Home › Forums › Restaurant Professionals Forum › Professional Hot Dog Vendors › Introducing myself and an IDEA for dealing with anti small business city planners › Introducing myself and an IDEA for dealing with anti small business city planners
I’m Jerry and I’m a newbie to the mobile vending business, but I’ve been lurking & learning here and elsewhere for a few weeks.
I’m expecting my cart in a few days (a 2010 Big Dog from Ben’s Carts) and before anyone asks, I got pre-approval with my HD, I’ve filled for my state tax permit, filed my DBA form with the County, and jumped through many of the seemingly endless hoops required to warm up pre-cooked hotdogs and sell them. [lol]
My full time job is that of a law enforcement officer in a nearby town. THAT town is a fairly business friendly community of about 20,000. Pay your $25.00 Privilege License fee, take care to remit your taxes & have a HD license, and you’re good to go with the permission of the property owner.
The town I live in is much bigger. Around 100K residents and city planners that would have been right at home in the third reich. These bozos want $250.00 per location for up to 14 days for mobile food service. Move your cart FIVE FEET, and yep, $250.00 again. It’s also $250.00 for the privilege of setting up in the downtown area, but only for 120 days.
I say all of this, because I have found a work around that may help some of you set up shop and be legal in the process.
Instead of setting up as a mobile food service/vendor, I’m setting up my business organization as Mobile CATERING.
My town and many of the others that “give the business” to street vendors, don’t have a thing to say about catering operations. So here is what I’m doing about it.
If I want to set up at a grocery store parking lot, liquor store lot on a Friday night, or a nightclub on a Saturday night, I’m going to make up a simple “catering” agreement. In this agreement, I will provide catering services to the businesses employees (a hot dog and a drink) at either no charge or a grand total of$1 and I will also agree to offer services to their customers at our usual and customary rates (like a $5.00 combo meal 2 dogs, chips and a drink).
With all of my health, state, & county licensing on display and a “catering agreement” for a function on private property in hand, I don’t see where the city will have a leg to stand on. Oh, I’ve also applied and been granted a “Residential Accessory” business permit from said city for being able to use my home for office matters, so I’ve got a city license to boot!
One thing I made sure to do was find out about the city requirements by phone before filing anything. Once I knew what the requirements for mobile food service verses Mobile Catering were, I worded all of my forms and even my business clothing made online at cafepress.com accordingly:
Our uniform shirts to wear anytime we “cater” to a business, factory, etc.:
Our “Mustard” apron front:
I’ve also talked to one of our local printing companies about logo designs and wording for the cart. I’ve been playing around with this in photoshop. If anyone has any ideas to make it look better, I’d love to hear from you:
As I said, I’m being very careful to brand just about everything as a catering operation.
What do ya’ll think?
I’m glad to be,47,602092,0,116451,184.108.40.206
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