[/size]Welcome to Roadfood Professionals![/size]
We re glad you re here. You have just discovered one of the best resources on the web for restaurant professionals and those looking to start a food service business. You will find people of all levels of experience here on Roadfood. All are willing to help. There is enough information on this site to keep you busy reading for a month. We are anxious for you to begin posting and contributing to the forum. But first, we have prepared some basic information for those just entering the business, with the hope that it will help you get started. It will also help prevent the same questions from being asked over and over, thereby keeping the forum fresh with new commentary and making it a place for all to learn, both experienced and inexperienced. The purpose here is not to recreate every post on the forums, but to briefly address some of the most common questions.
I am interested in the hot dog vending business. What should I do first?
The first thing that you must know is that the hot dog/concession business may be simple, but it isn t easy. Many of the Get-Rich-Quick books and television shows would have you believe that you can buy a hot dog cart or concession trailer, work 3 hours per day, and profit $100,000 per year or more. The reality is that it s not that easy, and very few people, if any, operating a hot dog cart for 3 hours per day are going to make that kind of money. You should also plan on spending a couple of hours each day on prep time and cleanup. Working in the concession business also requires physical labor such as carrying ice, coolers, generators, cases of food, soda, etc& You should also evaluate your personality to determine if you have the right one for food vending. Most vendors are characters . They are at least outgoing types who love people and love working with the public. If you are overly shy, grumpy, or just plain mean, you might want to consider another business. Now that you are grounded in reality, let s answer the question.
The first thing you MUST do is determine the legal constraints related to your new venture. This means that you should contact your local Health dept. or Dept. of Environmental Services and learn about the regulations concerning push cart or concession trailer operation in your municipality. In many areas of the country, food vending from a push cart is strictly prohibited. These requirements vary by city, county and state. It is for this reason that members of the Roadfood community cannot answer specific questions about what is required to operate a cart or trailer in your specific community.
What specifically will the Health Dept. or Dept of Environmental Services specify or control?
Again, this will vary by city, county, and state. But some of the most common items are:
[*]Types of foods, including toppings that can be used and sold. It is very common for push carts to be limited to hot dogs. They will also specify the manner in which food is handled, stored, thawed, cooked, and at what temperatures your food must be maintained.[*]Size, construction, materials used, and equipment used in the cart/trailer.[*]Commissary requirement-Most municip,47,601829,0,42283,220.127.116.11
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