Newbie Hot dog cart in Florida....info please

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Jamigirl
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2006/11/11 11:48:47 (permalink)

Newbie Hot dog cart in Florida....info please

Hello..
well, it's been a year, and i still have not started with my new business yet, until recently, when I came to the conclusion that my job is just getting me nowhere. Ok, time for some action, but knowledge is power, so I have been trying to soak up anything I can get to start up my Hot dog cart. I cannot afford a big model, so a modest one to start is what I'm after. But after reading some good info, I want stainless steal, as well as propane. I would also like to serve good quality food and be consistent. Maybe some of you experienced vendors would answer a couple questions....
1. Anybody recommend a good book regarding my start-up? I cannot seem to find one.
2. I would like to work at one spot during the week, do special events
and fairs ocassionally on weekends or nights...
A. what permit would be needed for this, and if I do, sporting events at local parks, who do i get permission from?
B. For my day work, i am considering it outside of this gas station that does not serve food, it is privately owned. i think, if i sold Hot dogs there, it would boost sales for the owner as well. Anybody suggest what type of bargaing fee I might approach the owner with? Rent? ect....i'd hate to be locked in a contract only to find myself putting the cart before the horse...
3. Any idea what Liability insurance might run me?
4. Any good websites for used Carts or Trailers, any units that seem to be junk, and you would recommend NOT to buy?
5. Many people mentioned, I cannot serve raw uncooked food. Is this true with concession trailers as well? My real goal is to serve "Steamed Cheessburgers" anyone from CT would know what I'm talking about....OMG..Best darn things I've ever tasted. they are no where to be seen in around here. But you have to start with raw meat.
5. I am planning on serving homemade chile, is this a problem, if I pre-make it at my commissary?
Sorry this is long, but again, I will not start unless i do my homework....Thanks again..I'll keep in Touch.
PS...CHICAGOSTYLEDOG thanks for all your posts..they were very informative.
#1

14 Replies Related Threads

    genewj
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    RE: Newbie Hot dog cart in Florida....info please 2006/11/13 19:49:55 (permalink)
    Well, for openers, U need a Food servers license from Florida..Then before u buy a cart u need to spend $150 to get a permit to buy or build a cart, then u need to have cart inspected, another $150..Then u need a state license to operate, dec.to dec. $385..In this state u need to operate on Private Property..The licensing process will take at least 90-120 days. Most used carts and i looked a t many are notr worth the price u pay..For $2200 u can get a brand new one from Islandf Times and other places..a book worth having is:Make Money becoming a Hot Dog Vender by Dee Anderson, on line at E-Bay $3.50
    All the rest are garbage..
    #2
    genewj
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    RE: Newbie Hot dog cart in Florida....info please 2006/11/13 19:52:23 (permalink)
    Liability Ins. cost me $680 yrly..
    Before u buy a concession trlr u must go through the same process..IT MUST MEET CODE in order to handle Raw Food..
    #3
    tsores
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    RE: Newbie Hot dog cart in Florida....info please 2006/11/13 20:23:14 (permalink)
    Are you a candidate for ChicagoStyleDog's Hot Dog University?
    #4
    texgrill
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    RE: Newbie Hot dog cart in Florida....info please 2006/11/15 19:40:42 (permalink)
    Order Mike Chilton's Hot Dog Book on cassette. It gives simple tips on starting up a cart. Mike is a retired police officer and credible.

    The web site is www.hotdogbook.com

    Ronnie
    #5
    Jamigirl
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    RE: Newbie Hot dog cart in Florida....info please 2006/11/28 08:51:45 (permalink)
    I was thinking about getting the hot dog cart book. was wondering if it was worth it......thanks jamigirl
    #6
    chicagostyledog
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    RE: Newbie Hot dog cart in Florida....info please 2006/11/30 00:37:30 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by tsores

    Are you a candidate for ChicagoStyleDog's Hot Dog University?


    Free advice is worth the price. Experiential learning is the business education for success.

    CSD

    Business Instructor
    www.hotdoguniversity.com
    #7
    Mayers
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    RE: Newbie Hot dog cart in Florida....info please 2006/12/28 06:09:45 (permalink)
    I would recommend you to do a good business plan where you give a detailed description of what you plan to do and how it will be done, including all the questions you have posted and doing thorough research on the topics in question. That way everything will be more organized and things will flow easier and faster.
    GOOD LUCK!!!
    Sandra.

    #8
    Dr of BBQ
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    RE: Newbie Hot dog cart in Florida....info please 2006/12/29 09:29:23 (permalink)
    Try this link, http://mobilecateringbusiness.com/ You’ll find some pretty good forms and other information. But don't give up with just a year into your dream; it took me three years to build my trailer and another 3 months to find the right location. Now not a week goes by that I don't get an offer for a new location or an event. It's kind of a catch 22 thing. If your doing well everyone wants to get involved, but before you get to that point nobody knows your name. CSD's school would have to be a big plus although Chicago Style Hotdogs aren't really well known downstate. Everyone knows the phrase, but they don't understand the ingredients or that hotdogs aren't just for kids. In fact most things from Chicago including all the elected officials are looked at with great disfavor by many downstate, people. We figure there should be a line drawn along I-80 and Chicago should be another separate state, and Illinois would be much better off. We still don’t lock our doors in downstate let alone bar our windows. LOL But back to your goal, ask everyone you meet in the food business every question you can think of about all aspects of the industry. You’ll find the people doing well will be glad to share, but beware they know their business so well they will skip over important small details because they’ll just figure that portion or detail is a given. So write a list of questions on a legal pad and buy a few drinks for anyone you can corner and make notes while they talk. Then type them ASAP and save to a file on your computer. Other questions or blank spots will become obvious when you do this. Then go back and meet with them again, and just mention that you had a couple of follow-ups or issues you didn’t understand. Make sure these mentors understand your not trying to open up just down the street from them or wanting to take away their customers or business. Ok I need to go start another 12 to 14 hour day. Love it. LOL
    Jack@DrofBBQ.com
    #9
    Big Ugly Mich
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    RE: Newbie Hot dog cart in Florida....info please 2006/12/29 10:56:53 (permalink)
    You live in Florida? I bet you could citrus up your dogs, but I'd have no idea how, unless you want to try a Key Lime Dog or spice up frozen lemonade for a condiment, or cook your pups in frozen orange juice, or fresh juice. I don't know if that's why they call that NY city place "Papaya King", but if I ever get to NY. . . You might try using the pulp or pith (that's the white, nasty part of a citrus peel that most of us toss out when the "good" part is squeezed and we've "twisted" all our drinks) for a relish base. I, for one, hate pickled anything. You could find out what works by offerering free dogs to college students (who are always looking for cheap eats), or making a deal with a community college's culinary arts division.

    Down south (in the Carolinas, which is UP NORTH to you), slaw dogs are all the rage. In California, they have their own ways of dressing up a dog. Of course, there's the aforementioned Chicago Style Dog, both our mutual friend and the consumable. In SE Wisconsin, Bratwurst and other sausages are bigger than hot dogs, but all the stuff people put on them reminds me of a CSD. I know of a guy who makes a nice living selling bockwurst, which I never heard of until I stumbled on his place. These are for when you grow big enough to have a permanent place, in my opinion.

    The first law of merchandising is: IT'S BETTER TO BE FIRST THAN TO BE BETTER. I wish I could remember where I heard that, but I love it.
    #10
    texgrill
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    RE: Newbie Hot dog cart in Florida....info please 2006/12/29 11:02:26 (permalink)
    Big Ugly Mich

    Your on the right track. I wouldnt cook the hot dog in any kind of fruit based marinade. I would have a fruit based relish or sauce to top them with.

    The Papaya King makes Fruit smoothies and juice to serve with their dogs.

    Ronnie

    #11
    Big Ugly Mich
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    RE: Newbie Hot dog cart in Florida....info please 2006/12/29 15:13:14 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by texgrill
    Big Ugly Mich

    Your on the right track. I wouldnt cook the hot dog in any kind of fruit based marinade. I would have a fruit based relish or sauce to top them with.

    The Papaya King makes Fruit smoothies and juice to serve with their dogs.

    Ronnie


    Thanks for the info on Papaya King. I was brainstorming, which is what writers do. I've been working on a book for about 15 years and have about a chapter done. If it didn't involve one or several road trips, I'd have had it done ages ago, but what can I do about that?

    I do cook things like hot dogs in fruit marinades to help kill the taste of the salt used in processing for no good reason except that it's cheap. Once upon a time, salt was necessary as a preservative, but those days are long gone.

    That's another nice thing about hot dogs in a venture like this. If Jami did use students as a test market, word of mouth advertising would save him (her?) a ton.
    #12
    genewj
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    RE: Newbie Hot dog cart in Florida....info please 2006/12/29 19:58:59 (permalink)
    As i've already given lots of advise on the subject of a newbie in the food business..Let me just say, in Florida; we have two seasons the summer or from Easter until Oct and October until Easter..Each season has its own requirements. Snow Birds(god bless them)want the food they are used to eating..Just ask Cracker Barrel..The live around the year folks are more inclined to be Rib Types and Pulled Pork types then Philly cheese steak types.. U must find the balance!
    It all starts with top quality products, a good location and a GREAT PERSONALITY!!!!GOOD LUCK..
    #13
    OzDogs
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    RE: Newbie Hot dog cart in Florida....info please 2006/12/29 22:54:09 (permalink)
    1. Chicago wrote the book.
    2. So would we all

    All others,

    Oh come one. It's called research. Fer fleepin jeepers. Just cause yer a gal don't mean ya can't...aw forget it. Dollface, cupcake, sweetheart, you can do this. In almost every state, it's all on the internet. There will be about 10 hurdles. Find them, count them off, here you go.

    Ho, but babydoll, some states are easy and some states are vampire machines designed to such the blood out of your dreams. Eastern states as it happens. We're so lucky in the West and Midwest. There's still a bit of an idea that a common person can go and hustle up some jingle. If you live in such a state, wear a gun while you serve. This accomplishes two purposes: your security and it tends to keep the Californicators out of your town.
    #14
    Matt Gleason
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    RE: Newbie Hot dog cart in Florida....info please 2006/12/31 11:19:26 (permalink)
    I am in NY and starting a Hot Dog Cart can be a pain depending on what county you live in. But no matter where you are you have to deal with regulations. Set that aside you need a name and a marketing plan and know what your costs are! If you know how to use MS Excel, set yourself up with a spread sheet with all your costs, if not, use a column pad or sheet of paper to figure out what each hot dog will cost you to make. I am not saying you should stand at your cart with a measuring spoon but you should know the cost of each gobb and smother.
    #15
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