Home › Forums › Restaurant Professionals Forum › Professional Hot Dog Vendors › Hi all! Still don’t know whether I’m coming or going!!! › Re:Hi all! Still don’t know whether I’m coming or going!!!
Your baker offering to store your meat, I would take him up on that if it is not to much of a logistics problem to get access. Most bakers around here are only open a few days a week and close around noon.
Now, your sodas, sell them for 90p, as you have to cart them along with you. And if you are not selling that many, what the heck, get the most bang for the buck or pound. And throw this notion that you have about what the customer perceives as a “value” out of the window. I know here, I charge as much as I can get away with. My Chicago Style Dogs can be had for $1.99 not far from my stand, but I charge $3.50 and it is my best selling dog. My cheese steaks I sell for two to three dollars more than the local competition and they are my all out best seller. My customers have told me so many times, and they say they come to me because the food is so much better and worth the extra cost to them as they know I am using a premium product that they cannot get anywhere else in the area. I even have regulars that commute from Chicago to Detroit that stop at least once a week for the Chicago dogs, as they have told me they are better than the ones in Chicago!
My secret to selling for top dollar is pushing the fact that when you get a Chicago Style Dog from me you are getting the real deal, as all of my product is sourced from Chicago that is needed to build this work of art, and that is how I build them, to look like a work of art and I let my customers know, I even give them a viewing before I put the wraps on it. Same with the Philly Cheese Steaks, I source my bread and rib eye steak right from Philadelphia the home of the Cheese Steak. I let my customers know that, along with informing them I used to be stationed in South Philadelphia and lived on Cheese Steaks, which is the honest to God truth. I also inform them that I know what they are supposed to look and taste like as well as how to properly prepare one on the griddle. You ought to see my business, I have more first time customers telling me they were told by their son, daughter, mom, dad, co-worker etc., that I have the best cheese steaks this side of Philly and now they are regular customers that want to know when I am opening a proper take out joint so they don’t have to stand in the weather. I don’t have a high volume business, but the average sale is around $14 and it does not take many of those to turn a slow day into a good day. I can see needing a larger trailer come next year with a nice 5 foot griddle.
So, what is my point? Be excited about your product and charge as much as humanly possible! And your product, buy the best that you can afford and brag it up, let them know that they are not getting McDonalds and you are more than just a guy trying to make a buck, LOVE the FOOD, and try to convey that to your customers and watch your business grow. I wish I would have had a few months more in my present spot, as it would have carried me right through the winter and into spring. It still might, but a few extra months would have kicked my business over the edge. Next year the numbers should be very good if my math is correct, we should get darn close to six figures.
This is a serious business with serious profit potential, just LOVE the FOOD and they will come as long as your location will support it. Because it still boils down to location, location, location to realize good if not great sales numbers. It took 7 weeks in my present location to get the word out, and it was a long 7 weeks but now it is paying off, I just wish it was August.