The Perfect Hot Dog

perfect hot dog

 

Creating the perfect hot dog starts with cooking, Steam then put on a grill just for a few seconds sears in the flavor.  If you can’t steam then you can boil but wait until the water is boiling then put the hot dog in long enough to reach 140 degrees then put it in a frying pan with a little oil and cook it for about a minute.

 

The Dog

When it comes to the meat, there are two main types of hot dogs: beef and pork. While some may never have thought about the difference, I think beef will give you the best flavor, and you will want a 100% all beef hot dog.

The Bun

The first criteria for a proper bun should be the perfect fit. Hot dogs and buns go hand in hand and should fit as closely. The goal for the bun should be with every bite, you experience dog and bun as one, and not have bun left after the hot dog is gone.

The bun is a carrier for the hot dog and therefore texture and flavor need to be kept in mind.  A steamed bun is a perfect start.  Then grill with butter until the edges are brown. “When the casing of the hot dog is snapped with the first bite, those juices are unleashed and there needs to be a bun there ready to collect and not get soggy and fall apart.

Toppings

Once you’ve got the perfect hot dog set in a perfect bun, plain ketchup will not cut it. Starting with a steamed and toasted bun, put grated cheddar cheese, inside the bun and then put the dog on top. It will soften and melt the cheese, then top it off with grilled onions, diced tomatoes, fresh crumbled bacon, a touch of avocado, zig zag some brown mustard on top. Finish with a sprinkle of celery salt.

 

Using Twitter In Your Hot Dog Business

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.

Follow Us on Twitter.

Starting A Hot Dog Business: Location

Bombdiggity Hot Dog Cart

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.

 

 

Starting A Hot Dog Business III

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.

Starting A Hot Dog Business II

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.

How To Start A Hot Dog Business

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.

Hot Dog Cart Builder Fails To Make Good.

More than a dozen consumers have been left out in the cold when they spent a few thousand dollars to order hot dog carts on eBay and got nothing in return.

The Better Business Bureau of Central Virginia says more than a dozen people have complained since August 2009 about a Barboursville company that goes by two names: “Virginia Hot Dog Cart Company” and “New World Hot Dog Cart. Co. ”
The company allegedly offered two carts on eBay for $1,500 and $4,300, but never delivered them, says Tom Gallagher, president of the local BBB.

One complaint filed this month says a buyer sent the seller money through a wire transfer and was told the cart would arrive in about a month. It never arrived, but a contract did — saying the buyer had five days after date of purchase to cancel the contract. Unfortunately, it arrived a month too late.

After almost two months of being told that the cart was lost, that there was a new delivery system, that things were crazy because of the holidays AND that the cart would arrive next week — still no cart. And the owner refuses to return the money.

Gallagher says the BBB plans to contact state and federal authorities.

If you’re planning to make a big purchase from an online auction, officials usually recommend an escrow service, particularly for items over $500. The service receives the item from the seller before sending the payment.

EBay recommends Escrow.com, and warns consumers of many fraudulent escrow companies — so if a seller suggests another company, investigate that company first.

In addition, avoid paying for online auction purchases via wire transfers, which carry few to no fraud provisions compared to credit cards.

Thanks to Walletpop for this info

America’s Youngest Hot Dog Vendor

I remember as a kid mowing lawns, raking leaves, or shoveling snow to earn a buck. I thought that spirit had long faded away. You don’t see kids doing those kind of things for money anymore. But today I read about a 10-year-old boy who is in the process of starting his own hot dog business!

Young Parker from Virginia with the help of his dad has purchased his first hot dog-cart from money he saved up. Parker decided to go into the hot dog business as a way of paying for college. Right now he is awaiting permit approval, and will be out there selling hot dogs soon.

Peadawgs Owner

America's Youngest Hot Dog Vendor

Parker is also has a website for Peadawgs.

My hats off to Parker and his parents for instilling in him the work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit to make this happen.

A Happy Ending for For Freds Franks

 

freds-franks

A couple of months ago I wrote of a guy who had his Hot Dog Cart stolen, Frank Martucci owner of Fred’s Franks in Orangeburg, N.Y. Thugs stole his only means of supporting his family; his hot dog-cart. In the update  Mr. Martucci received a loaner cart from a business owner in his local community.

Today Fred Martucci celebrates the grand reopening of Fred’s Franks on Route 303, and the community who supported him through the last few difficult months.  Fred’s insurance company replaced his stolen trailer with a new one. 

“The trailer really is beautiful,” he said. “I was very blessed to find it, but I was also blessed to have all of this support from the people.”

Fred’s first hot dog-cart was  10 foot by 7 foot. His new trailer is 2 foot longer and has an extra umbrella to shield customers from the elements. The new shade of yellow makes him visible from a few hundred feet in any direction.

“People tell me it just pops out at them from a distance,” Martucci said.

Fred’s Franks has never had a grand opening so today is his grand re-opening.

Police are still looking for the criminals who stole the original Fred Franks hot dog-cart back in september, but at least Fred is back to his location and selling hot dogs. What a great ending and just in time for Christmas.

We do Hot dog Catering  in Southern California. Look us up sometime.

A $50.00 Hot Dog???

teddys haute-dog

 

Well just when you think you have heard it all… out of New York comes the $50.00 hot dog!  If you want to go try it bring your curiosity and wallet to the Roosevelt hotel’s Vander Bar and order the Teddy’s Haute Dog. Made from Kobe beef and is topped with foie gras shavings, balsamic onions  “accessorized” with black truffle fries and caviar aioli. If you go and eat a Teddy the hotel will donate 10% of the proceeds to City Harvest  a local charity in NYC.

$50.00 for a hot dog is crazy but not the world record. The current record holder of Guinness Book Of World Records and the globe’s most outrageously priced hot dog goes to  Serendipity 3  in NYC. The price of their hot dog? $69.00. Sigh! you can watch the video