One of the key factors that will determine whether you are a success or failure in the hot dog business is your ability to identify and secure great locations.
Some places are so good you can practically milk them with a full-time stand all day, every day. Other locations may have severe off hours where business is dead, but have certain times when you can really clean up. For some places, everything is a matter of time.
Let’s take a deeper look at typical places where you can sell hot dogs, how to find these places, and some of the factors that make one place better than another.
Here are some tips for finding the best hot dog cart locations.
Positioning near a crowd
When deciding where to sell hot dogs, you should first look at traffic flows to that specific location throughout a typical day to get a good idea of volume and potential. The best places are often close to where people live, work, study, or frequently pass by. Stand near a hungry crowd and you can’t go wrong.
A hot dog is a common fast food item that is especially sought after by busy people. You are looking for people who are in a hurry and don’t want to waste time sitting down at a restaurant to eat.
locations and time
During the day, you can locate your cart near office blocks, shopping malls, educational institutions, or transportation hubs. At night there is a good deal to do outside of bars and clubs or large factories that have night shifts.
Some locations may only be good for a few hours a day. You may find that you can maximize your earnings by moving, if you have a permit that allows you to do so. Keep accurate records of your hot dog sales at various locations and you’ll soon know where you need to be and when you need to be there.
Don’t forget the usual nature of humans. Once they come to trust that you are in a certain place at a certain time, they will be disappointed if they discover that you are not there. Remember that your clients also have schedules. If your hotdogs can become part of a customer’s schedule, then you’ve earned a repeat customer who will be worth a lot to you in the long run.
While you don’t necessarily have to be afraid of places that are already being worked on by other food vendors, you should still be aware of this factor. Healthy competition could mean that the area offers excellent potential and you can jump in and get your share of the pie. A place with no competition could be a gold mine or there could be very good reasons why other providers have not been successful there.
Pedestrian traffic or vehicle traffic
Hot dog stands on the East Coast are often located in densely populated urban areas and sell primarily to pedestrians. Foot traffic is usually an easier sell. However, in the southern and western US, some hot dog vendors have roadside stands that attract passing motorists. If people see your sign, have enough time to slow down, and a place to park, then you can do just fine on a busy stretch of road.
Rentals need time to develop
While you’ll get a sense of a location’s potential after spending a few days working on it, it’s hard to make a judgment call after such a short period of time. It can take several weeks or even months for local people to discover your cart and try your hotdogs.
After a while, you’ll build a relationship with people in the area and get some clients who come to you regularly. So don’t give up on a place after a few days. Unless things are looking really bad, you should give a location at least a month to reveal its potential to you.
Sale of hot dogs at events and festivals
An excellent opportunity for a hot dog stand owner is to obtain the right to operate a concession stand at a fair, concert, show, or other type of event. If such an event is going to be attended by a large number of people, then he should be able to do quite well if he knows how to manage a booth efficiently.
Once you make the right connections and learn how to get access to these gigs, you can literally write your own paycheck. Many hot dog vendors work at such events for only four or five days a month, but earn as much as those who work at permanent venues.
As a hot dog cart business owner, you should always keep your eyes peeled for new promising places to sell your products. The old saying from the real estate industry also relates to the hot dog business, ‘Location, location, location.’ Knowing where to sell hot dogs is a talent that is just as important as knowing how to operate a stand.