So pay attention to how often people tell their friends and co-workers about your location. It’s important to look at how your Twitter strategy is impacting day-to-day operations.
Announcing promotions and contests through Twitter encourages repeat business. Try a 50% off deal for the first 3 customers who saw you on Twitter. This keeps them tuned in to your tweets and adds business for you.
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Bombdiggity Hot Dog Catering
As in earlier posts I said you need to get everything legal. It’s not an easy task to do but it is the most important step. It has been quite awhile since my last post on the Hot Dog Business. In defense I do run a successful Hot Dog Catering business and do not sell books on how to do so. My hot dog business takes up a lot off my time. Keep that in mind when you get the urge to start this kind of business.
Also I want to add that we are still working on the interviews at TrapperSherwood.com of owners of successful hot dog businesses. Those people are busy also and it’s hard to schedule time with them, but it is coming together.
Ok Location, here are a couple points from experience. You can set your cart out in front of a Lowes or Home Depot. You do have to pay rent to a third party. They will make sure you have the correct permits, license, and insurance. (the legal stuff) Different states and cities have different regulations. I had to petition my local city to allow my cart at one of the above places. I would check to see if there is enough traffic at the location you have in mind. I’m sure Home Depot and Lowes do not have the traffic they had 5 years ago when the economy was booming. Your specific area may be different.
You can also go your local hardware store and ask if they mind if you have your cart out there. Offer the employees a lunch deal not offered to the public. Varity is a key here. You will loose customers if you don’t change things up a bit. Maybe the local court house is a good location for you. Check and see if that is a possibility. What I am trying to say is get in the car drive around to where you think you might want to put your cart and start counting the traffic. This will take some time, but its better than spending money on an unknown.
One last idea, start a Twitter account and start following all the mobile food businesses in your area. That means follow them on Twitter and physically follow them to see where they go and what happens. I know a food truck that was new in the business and did exactly that. He is very successful now.
Next topic: how to make Twitter work for your business.
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.
Ok so if you have been following along I started a series on how to start a hot dog biz. We we have been pretty busy at Bombdiggity Hot Dogs so I apologize for not blogging sooner. To pick up where I left off, we have been working on the interviews and will be available soon. I will post the links in this blog.
Let’s go back a step to the planning stage. You will need to check with your local heath dept. BEFORE you buy a hot dog-cart. I have seen numerous ads claiming that “Our cart will pass the toughest health dept. regulations.” My business is in California, a lot of what I see on the net will NOT pass code here in Ca. In fact some counties will not allow a steamer cart but will a griddle cart. Don’t ask me why it’s just the way it is. This one step will save you money and a whole lot of grief. Get your list of what is needed from the health dept. and then go to a reputable builder with the specs.
Check out your local city laws to see if food carts are legal. A lot of cities will not allow mobile food carts. From experience I can tell you that the county health dept. does not talk to the local city. So what may be legal in the county is not in the city or vice versa.
Ok so now you have your cart and all is legal what about insurance? You need to buy some liability insurance to cover you in case someone says they ate your food and got sick. No insurance means you could lose a lot! Liability insurance is not expensive for one or two carts. You can probably pay for it on a monthly installment program also.
Next post will be on the food aspect: What do you start with and where to get it.
In a previous post I wrote about people in America who risked their retirement or savings and bought a hot dog-cart. One thing they all had in common besides the obvious was no plan. They all did not go into business and plan to fail, they just failed to plan. So I thought I would create a series of posts about starting and running a hot dog business.
The most important point is to plan ahead. Ask questions like will the cart I am looking to buy pass local or county health department codes? Most local or city governments do not communicate with the health dept. So what may be ok in your city might not pass with the health dept.
Most of what I see on the internet is “Buy this cart and in a few days you too can be your own boss making money by selling hot dogs!” It simply does not work that way. Case and point: read this post about someone selling hot dog carts on eBay and not delivering.
caveat emptor about anyone claiming to help you make it big in the hot dog-cart business. I have spent the last 6 years building my business up to where even in December and January we are busy. It didn’t happen overnight and I didn’t get it from reading some internet “Hot Dog Book”.
New this year We have teamed up with trappersherwood.com and will be doing a series of interviews with successful hot dog-cart owners so that you can get some awesome info for free. In fact if you have a question you would like to ask contact me and I will make sure we put it in the interview.