I most certainly hope not stubby77!
In Michigan, you start the process all over again. It took a good 3.5 months to get to the review phase for a custom built trailer. The trailer construction took 4 weeks. Welcome to the world of street food.
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I most certainly hope not stubby77!
It would be me running it maybe me and my wife and then if the trial days turn out well then maybe a employee.
I was looking into some of those ‘informational’ help hot dog video things… But decided against it, because I wouldn’t want to waste time and money on it unless it was good or ‘useful’. So that meant doing research on what one was best, most informative, and most helpfull… Then I realized, that research would just lead me to outlets where I could find out what I needed to know anyway. [:)]
Besides always been a big fan fellowship and all that. Information should be free. And thanks to those on this site thats possible. And when I know, and someone else asks I will return the favor.
Thanks for your help guys (crossed fingers)
Check too on whether the licenses are transferable or not. If they are in his name (as an individual or sole proprietor), you might have to start licensing from scratch.
Liquor license… Now you know what we go through. If he is established and it is a simple transfer of the license, AND you can set up where you want, I say go for it. Just make sure the cart has a 3 bay sink set up to wash that plastic fork and hot dog tongs.
On edit: Who is working the cart? You, or are you going to hire someone?
Go to this site and spend the money for the info… http://hotdogprofits.com http://hotdogprofits.com/
You are correct I must say it really doesn’t sound like he has all his ‘ducks in a row’. I know the city and county are good with it I have 2 locations I’d be deciding between. I run a few business in central FL (drycleanrs and mexican restuarants)
This definitely does seem to be way more complicated than my previous endevours. Which is an amazing thought really… I could start a Drycleaner or a Mexican restaurant with less hassle it seems. But in the end way more money to start. yet this business endevour is by far the cheapest (I’m hearing from reading these boards) of the 3 to start and yet may end up being the most hassle. On par with getting a liqour lic.
I am hopefully meeting with him this weekend I’ll let you know if it turns out to be legit.
If it does turn out to be fully est. then am I wrong to think that it would be worth the extra $2k to avoid all the hassle?
It does not sound like he is established. Again, make some phone calls to the area you would like to do business and find out if it is even allowable. My last business was in trucking. It was a walk in the park to set up a full blown trucking company than it was to get permitted to sell my first precooked hot dog to the public.
Until you actually do that, you are just spinning your wheels.
What line of work are you in now, or were in? Any food experience? Not that it matters, just wondering because you are opening a real can of worms. At least it was a real can up here in MI. It took nearly 5 months to get things rolling, and by then the season was half over. Hell, you would think we were dealing in nuclear waste, not selling hot dogs.
I only ask because of the BS the locals on Marco Island FL are putting my buddy through to just get a permit to sell on the island. And he lives on the island, and has his 15+ year old fishing charter business located there and a small moving company. I just spoke to him today, he is still fighting to sell that first hot dog out of a mobile trailer. He is glad he has yet to invest any money into this venture, just saying.
Thank you both for your responses.
In this case that is exactly why I am asking if this is worth it. You see gathering a bunch of equipment together, I can do no problem, and as my small amount of research has shown I could get the same equipment likely for about $2,000.00 less than he is asking.
Though he already (suppossedly) has everything already established, as he was currently running it in the same area I’d be.
If all turns out to be on the up and up, Is it worth the additonal funds to remove (most of) the hassles that come with the legistics?
The hotdog cart business is not like the car business. There is not MSR that you work down from. From my research you decide what you want and then look for a cart builder to buy from. Some carts pictured on websites are over kill. Many (maybe most) HD’s won’t allow that kind of cooking on a street cart. Follow localnet’s advice and find out what you can do before you buy. As far as second hand equipment you can sometimes find great deals. Remember that food quality equipment needs to be NSF certified. A new recreational piece of cooking equipment may not pass inspection whereas a used commercial grill or fryer will. On the other hand if you plan on doing festivals then you can get by with noncommercial equipment.
Bottom line is that we have purchased both new and used equipment for our trailer. We usually look for used then buy new if we can not find what we want. American Hotdog used to be in south Florida. If they are still around call them and have them quote you the same cart new.
Call your local HD and the city or county where you think you may want to set up. They will have the final say on your business plans. I have a buddy down in Marco Island, he has been trying to get permits since June of last year, still no luck. Oh, he has the money to do it too.
Lu and Dave
First I’d like to start off by saying thank you. This board is filled with helpful information and people, that I have just hit the tip of the ‘iceberg’ on.
I have just recently been introduced to the prospects of the ‘hot dog vending’ industry. I am very intrigued, and in a point in my life where I need to start something new and different. From this last bit of research ( all mainly provided here on this site ) I have decided I’d like to go through the efforts and give it a shot. Now pardon me for saying but I don’t like doing ANYTHING half a$$ed! When I do something I don’t see failure as an option. So I went into a more detailed search. Which brings me to my first real question.
Is it a reasonable solution to start into this business with second hand ( used ) equipment?
Now normally I am not a big fan of buying anything used, or starting small, I go for the newest and best reasonable solution.
But I recently saw this one particular ad that stood out a bit on craigslist.
Everything Needed to Start your own hotdog cart business!! You won’t have to buy anything else to get started.
Sale of Cart Includes All This…
1) 2004 All American- New Yorker Hot Dog Cart with title Cart has: Flat top griddle, 2 burners with full steam table set-up, running water with hand sink(hot/cold), built-in cooler, fire extinguisher (just inspected). This cart was just inspected in Florida Feb 2011. The cart is already registered with DMV. Cart is 4ft long x 3ft 4inches wide. All Trailer lights are working. New front wheel for easy pushing from car to location.
2) Sabrett Hot Dog Umbrella- Like New
3) 5 hanging snack holders (for chips/candy ect..)
4) 4 ft table with folding legs
5) 3 Tongs, 2 Spatulas, all stainless steal pans needed to operate, 3 ladels, 5 sqeeze bottles, sanitizer bucket with tests strips, white cloths, 2 high temp thermometers, 1 cooler thermometer, cash box
6) 2 five gallon propane tanks
7) 20 Gallon waste basket with box of trash bags
8) ketup, mustard, spicy mustard with 3 reusable hand pumps
9) Signs: 4 ft HOT DOGS banner, 5ft Italitan Sausage Banner, 3 ft color italain sausage banner with picture, 2 A-frames with professional printed inserts, 2 jumbo magnets for sids of cart, lawn sign
10) Stand alone 3.5 ft portable grill with flat top griddle attachement (great for private parties or large festivals) increases your food cooking capacity at least 5x. Brand NEW.
11) 150 Sabretts Hot Dogs, 60 Hebrew National 1/4 pound hot dogs (all frozen, never opened), 2 cases of pepsi, 1 case mountain dew
12) Coleman portable deep fryer, with attachment for 5 gallon propane hookup, with thermometer and timer, 5 gallons of frier oil, frier oil strainer
13) 2 brand new chafer pans to keep food warm- comes with 12 brand new chafer warmer candles for under chafer
14) 2 Napkin dispensers with 3/4 case of napkins, 1 box aluminum foil hotdog wraps, 1 box paper hot dog holders, 2 boxes of disposable gloves
15) I am certified to proctor/administer “Certified Food Manager” and “food handler” exams, (Florida State Required). I will provide review and proctor 1 of each certification exam for free.
Dont’ waste your time looking anywhere else for a better deal!! I have everything you will need to start your own business.
Many other used carts are difficult to register at the DMV due to title problems ours is already registered, just transfer the plates.
He’s asking for $6,000.00. Now from my rough estimates this equipment all and all including banners and such even at retail price ( which I never pay because I am in advertising myself ) should only cost between $,47,641490,0,124811,220.127.116.11
641489,641328,641486,2011-03-18 10:57:05.277000000,Re:Costco’s new dogs”
I don’t mean to scare you off. I thought it would be pretty cut and dry when I started this business. You know, just go get the permits and such. It took months to get it all going and was just a nightmare in paperwork, including writing an entire SOP manual that a full blown restaurant requires.
Then I had a verbal OK to work in a certain area, and come to find out in the months it took to get going that the city changed the zoning laws on me. Now I had to start all over again trying to find a spot which honestly crippled me for another couple of months in regards to income.
Don’t get me wrong, it is a great business to be in, but the problems involved having a mobile food business can be quite daunting at times. Especially if you are in an area that does not like the competition that a street vendor brings to the local restaurants or are located in an unfriendly business state like we have here in MI.
Just do your due diligence and all should be good.
That is most definetly not good too hear on my end localnet…
I swear it’s like your trying to scare me off [:)] (just kidding)
And thanks Gene I hope it does turn out to be that way -‘ the site plan evaluation fee’.
On another note I’d love to ask you guys some more questions at some point (especially you Gene being in FL, and loacalnet because of his friend here) but alas… I can’t send pm’s yet.
Perhaps you two wouldn’t mind exchanging e-mail addresses.
j.work ‘at’ live ‘dot’ com
Hope to hear from you soon.
Thanks again to all the supportive / welcoming people here!
It sounds like you’re doing your homework well. My advice is to find a spot before spending any money, or at least get very specific information about setting up in the sort of places you are thinking about. My biggest challenge is local municipal regulations.
Unless things have changed in the last few years, a cart that has been licensed in Florida in the last year can be re-licensed without the $150 site plan evaluation fee for new carts. I believe the trailer tag is the same way. As for used equipment, go for it, but I wouldn’t pay $2000 more for the same equipment. That’s a pretty good list he gave you to take to the dollar store and Restaurant Depot. There are good hot dog carts all over Craigslist. If you have even a little time, they do show up fairly regularly and you never know what you’ll see.
Mine was in excellent shape and $750 less than the new one at the time. There’re some pretty fancy carts out there, but if you can sell “frankfurters only” where and when you hope to set up, you don’t really need anything too fancy.
The only hot dog cart I’ve ever looked inside is mine, but I’ll tell you this. It’s a steel frame inside stainless steel boxes sitting on a Great Northern trailer. It is completely re-buildable and I could probably do it down to the tires, plumbing and wiring for a few hundred dollars. They used cheap ass rivets to put it together, but I’ve replaced most of them. The pop rivets and gun cost about $7, I think.
Business start and sale question. (soory if this is a repost had a problem when posting)
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