The first things anyone thinking of getting into a Food Cart operation should look into are.
1: Contact the Health Dept, find out what their design requirements are for a street Hot Dog cart
2: Talk with the HD about menu restrictions in your area, if you can’t grill onions and peppers, they you don’t need a grill on your cart. Find out about all menu Items that are allowed, and build your menu from there.
3: contact the City and see how ( Cart friendly) they are, and see what kind of road blocks you may run into.
4: test out as many Hot dogs and cooked/smoked sausages, Chili, with friends and family. Build your menu around what works well in your area. Go to eat at other carts in the area, check out the pricing and quality they serve.
5: The quality of the product you serve is your “Mission Statement” if you serve quality, you will be known as a quality operator that serves the best quality food in town. It is only a matter of time until people hear about your operation, and make your business a success.
6: don’t go into this business with “Blood Money”, Blood money is all the money you have, with no room for error. You need to have a money reserve to pay your bills and support your family for at least 4 to 6 months, if not longer. This is not a business with over night success, it takes time to build, enjoy the journey, and realize the destination could take some time to get too.
7: The Hd Cart is a restaurant on wheels, everything you do, the foods you serve, are just as important as any restaurant in town. You are a one person show, love this business, love talking to your customers and give them 100% customer service and food quality. I have never known anyone in the food business that, loved what they did, served a great quality product, did their home work, knew there customers what’s and needs, that didn’t succeed in the food business. this business is all about passion, and love, for want you do, always give them more than they expect, they will be back.
8: The food business isn’t for everyone, this is a very hard business to succeed, it takes a special kind of person with, drive, determination, love, passion, and caring I feel there are two kinds of people in this world, “Givers and Takers” I think a Giver will succeed, these are the people that smile and enjoy taking care of peoples needs, they are great at customer service and don’t need to be told to smile. These are the people who will have the best chance at being successful. The “Taker” will only worry about how much money hes making, doesn’t worry about anything but himself, screw them if they don’t like it attitude, they will not be in business very long.
9: it doesn’t take a lot of energy to run a failing food service, be prepared to work hard and work long hours to insure the success of your operation. make your business top priority and with some luck, your family will help you, and back you up 100%.
10: shop local, and get the best prices, get market specials when ever possible, money saved is profit at the end of the day. Having a large food service company is not feasible for a small company. get specials at the bread store, look at buying Hot dogs in larger volume to get better pricing, talk to people in you area that deal with your product and may be able to help you with lower prices.
11: After you get your cart, practice in your back yard on family and friends. learn the ins and outs of the cart and how it works. Hook up, and set up your cart 20 times or more until you feel comfortable doing it. know the cart and menu like the back of your hand. The first day of operation should be a 10% learning exp,47,599214.001001001001003001001,7,90655,126.96.36.199
599337,598751,599334,2010-07-13 11:15:00.850000000,Re:NEED ideas along I95 going to FLORDIA from PHILA”