Home › Forums › Restaurant Professionals Forum › Professional Hot Dog Vendors › Can Anyone be the Voice of Reason on my Projections? – Please!!!! › Re:Can Anyone be the Voice of Reason on my Projections? – Please!!!!
I am not a hot dog vendor but I do know plenty about the business from my friends and family who are and were vendors going back 25 years. In urban areas where weather is a factor…vendors have to be there in poor conditions. They knew the weather factors going in and the customer base will be there regardless. You just have to look to how the other somewhat open (non hot dog vendors) deal with it in your area…and see what can be done. Snow is not as bad as wind & rain. It is usually pretty windy here…with or without rain.
When you establish a market (new concept) for a “packaged” product (from another country) it is hard to shy away from the brand you select to sell. People are not used to the product (right now) as part of daily life and when it is new to them they want to know all about the product…and will have questions. When people from other countries come to the United States…many ask for Coca Cola even though there are plenty of other sodas here. When you are banking on selling American hot dogs in a big tourist/ex-pat metropolitan area (like London)…you have to select a quality easily recognized product or products. You might be the (or one of) the first mobile hot dog vendors in London….but most likely not the last. If you do well enough there will be people wanting a slice of your pie. It is very important to cement your own business as not only the first…but the best before any potential competition shows up as “a man or woman with a better plan”…and more popular hot dogs.
Let them chase your success vs. competition selling a cheaper cheap hot dog or a smart business cookie who tries to trump you on your own original concept.
Hi CCinNJ It’s great talking to you and the other contributors here, food for thought!
I agree with what you say. I want to offer “American-style” Hot Dogs. While a significant part of my business will eventually be Americans, who I’ll try to please with the best quality imported Franks, the vast majority of my passing trade will be UK office workers. My thoughts are as follows: Most have never had a chilli dog or a dog with kraut or cheese or coleslaw. Here dogs, as you know them, are not sold on the street – at all! The best we get are low-quality English pork sausages, fried on a hot plate and served with fried onions. There are no interesting sauces or toppings. So just the idea of buying a Hot Dog with a good selection of toppings from a cart like we have always seen in Kojak etc. is part of the American “style” and also an opportunity to try eventually compare it with the Sabretts or Vienna Beef. I know it is hard to cover all bases, but I’d be worried to limit my offer to the premium side – at least at first.
You are quite right, that competition will come. Hopefully my product and branding will be strong enough. I think one of the considerations might be just how hard it is to get a location here. The city is not especially keen on isolated sites, they prefer hot food vendors to be grouped together in a type of market scenario, not on the main st.
So in that way at least I’m fortunate.