One of the key factors that will determine whether you are a success or failure in the hot dog business is your ability to identify and secure excellent locations.
Some stains are so good that you can milk them with a full-time position all day, every day. Other locations may have significant downtime where the business is dead, but they have certain times when you can really clean up. In some places, it’s all about syncing.
Let’s take a more in-depth look at typical hot dog spots, how to find these spots, and some of the factors that make one place better than another.
Here are some tips for finding the best hot dog cart locations.
Placing near a crowd
When deciding where to sell hot dogs, you should first look at the traffic flows in that specific location during a typical day to get a good idea of volume and potential. The best places are usually close to where people live, work, study, or frequently stop by. Get close to a hungry crowd and you can’t go wrong.
A hot dog is a common fast food item that is especially sought after by busy people. You are looking for people who are in a hurry and who do not want to waste time sitting in a restaurant to eat.
Locations and hours
During the day, you can place your cart near office blocks, shopping malls, educational institutions, or transportation hubs. At night you can do a good business outside the bars and discos or the large factories that have night shift.
Some locations may only be good for a few hours a day. You may find that you can maximize your earnings by moving, if you have a permit that allows you to do so. Keep accurate records of your hot dog sales at various locations and you’ll soon know where you need to be and when you need to be there.
Don’t forget the habitual nature of humans. Once they come to trust that you are in a certain place at a certain time, they will be disappointed if they discover that you are not there. Remember that your clients also have schedules. If your hot dogs can become part of a customer program, then you have a repeat customer who will be worth a lot to you in the long run.
While you don’t necessarily need to be afraid of places other food vendors are already working in, you still need to take this factor into account. Healthy competition could mean that the area offers excellent potential and you can enter and get your share of the pie. A place without competition could be a gold mine or there could be very good reasons why other providers have not been successful there.
Pedestrian traffic or vehicle traffic
Hot dog stands on the east coast are typically located in densely populated urban areas and are sold primarily to pedestrians. Foot traffic is usually easier to sell. However, in the South and West of the US, some hot dog vendors have roadside stalls that attract passing motorists. If people see your sign, if you have enough time to slow down, and a place to park, then you can do very well on a busy stretch of highway.
You need time to develop rentals
While you will get an idea of the potential of the locations after spending a few days working on them, it is difficult to make a judgment after such a short period of time. It can take local people several weeks or even months to discover your cart and sample your hot dogs.
After a while, you will establish a good relationship with the people in the area and get some clients who approach you regularly. So don’t give up on one place after just a few days. Unless things are looking really bad, you should give a location for at least a month to reveal its potential to you.
Hot dog sales at events and festivals
An excellent opportunity for a hot dog stand owner is to obtain the right to manage a stand at a fair, concert, show, or other type of event. If such an event is going to have a large crowd, then you should be able to do quite well if you know how to run a booth efficiently.
Once you make the right connections and learn how to access these concerts, you can literally write your own paycheck. Many hot dog vendors work these events only four or five days a month, but they earn as much as those who work at permanent venues.
As the owner of a hot dog cart business, you should always keep your eyes peeled for promising new places to sell your wares. The old saying from the real estate industry also relates to the hot dog business, ‘Location, location, location.’ Knowing where to sell hot dogs is as important a talent as knowing how to operate a stand.