Hello to all the hot dog pros

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Scoopgirl
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2006/03/22 08:15:35 (permalink)

Hello to all the hot dog pros

Good Morning everyone. I wanted to introduce myself first, my name is Rosey and was recommended to the Roodfood boards by a friend. I currently own a mini golf/ice cream stand and looking at adding hot dogs and sandwiches to increase my lunch time ticket. Over the years my main business comes in the evening. Now all around my stand is construction and one large business that employee's about 100. There are a couple places in town for them to eat, but one is more of a fancy sit down and the other is a Subway. Other then that, they have to go 5 miles to fast food alley. So I am hoping if I can just get some of those in, it will help.

I have been going back and reading some of the messages but still have a lot to read. However, I do have a question on the cooking of the hot dogs. I have noticed that most talk about boiling or steaming their dogs. I have talked with a couple of food reps and they have all pointed me in the direction of the roller. Have any of you had any experience with this? I have very limited space that I am dealing with. I would really appreciate any suggestions or tips that I should look out for.

Have a wonderful day.
#1

21 Replies Related Threads

    Sundancer7
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    RE: Hello to all the hot dog pros 2006/03/22 08:40:48 (permalink)
    I see that you are from Virginia. I suggest you email Chicago Style Dog as he is one of our lmany hot dog experts on this forum.

    At the bottom of the page, you will notice a locater called "members". Click on that and locate him and I am sure you will get some good advice. In addition there are numerous topics under hot dogs and professional restaurants that can surely give you some help.

    Good luck and welcome.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #2
    Xfireguy
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    RE: Hello to all the hot dog pros 2006/03/22 09:41:12 (permalink)
    If you have ventilation go for a flat grill, I would personally stay away from the roller. I won't buy from a place that has a roller. Just my opinion. Good luck.
    #3
    drsmoke02
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    RE: Hello to all the hot dog pros 2006/03/22 09:42:36 (permalink)
    Personally I really like the flavor of a dog off a roller.I eat them all,but a boiled/steamed dog is way down on my list!

    Good luck!

    If you go with a roller buy a good used one.
    #4
    dreamzpainter
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    RE: Hello to all the hot dog pros 2006/03/22 10:29:05 (permalink)
    As you can already see, you'll get both ends of the spectrum here. I personally consider a roller dog the last chance conveniance store choked down sustenance. My first thought was a couple of electric frying pans, you can steam/grill dogs and sausages in one, fry/grill burgers, sausage patties, minute steaks etc, in the other. I don't know how that would vibe with your local reg though. It would mean a minimal outlay to start, add in a toaster oven for frozen fries and perhaps a small microwave and you can provide a variaty of lunch items
    #5
    Scoopgirl
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    RE: Hello to all the hot dog pros 2006/03/22 10:53:52 (permalink)
    Thanks for the input so far. X-fire, there is no place in my stand to have an exhaust system installed. The area I am looking at using for hot dogs is only about 3'. I will have a sandwich prep refrigerator that can keep the toppings for the hot dogs and the sandwiches. In addition, I am trying to avoid anything that I have to fry. With it being a small area, I don't want the smell of the cones etc being over powered by fried food. The only time I would be selling hot dogs and sandwiches is during lunch, from 11 - 2. Evenings, our ice cream business is too brisk to worry about making food. If we had to do both it just wouldn't work. If adding a limited menu this year increases the revenues, then next year I will build a bigger building with indoor seating etc.

    #6
    chicagostyledog
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    RE: Hello to all the hot dog pros 2006/03/22 13:26:05 (permalink)
    Scoopgirl, boiling hot dogs is the easiest method. It also produces a much tastier product than something made from a roller grill which is usually overcooked, greasy, and exposed to the elements. If you don't have a steam table for boiling water and keeping the product at temperature, the next best piece of inexpensive equipment is a hot plate with a pot of water. If you have electricity, there are many companies offering electric counter top hot dog carts. They range in price from $450-$700. With a counter top cart, you'll look like a pro and, that by itself will increase your sales. http://www.concessionstands.com/itemdesc.asp?ic=8080

    Good luck.

    CSD Born in Chicago
    Raised in Chicago
    Moved to Wisconsin
    Selling Vienna Beef hot dogs and Polish
    Selling hot dogs since 1956
    #7
    drsmoke02
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    RE: Hello to all the hot dog pros 2006/03/22 14:47:24 (permalink)
    Some additional advice I give everyone in you nich is,sell hard boiled eggs.They take little room you can get 50-75cents ea.Everybody likes them constrution workers love them,especially on thursday when they are down to their last few dollars for lunch.
    #8
    NebGuy
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    RE: Hello to all the hot dog pros 2006/03/22 14:56:28 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by drsmoke02

    constrution workers love them,especially on thursday when they are down to their last few dollars for lunch.

    You're joking I hope.
    #9
    phatphil
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    RE: Hello to all the hot dog pros 2006/03/22 17:28:49 (permalink)
    i would go with a hot dog and italian beef selection only, both only require simmering water, not boiling and by far a blue collar mans favorite lunch, at least where i came from
    #10
    roossy90
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    RE: Hello to all the hot dog pros 2006/03/22 19:50:24 (permalink)
    Personal taste here. I liked grilled, or roller. I dont do boiled dog's.
    #11
    UncleVic
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    RE: Hello to all the hot dog pros 2006/03/22 22:25:32 (permalink)
    I'd do the hot dogs "Dirty Water Style" in your steam table... You'll be glad you did when you get hit with volume. Have the customers put their own basic toppings on (you add the kraut or chili that you charge extra for). Keeps the lines flowing quickly.

    Another suggestion would be cold sandwiches (ham, turkey, chicken and roast beef). Have them premade and wrapped in the cooler. Again, let the customers add the toppings as they wish. Just collect the money and hand them the package.
    #12
    ScreenBear
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    RE: Hello to all the hot dog pros 2006/03/23 09:41:25 (permalink)
    Scoopgirl,
    What an exciting opportunity. The possibilities are enormous.

    I don't know an iota about the hot dog business. I'm just an ardent hot dog imbiber. However, I always look at the roller grill as a last resort. To me, it says, "Look, I just wanna make some money and I really can't be bothered with any preparation."

    Boiling/steaming, on the other hand, is completely acceptable and not very complicated. Insofar as brand of dog, if there is a locally acknowledged favorite, you might go that route. If not, Hebrew National is always a solid, reputable brand.

    You also might consider this. If you really don't have that much food competition, serving two sizes of dogs could be the way to go. A regular, 8 or 10 to a lb dog for snackers; and a 1/4 lb dog for people looking to eat a good-sized dog as their lunch or dinner. You could serve the big one on a nice, appetite-satisfying roll.

    Insofar as the quality of products you offer, you must decide: Do I just want to make some added revenue, or do I want to eventually become a Destination hot dog purveyor, whereas people drive out simply for the dog, regardless of whether or not they're playing miniature golf?

    Lots of luck,
    The Bear
    #13
    drsmoke02
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    RE: Hello to all the hot dog pros 2006/03/23 13:01:45 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by NebGuy

    quote:
    Originally posted by drsmoke02

    constrution workers love them,especially on thursday when they are down to their last few dollars for lunch.

    You're joking I hope.


    Actually Nebguy, the only joke here is you.

    I sell 12-15 dz.on a normal thursday,half that many on the otherdays.
    #14
    gschwim
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    RE: Hello to all the hot dog pros 2006/03/29 05:43:16 (permalink)
    Because a hot dog steamer takes so little space, I would try to fit in a small grill, too, and offer customers a choice of steamed/boiled or fried. That way, you please everyone. But whatever you do, be sure to offer a hot dog with a casing. My least-favorite choice would be a skinless hot dog cooked on rollers.
    #15
    ohman
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    RE: Hello to all the hot dog pros 2006/03/29 09:11:22 (permalink)
    Scoopgirl I sell dogs 6 days a week, very few here can say that. Grilled taste much better but if you have many customers hit you at once you will need to boil them or you wont keep up.
    #16
    Kinsman
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    RE: Hello to all the hot dog pros 2006/03/29 11:33:06 (permalink)
    I sell dogs at the race track four months out of the year.
    I grill the dogs and hold 'em in dirty water. I grill the buns which I think makes a huge difference.

    You might get an electric flat-grill...you could even set a soup insert on it with broth or dirty water to hold the dogs, and you could grill the buns too.

    Grilled buns on hot dogs, hamburgers, sandwiches of any kind. Makes the difference.

    Did I mention grilled buns?
    #17
    sizz
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    RE: Hello to all the hot dog pros 2006/03/29 12:10:56 (permalink)
    for starters and if you have electricity try using the cheapest way to cook and keep your hotdogs hot and out of the elements ............ "rice cookers"
    #18
    oldfrt
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    RE: Hello to all the hot dog pros 2006/04/02 18:23:31 (permalink)
    Agree with Chicago Style. Boiling is a great option and cheap. Steam tables are good also and if you get a multi tray table and you can also steam the buns which also is good! A high run rate may be better served with boiling as steam will take more time when adding more Dogs that are cold and the preparer having to sort out the new cold ones from the hot ones.

    Rollers are OK for those that like a "grilled" type of Dog but personally I like Boiled or steamed Vienna's being from Chicago. IMHO. Rollers also take time and limited to the surface size. Boiling overcomes these constraints!

    Remember: Not Chicago Style Dog is ever served with Ketchup!! LOL.

    Don

    #19
    blohatchii
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    RE: Hello to all the hot dog pros 2006/04/02 19:20:57 (permalink)
    I have to agree with Drsmoke02

    I had a catering truck in Naples, Fl back in the early 80's when all the golf courses were being developed and I sold hard boiled "exlarge or jumbo" eggs for .35 -.50 ea. depending on size. I sold about 5 dozen a day except for thursday when I sold three to four times that amount. I knew better than to ever show up without any. Also make sure you have plenty of "hot sauce" for the eggs.

    No Joke. to each there own, don't knock it unless you have tried it.
    #20
    bassrocker4u2
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    RE: Hello to all the hot dog pros 2006/04/03 09:39:04 (permalink)
    scoopgirl, you should play it smart with the minimal space you have. many of us old school would quickly buy a flat top grill. you can keep the dogs in a third pan (with water)on top of the grill, and have room on the grill for other stuff like sandwich meats, grilled onions and peppers(in case you add some sausages), even burgers, minute steaks, grilled cheese...e.t.c. yes, you will probably need exhaust system and fire system, so never mind....
    hhmmm,,,, there was a place in fl. with similar situation. the owner bought a pizza showcase warmer for his counter, and made hot subs(cuban, mostly). he kept his subs in that warmer and they sold really well. (i think you can profit much more from hot sandwiches than from a hot dog.) perhaps you could even sell pizza by the slice that way, and profit more per sell...or those personal size pizzas...
    #21
    blytheak
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    RE: Hello to all the hot dog pros 2006/04/21 14:10:37 (permalink)
    I've volunteered to co-chair our Little League's "snack shack." We took a look at the equipment and they have a disgusting looking roller grill with rusted rollers. They have been cleaning it with oven cleaner. We are going to replace it, but are trying to decide between a steamer or another roller grill. Our number one concern is ease of cleaning. Some of the steamers I've seen look pretty cheap and flimsy. On the other hand, the roller grills are expensive - and how do you decide between stainless steel, nonstick or whatever rollers?

    Thanks so much for your help.
    #22
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