Venturing into a hot dog stand business is more than just cooking the wiener and smothering in the relish. It would take a good amount of commitment for you to make it work. But once you set it all up and get the hang of it, fun and profit will come your way. Before you pull out your wallet and purchase that hot dog cart, here are a few tips to get you moving on the right direction.
- Search for a profitable location. First thing to know is if the area where you would want to set up your hot dog stand allows this type of business. There are some communities that have health ordinances that restrict not only hot dog stands but as well as similar food cart businesses. Study the area and search for locations where large number of people passes through every day. Also, check on the competition, an average sidewalk may be a better spot as compared to a busy street with too much competition.
- Research on the feasibility of your business. If needed, scout other vendors and see how they fair in a day. Compute the cost of running the business by adding your variable cost (hot dogs, napkins, relishes and the like) and your fixed cost (permits, electricity, gas, etc). When you get the sum, compute how much hotdogs you need to sell in a day to break even. Now keep in mind that you need to make a profit so ask yourself if you could surpass the number of sale needed to break even.
- You need to examine the health code requirements as well. Would you need to have wash sinks, hot and cold water? You may also be required to attend a food handling course. A number of counties host seminars like these every month. Make sure that you know the health requirements in the area and abide by it.
- Get a permit. As a requirement as well, you need to get a seller and reseller’s permit. You can get these from the city hall and should be easy and inexpensive to acquire.
- Get your equipments ready. The cart, the cooking utensils, food gear, coolers are some of the things you will need which you can purchase at a restaurant supply store. Expect to spend around $6,000 to $8,000 if you opt to get a new cart, for a used cart you can get it at half the price or even lesser in some cases. Another option would be leasing the equipments that will entail less capital expenses upfront. Don’t disregard franchising as an option as well. Some companies offer food cart franchising which includes the popular hotdog stand.
- Plan your supply. Being that your choice of business is one that has the danger of food spoilage, research on stock level requirements. Plan your inventory so that you have supplies handy anytime but not too overstocked so as to avoid spoilage. It would be a good idea to shop around for your supplies as well. Canvas restaurant supply stores and bulk warehouses in the area that offer the best prices. If your needs are moderate, you may also want to check out your local grocery store as supply stores and warehouses may have large order quotas which you may not reach during the initial phase of your business.
The hot dog stand business is an attractive business venture especially to those who dread the 8 hour desk job. As with any other business, there are a lot of risks involved especially during the first 6 months of operations. If you are committed enough and treat each day as a learning experience, your hot dog stand will certainly go a long way.