I am just about done with lic in Florida..here’s the dirty secrets for you to know. First it takes 3 weeks to “maybe” get approved…then even though they approved you..it takes “ANOTHER THREE WEEKS TO GET THE DAMN ‘F” ING LIC IN THE MAIL!!!! they cant fax, fed ex, or even let you drive up and get it! You got to wait another “f”ing month! to get your lic…so be warned if you think you’ll be up and running in a month…think ten times over.
Second popcorn is good if your going to do festivals…but there very expensive..and there is a lot of mob like behavior..you ever wonder why a hot dog at the state fair cost 5 dollars! well when your paying 300 plus A DAY…and that’s not including ice, hot dogs, buns, water and sodas and chips…your in the hole for a few grand…before you start..Other festivals not as much but most are 180 plus a day times three. And they are power mad people..they will not let you leave early if you sold out so if your out of product and don’t want to start up another batch you could be there for hours till closing time…
Popcorn and this is just my 2 cents is early 20th century street vendor food. You would do better with a shaved ice machine and 32 flavors of flavoring for the ice…especially in Miami. Ice is CHEAP..and Flavoring is CHEAP..and in south Florida where it’s hot as hell for 11 months of the year..I would do snow cone ice machine. You can get them for about 800 new or a very high end one used.
Or you do meat ..Hot Dogs…it will take you about 2 months to get lic if not more.. you will need insurance if on city property…that’s 500, commissary is 400, lic of new cart is 600…so before you every cook or boil a pan of water if you get a 2,000 dollar cart your looking at more than another grand…and that doesn’t count you need to get a state tax id..because you are self employed you will pay both sides of SSI..so that’s 15% plus 7%…and you will have to pay taxes every quarter..and I would pay the IRS before I bought a bottle of water to live…with this administration and hiring 15 thousand new IRS agents!…you better keep every damn receipt you got and put it in a safety deposit box. Get a few folders to keep all your lics and paper work.
After you get your cart, your lic, your insurance, and drove around to different stores for your product to price out..then you got to find a spot..now since you won a lottery do they give you a map of where you can set up…if so..all your spots could be taken..though you never see anyone there…you can own a spot and not work it the whole year if you want…long as you pay on time…and this is a dirty little trick I have seen…I have seen multiple lic with same last name but different first name…and they will buy up the spots around there cart so there is no completion.. just a heads up.
So then you got to find a spot…make sure it’s not too close to a bar or place serving food..as most city codes say. Then you got to get the word out..
IF I were you throw out the popcorn and go with a snow cone or hot dog. Popcorn is a vending machine item unless you make flavored popcorn and you cant do that unless you lease or rent a FL lic kitchen..and then your right back to how much is your time worth to sale blueberry popcorn…
Snow Cone..I get my two big white coolers that fit in the back of my truck. I call up the local ice making warehouse, tell them I need 200lbs of ice and maybe 20lbs of dry ice…I make sure my ice shaver was clean and blades sharp..I pick up the ice…have the boys do it..I’m paying them not going to do there job…get to my spot..set up my little shaved ice cart…and start calling out to the kids and parents about this new flavor called sponge bob…better known as banana pineapple flavor..the kids love it the parents love it cause it’s not to expensive and you made a new customer.