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!!!
Good to hear you are back! I’ll second all of what quickdog said, and most importantly, work smarter not harder. I think all of us went through what you are describing unless we grew up in the business. When I started back in July of this year, it was one comical error after another along with bringing to much, or forgetting something like hot dogs. Give it some time and it will start flowing, you will get a good handle on what you really need to bring and what you don’t. One thing I did was cut back my menu to two items, dogs and cheese steaks, which made life much easier. When the money started flowing in, is when I started looking for other suppliers where I could not only save money, but save enough to buy in bulk which has not only saved myself time, but allot of money. I have saved around $200 a week off of my supply purchases by finding different wholesalers and buying in bulk when possible.
Then I forced myself to have a routine, I was all over the place in the beginning. Now, I force myself to do as much of the following days prep the night before instead of going to the fridge and grabbing a beer. Not cutting veggies, but stocking of product, checking what I have and don’t have and if I run out, I have enough time to get to the store if need be in the morning. I have everything down to a little less than 3 hours a day right now, 2 hours in the morning to get ready as I putz around and a good hour at night for washing pans and restocking the trailer. Right now it is about a 12 hour day six days a week with one day to run to the city to buy supplies.
Then your storage area, where you keep supplies. Get a good sturdy shelve and keep your dry and can goods there. And if you can, get a dedicated refrigerator and a freezer and make an inventory list of what goes in there and stick to it. Keep all of this in the same area, don’t have stuff here and there, centrally locate everything you use if it is possible with the fridge and freezer. I went to my local appliance store and bought the scratch and dent home appliances and saved around 50% off of retail while still keeping the full manufacturers warranty. I played around with used equipment and had terrible luck and it wound up costing me more money than the savings I thought I had.
The drinks and chips, push them and find out what your regular customers would like to drink. I was selling Coke and Diet Coke, but a majority wanted Pepsi and Diet Pepsi which I happily purchased and I now sell more sodas. I don’t offer a combo meal, and know that I could sell more (at a lesser profit) if I was to offer one, but as of now it is not in the cards as most of my customers are there strictly for the food. And like was said, buy the coolers with wheels, they are a back and time saver as you can use them as a cart to help speed up setup.
Those are some of my experiences and it really has been an adventure. Just stand back and take a deep breath as it will all come out in the wash the longer you do this. And again, glad to hear that things are getting better and you are back!