It is important that you get the right mix of products to sell in your hot dog business. The products you choose to sell should be easy to transport and prepare, offer good profit margins, and most importantly, be what customers want in a specific location. If customers are happy with your product selection and like your hotdogs, then they will become the regulars you need if you want to achieve a great level of profit.
Menus should be fairly simple both in design and in the variety of product offerings that are included. If your hot dog cart menu is too complicated, customers will get confused and you’ll waste time answering questions. On the other hand, if your menu is too simple and doesn’t meet common demands, you’ll be leaving money on the table and not maximizing profit potential.
Don’t forget to include some ‘bundle’ deals to encourage customers to include other menu items along with their hot dog purchase.
Here are some common hot dog cart menu ideas to consider when trying to decide exactly what products you want to sell.
The best hot dogs
First of all, you must have excellent hotdogs and possibly a variety of different types. When it comes to hot dogs, some people prefer regular wieners, while others prefer variations like Polish or Italian sausage.
Size is another interesting variation you can offer if you’re doing decent volume. Not everyone wants a full sized dog and you can give your customers more choice by offering ‘foot long’, medium or smaller size options. You can also offer ‘double dogs’ for meat-loving customers.
Take into account the demographics of the area you decide to locate in when preparing your menus. People of different age groups or backgrounds will have different preferences when it comes to the style of hotdogs, snacks, and drinks they like. If you’re settling in an area with a Jewish community, you’ll need to offer kosher menu offerings. For a muslim community you would do well to have a halal option etc.
buns and toppings
Second, you have to combine your hot dogs with fresh buns and condiments so that you can put together an interesting menu for all tastes. Of course, many people like to pick their own toppings, but if you offer them a choice of ‘Chili Dog,’ ‘Chicago Style,’ or other options, then they can go for your offerings instead of wasting time deciding exactly what they want. .
Sauces and dressings are numerous in variety and a good vendor should stock everything that is commonly requested. At the basic level you have sauces like ketchup, mustard and relish. Other common sauces include barbecue sauce, hot sauce, and mayonnaise. Toppings can include onions, cheese, sauerkraut, pickles, chili beans, and even coleslaw. These are just a few ideas and there are plenty of websites you can check out for some of the more ‘gourmet’ options people are looking for these days.
Don’t forget to take regional preferences into account. If you’re just starting out in New York, you’d be foolish not to consider including red onion sauce on your hot dog cart menu.
Other hot fast food items
If your license allows it, you may decide to offer a variety of other fast food items. This can often make things more complicated than they need to be, as you have to have the space and equipment to prepare them. A common fast food item that complements hot dogs is French fries with various toppings, such as cheese fries or chili cheese fries.
Cold foods are great because they generally require little preparation on the spot. Hot dog carts often sell coleslaw or other types of salads. Nachos could also be great for your menu as they can be made quickly and easily.
Snacks and Drinks
Adding snacks like chips or chocolate bars to your menu is a doddle. They require no heating or cooling, can be easily stored, and give you a good profit margin.
Beverages take up valuable refrigeration space, but are a fast-moving item with a big markup. For soft drinks, opt for cans over bottles, as they generally take up less space in the cooler. Don’t forget to also offer bottled water.