It’s time to make your business plan for your hot dog business. In the fall and winter, many seasonal hot dog stands in the northeast (and other chilly climates) close for the season. Some may not ever open again.
If you are thinking about getting into the hot dog business, NOW is the time to plan. During the fall and winter, many good bargains can be had on used carts, trailers and trucks. Check Ebay, Craigslist and local sources too.
It’s also a good time to scout locations for the Spring and get all your permits and hot dog business insurance in place. I always recommend getting permits and a location BEFORE spending money on a cart, trailer or truck. Nothing is worse than having a new hot dog rig and nowhere to sell. The hot dog business is a simple business, but it’s not an easy business; it IS work.
The best time to start your business plan is NOW!
The best thing you can do if you are considering getting into the hot dog business is to plan and planning should start NOW. Write down a list of tasks to get your business plan started. Talk to property owners about setting up on their property and discuss rents (many businesses welcome mobile vendors as they draw traffic and provide a service for their customers), scout public locations and make sure your city or town will allow you to set up.
Speak with your local Board of Health and zoning officials to see what permits are required. ASK LOTS OF QUESTIONS- remember, public officials are there to serve YOU, not the other way around. That being said, be polite, be courteous, and make that Board of Health or zoning official feel like an “expert.” I know one vendor who melted the icy exterior of a notorious local Board of health official by doing just that. Remember, you catch more flies with sugar than vinegar!
If you find you are being stonewalled by local officials, don’t lose heart. You DO have a right to work and many local laws that restrict mobile vending have been found to be Unconstitutional. There are ways to get through prohibitive regulations, but that takes time. Decide if you want to expend the effort to “fight city hall” or if it just makes sense to move on to a more mobile food friendly location.
Good luck with your business plan. Remember, the most important thing you can do is to GET STARTED!