Home › Forums › Restaurant Professionals Forum › Restaurant Professionals Forum › Can a hot dog cart hold its own at a fair/carnival against the trailers and concessions? › Re:Can a hot dog cart hold its own at a fair/carnival against the trailers and concessions?
The basic fact remains is, for any size outfit, you can only put out so much product in a specific time frame. What you can potentially make (potential $$ profit based on max amount you can sell), compared to how much you will pay to get into the event. How much will you have to sell to cover your costs? When we did SocorroFest last fall, we were up against 3 big trailers, plus 4 smaller outfits and 1 school outfit. We were the only ones who were street vendors. What we got stuck with was sold the following week (unlike the big boys who tossed it). Nighttime lighting is very important (we didn’t have any). That year’s Fest did poorly, according to one of the big boys who was a local guy and had set up for several years. The only one who did better than us was the roasted corn lady… and for what she was selling, it wasn’t that good. Attendance was poor and spending was worse. When we broke down how much we profited per hour, we found we made more on the street for the same hours of setup involved. Bear in mind this was a small local event and many of our customers were folks who had patronized us on the street. BTW, we are self contained and need no electrical hookups or water. Lesson learned… we do not want to do a 2 day event. Friday night was late cleaning up and Saturday started early and ended late. That was a lot of work for not enough money. We are also family run (David, me and our daughter). On the street, just one of us operates the cart. For a bigger event (including flea markets) David makes the dogs, sausages & BBQ sandwiches, and another takes care of stocking the bun pan, making change, serving canned drinks/chips. A third person is good to spell the other two for rest and bathroom breaks.