Need concession trailer advice

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EC.Mason
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2012/06/28 21:36:23 (permalink)

Need concession trailer advice


Hello, I read the site often but this is my first post. I am thinking hard about buying a 6x10 concession trailer.However when I looked at pictures of concession stands at some of the local festivals where I plan to set up, they have some really nice and large trailers. Will I be able to make decent money with a smaller plain trailer? Thanks and I really look forward to your advice.
#1

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    Hot Dog Empire
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    Re:Need concession trailer advice 2012/06/28 21:49:19 (permalink)
    Welcome! I would suggest reading some of the Sticky's in this forum. they will point you in the right direction. You will probably take some abuse from some of the seasoned folks here. Some of them have a low tolerance for posters that want all the answers provided in 1 post for them.
    To give you a brief answer to your question, it comes down to how many orders can you process in an hour.........and what % of the people attending the event, will buy from you? You can sell 200 dogs off of a picnic table in 20 minutes if you have the staff, your system down and theirs a line waiting. You could have a 8 X 20 trailer and sell 30 dogs an hour with the same staff. It will depend entirely on how many people want what your offering and how quickly you can turn the orders around.
     
    That being said, a bigger trailer expands the items you can offer. It also increases your rental for the space and other factors. Take a few nights and review this site. You will find everything you need to know.
    #2
    EC.Mason
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    Re:Need concession trailer advice 2012/06/28 21:59:29 (permalink)
    I appriciate the help. I do plan on reading through this site and absorbing as much info as possible. I am planning on starting a concession business, I just want to try and get my ducks in a roll before I do. Thanks again and I'm sure I'll have more questions as I begin this process.
    #3
    CCinNJ
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    Re:Need concession trailer advice 2012/06/28 21:59:30 (permalink)
    Welcome to Roadfood!

    Nobody here is abusive.
    #4
    EC.Mason
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    Re:Need concession trailer advice 2012/06/28 22:12:31 (permalink)
    Thanks for the welcome CC. I look forward to talking with you all and learning all I can. I just found this site a few days ago and have already found a wealth of information just reading through some older posts.
    #5
    CCinNJ
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    Re:Need concession trailer advice 2012/06/28 22:25:39 (permalink)
    If/when someone sounds as serious as a heart attack it's because they might realize that someone might be headed for trouble. It could be about a menu that does not make any sense or live wires. It's always with the best intentions or we would be watching Real Housewives.
    #6
    EC.Mason
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    Re:Need concession trailer advice 2012/06/28 22:34:20 (permalink)
    Ha ha.. I appreciate the advice; and honest answers is what I'm looking for. I want to be successful when I begin my concession business and will gladly accept criticism that I can learn from.
    #7
    Foodbme
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    Re:Need concession trailer advice 2012/06/29 03:56:04 (permalink)
    Any food venture needs to be built from the inside out.
    First decide what you're going to prepare and serve.
    Then decide what equipment you're gonna need to prepare and serve the product.
    Then decide how much storage area you need. Dry & Cold.
    Find out what your Health Department requires in terms of electrical, plumbing, sanitation hoods & vents, food prep areas and equipment.
    Do a floor plan for the most efficient work flow and use of the equipment.
    USE EXACT MEASUREMENTS. Measure twice, cut once!
    Once you have all these factors under control, THEN AND ONLY THEN decide what size trailer you will need to efficiently operate your business.
    Trying to figure out how to put 20#'s of Manure in a 5 # Bag never works.
    Don't pre-judge the trailer size.
    Many a vendor has wasted money, efficiency and capacity doing it backwards.
    The 6 "P"'s:
    Proper Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance!
    post edited by Foodbme - 2012/06/29 04:00:45
    #8
    EC.Mason
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    Re:Need concession trailer advice 2012/06/29 15:56:03 (permalink)
    Thanks. I am about to buy a 5x10 trailer to make hotdogs, hamburgers, funnel cakes, fried peppers, and if I have the room cotton candy I figured this would be a good start up trailer to see if I really liked the business and could make a profit. What do you all think of the menu?
    #9
    Foodbme
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    Re:Need concession trailer advice 2012/06/29 17:29:45 (permalink)
    EC.Mason

    Thanks. I am about to buy a 5x10 trailer to make hotdogs, hamburgers, funnel cakes, fried peppers, and if I have the room cotton candy I figured this would be a good start up trailer to see if I really liked the business and could make a profit. What do you all think of the menu?

    Looks like you didn't read a word I wrote. You're going about it Ass Backwards!!! 
     Re-read my post above!!!!!!!. When you say things like "If I have the room" indicates that you haven't done enough pre-planning and thought the whole thing out. Suggest you not spend a dime on a trailer until you figure out if everything you need will fit it.
    post edited by Foodbme - 2012/06/29 17:35:13
    #10
    CCinNJ
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    Re:Need concession trailer advice 2012/06/29 17:44:02 (permalink)
    What do you mean by fried peppers?

    I assume in Sandy Hook KY it's poppers. In Sandy Hook NJ it would be sautéed peppers.

    Have you been to the festivals you would like to work?

    How many other vendors are doing the same items that you would be doing?

    Have you talked to any of the event organizers?
    #11
    EC.Mason
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    Re:Need concession trailer advice 2012/06/29 18:51:43 (permalink)
    Well the previous owner said she sold the same things beside the fried peppers, but it comes with a double deep fryer. I believe i will have enough room, and I'm not sure if I am going to buy it or not, but I can get it at a good price and hate to miss out on it.
    #12
    EC.Mason
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    Re:Need concession trailer advice 2012/06/29 22:18:04 (permalink)
    CC, yeah it's sliced banana peppers covered with batter. They are really popular around here butive never seen them sold at a concession trailer. I have heard of Sandy Hook NJ, wonder if it's as small as my Sandy Hook.
    #13
    EC.Mason
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    Re:Need concession trailer advice 2012/06/29 22:55:09 (permalink)
    Food, I do appreciate your advice and I have studied on it and you are right. I need to make sure I have enough space for what I need. I am working on that now.
    #14
    CCinNJ
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    Re:Need concession trailer advice 2012/06/29 23:14:51 (permalink)
    The banana peppers would be popular here too!

    You can prepare some questions for the owner to pick her brain about her experiences (pro & con) about the landscape. Some might be taken with a grain of salt depending on how much she wants or needs to sell quickly. But it's a good start.

    Is the trailer ready-to-go from a mechanical point of view as it pertains to inspection(other than any addional items you may decide to add)?


    Are the events limited to a certain season? If so are there any
    events like Farmers markets or holiday events that will provide work...if your season will have idle months? Are you ok and flexible in an additional career or have enough financial security to have idle months without income from this business?

    They can be rhetorical questions to ask yourself and consider.
    post edited by CCinNJ - 2012/06/29 23:25:45
    #15
    Foodbme
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    Re:Need concession trailer advice 2012/06/30 04:26:33 (permalink)
    EC.Mason
    Well the previous owner said she sold the same things beside the fried peppers, but it comes with a double deep fryer. I believe i will have enough room, and I'm not sure if I am going to buy it or not, but I can get it at a good price and hate to miss out on it.

    NOW THAT'S A DIFFERENT STORY!!!
    You didn't tell us the whole story.
    Based on the wording of your original post, I was under the impression that you were buying an empty trailer, not one with some equipment in it. Still, your equipment and work space will determine what you can offer unless you gut it and start all over.
    I feel like a preacher preaching to an empty church. Pass the plate anyway!
    #16
    CCinNJ
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    Re:Need concession trailer advice 2012/06/30 08:43:55 (permalink)
    Maybe today's sermon will be about the good things that happen with patience and understanding. Usually quick enlightenment. Amen.
    #17
    EC.Mason
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    Re:Need concession trailer advice 2012/07/02 22:29:46 (permalink)
    CC, the previous owner used it before she bought a new one and it passed previous inspections. Most of the festivals around here are in the summer and fall. I'm a middle school principal so I do have an additional source of income, but thought this would be something I would enjoy and make some extra money. My biggest concern if I do buy this trailer ( which I had better decide soon) is getting started and learning the ropes as far as determining how much food to bring and getting event contracts.
    #18
    EC.Mason
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    Re:Need concession trailer advice 2012/07/02 22:31:46 (permalink)
    Food, sorry I should have been more specific trying to explain myself. I do appreciate your input and advice.
    #19
    CCinNJ
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    Re:Need concession trailer advice 2012/07/03 08:11:18 (permalink)
    If you are considering buying this from an owner that is still in the business with another trailer...it's important the trailer for sale is thoroughly inspected by someone (with experience in equipment service & repair)...on your own behalf. Things change...break...get swapped...are in better condition than something somewhere else etc. sitting idle for you to inspect or have inspected before purchasing.
    #20
    Foodbme
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    Re:Need concession trailer advice 2012/07/03 18:58:26 (permalink)
    Buying a used trailer is like buying a used car. Let the buyer beware. Be sure to get everything checked out by a good Electrician, plumber etc. Also have a mechanic check the brakes and wheel hubs for bad bearings.
    #21
    Buck & Vi's
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    Re:Need concession trailer advice 2012/07/03 19:13:12 (permalink)
    5x10 is a pretty small trailer to do all you say you or the previous owner did. perhaps thats why she /he is upgrading too, looks like you'll be working alone as there prob. isnt enough space for 2 in there, sides that little sucker is going to be HOT. if the owner is pressuring you to buy let it go... dont let them or the idea you might lose out hurry your decision. think this thing thru......with this economy theres more out there believe me.what about a tow vehicle? do you have sufficiant means to tow a trailer?
    #22
    EC.Mason
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    Re:Need concession trailer advice 2012/07/23 19:12:07 (permalink)
    Buck I decided against the 5x10 and am going to look at an 8x10 in the morning. I have a pretty good deal worked out on it if I like it.
    #23
    EC.Mason
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    Re:Need concession trailer advice 2012/07/28 01:15:14 (permalink)
    Well I bought a trailer. It is a 6x10. A little small but good for a starter. I bought it for $2100. It has four sinks, counters, hot water heater, water tank, waste water tank, and all the plumbing and electrical work great. Needs painted and cleaned but I'm looking forward to fixing it up and making it my own. I'm sure I'll be asking for more advice since I am now committed. Looking forward to learning the trade through experience and on here.
    #24
    happyhotdogs
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    Re:Need concession trailer advice 2012/09/02 09:22:11 (permalink)
    This looks like the thread I should start with...I'm also new to the biz (parents had a concession stand in Daytona Beach, FL when I was 11, but what 11 yo pays attention ).  I'm building a trailer, fairly small -- 4'x10', but me and my partner saw an even SMALLER one selling hot dogs/chips/pop (which gave us the idea).  We are at the point of putting up the wood paneling/FRP.  The wiring is roughed already.  Fridge and roller are 110v, lights 12v, and single-well steam table I converted to propane.
     
    I was curious about coney sauce, equipment/process-wise tho...could I get away with a 12" single burner (LP) and steel pan to a brown ground beef onsite to avoid a "commissary" agent scenario?  As HD clearly states "No food will be prepared at home..." We have an AWESOME recipe for coney sauce and wanted to avoid the "dog food out of the can stuff", even tho that would be easier.  Also, I would only prepare batches in the morning before serving; can I double duty the top of the steam table area to set this up, then tuck away when done (1/2 hour max of use)?  SS behind that small area?  Sorry, a lot of questions about what seems a simple thing.  Also, if I make enough to have for later use, can I just container it and freeze (again, onsite in small freezer of small fridge ).  I appreciate any wisdom shared in this area!
     
    When/if we make decent money, we'll definitely go bigger on the trailer next time!
    post edited by happyhotdogs - 2012/09/02 09:24:45
    #25
    happyhotdogs
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    Re:Need concession trailer advice 2012/09/02 09:28:01 (permalink)
    EC, GREAT buy on the 6x10!  Did you get any cook equipment with that?
    #26
    happyhotdogs
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    Re:Need concession trailer advice 2012/09/02 09:34:04 (permalink)
    (sorry for multiple posts, but trying to get my posting numbers up)
     
    Ok, as we get closer to "launch", we're trying to get a handle on how much dogs/sausages/buns/pop/etc to take out to our first setup...?  It's a flea market venue, one of the larger ones in Ohio, and we imagine what we should have, but any experienced input would be great.  Also, we're planning on having a cooler with ice to keep pop/water cold...any other suggestions?
    #27
    CCinNJ
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    Re:Need concession trailer advice 2012/09/02 10:47:15 (permalink)
    Welcome happydogs

    It might be better to start some seperate threads of your own. Building thread...food thread etc. to avoid any confusion.
    #28
    happyhotdogs
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    Re:Need concession trailer advice 2012/09/02 10:51:28 (permalink)
    Ok, I can do that.  Copy/paste here I come!
    #29
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