Please evaluate my hot dog business plan...

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rouxdog
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RE: Please evaluate my hot dog business plan... 2007/02/12 15:19:43 (permalink)
Rick, for your own good listen and HEED Funzios advice. "FAT RICK'S YANKEE DOGS"????????? #1,that YANKEE word doesn't impress me. #2,and most importantly,"FAT", one of 4 words naming your business?
When I enjoy street events I don't want to be reminded that if eat a hot dog FAT is in any way associated with the simple pleasure I spend a couple bucks on.
Hope you're up and serving in April.
#31
rouxdog
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RE: Please evaluate my hot dog business plan... 2007/02/12 15:36:38 (permalink)
After I submitted my comment,I had a second thought for your consideration. here goes: "FAT RICKS YANKEE DOGS",since me and others have tried to nudge you away from some of this shingle, how about "RICK'S DOGS" !
#32
rickmalek
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RE: Please evaluate my hot dog business plan... 2007/02/12 22:32:08 (permalink)
If y'all could do my survey I can get a better taste of exactly what everyone thinks I should do. Thanks in advance.

http://www.tigersurvey.com/survey.php?survey=2050
#33
Matt Gleason
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RE: Please evaluate my hot dog business plan... 2007/02/13 20:02:29 (permalink)
Why Yankee? Just curious... NY Yankees? Civil War theme? Pro-Military/ US Troops?

How about:
Rick's Hot Dogs
Rick's Dog House
Doodle Dog
Dandy Dog
Dugout Dogs

Do you plan on opening a sit down shop one day?

HDK
#34
rickmalek
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RE: Please evaluate my hot dog business plan... 2007/02/13 21:54:21 (permalink)
OK, let me give the whole story.

First, the reasons I did not want to get into this because I feel like this place is a message board intended for restaurant discussion. I don't have a problem with telling anyone anything about my personal life, but I do feel like the details don't really belong here, but I guess there have been enough questions regarding exactly why I want to do the business the way I want to do it that I ought to plug in some details.

I grew up in Northern New Jersey. (I ate at most of the really famous North Jersey dog eateries riding in my grandpas garbage truck) I moved down to Kentucky at age 18, for college.

All through college I was involved in political campaigns, and before long I got a really good knack for the public relations end of things. I learned to get a name in front of people for cheap. I learned how to sell a candidate. I learned the art of using free media. I have learned the value of grassroots networking and asking people to help. In short, I learned how to be a really good salesman.

A couple of years after college I was in grad school part time and involved in political campaigns full time, and delivering sandwiches during the political off season to help pay for grad school.

After working there for a while and getting to know the owner pretty well he convinced me to invest some money in the business, to "buy in" and for me to be the public relations guy. I was pretty skeptical about being part owner of a restaurant, but he phrased it to me like this... Your running a political campaign and the candidate is pizza.

The business did not work out. Our pizza was VERY good. Our prices were the best in town. $5.99 for a large one topping delivered. We had a GREAT business. I brought the business but my partner never really lived up to his end of the deal in being a brilliant restaurateur. He eventually bought me out for only a little less than I put into it, but skipped out on the last few thousand bucks shortly after I left and the thing totally fell apart.

Here is what I learned from that and I'll never do it again:

1) Don't try to be the cheapest. Provide a good product and ask a reasonable amount for it.

2) Anybody can make good food, but not everyone can sell it. My partner was EXACTLY right, selling food is just like selling a political candidate.

So after leaving the pizza store I left Bowling Green all together. It is a long sad story, like a country song. I recently posted the details on my blog for the first time.

http://maleknation.blogspot.com/2007/01/another-life-somewhere-in-sun.html

It is in the details of the story that all of my stubbornness can be better understood.

Product---

I have learned, the hard way, to demand quality and excellence. In everything. Period. For me, being the guy who rode around on my Grandpas garbage truck eating at Rutts and the Hot Grill as a kid, to come back to Kentucky and sell crap hot dogs is nuts.

From a personal perspective, I try to deal in quality in everything I do. I don't care if its the hot dogs I sell, the people I associate with, the actions I take, etc... The fast buck, the easy way, the cheap dog to maximize profit, is short term thinking that is not a decision based on maturity.

Maturity teaches the law of process... It may indeed take a little time for people around here to catch onto a real hot dog. It may take a few seasons for me to start really raking in some money. Who cares! This is fun! If I can sell enough dogs to pay the bills of the business and put a few dollars in my pocket, good enough for now. It's NOT that I am not in this to make money, but I plan to make ZERO the first year, because the wisdom of my life experience has taught me that anything worth it will take time. I'm only 32. I have plenty of time to build this thing.

Bottom line is I won't be a whore and sell crap for a quick buck. I'd rather do something else.

Public Relations and the Business Name---

People around here know me. I am not, nor do I pretend to be, anyone important, but I know lots of folks. My past in being involved in politics and campaigns has given me a unique position that I know a ton of people, and through most of my involvement here I was FAT. I was a big ole boy. I was a moose.

I no longer am. I am actually pretty skinny.

Its pretty much the same with being a Yankee. A big part of my personal story is that I am from the north. I make no bones about the fact that I grew up there but everyone that knows me knows that I had a very bad time up there and harbor a fair amount of hostility toward my time spent in northern lands I love where I live, I love Bowling Green, and I would never leave here again, but like it or not, I am a Yankee.

Folks in the community know me as Fat Rick the Yankee. I got an e-mail yesterday from a long time friend and the opening line was, "Hey you fat Yankee bastard" The way I see it you need to take your weaknesses and turn them into strengths. I don't care for Yankees any more than people down here do, but Yankees sure do make good hot dogs.

With all that said, I won't be using that name.

I am in a unique position in launching this business. I took all the attributes I have... Restaurant experience, well connected locally, versed on public relations and making a sale.

Thats a little more on my background and why I have come at this project from a bit of an unconventional angle...Its what my life experiences have taught me.
#35
rouxdog
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RE: Please evaluate my hot dog business plan... 2007/02/13 23:45:44 (permalink)
Rick, you're thinking now! You asked for advice, you've receieved, didn't cost you a penny..... Sounds like you may be picking up on the acculative thoughts.
Hope I, as well as others have been helpful.
#36
Matt Gleason
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RE: Please evaluate my hot dog business plan... 2007/02/14 17:31:40 (permalink)
Rick,
The best thing you can do is read through all the forums here and then do what makes sense in your particular area. Selling hot dogs from a tin box on wheels is not rocket science.. Work Yes, Complicated No.

Bottom line is making money and the only way you are going to do that is to start at the bottom and work your way up!

HDK
#37
porkchopexpress
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RE: Please evaluate my hot dog business plan... 2007/02/14 18:55:31 (permalink)
I really think trying to work special events will not work in our area with a hot dog cart. I can see doing the cart at a semi permanent location and then trying a few events but to make a living working special events will be hard very hard. I've worked the Southern KY Fair in BG and rent there 2 years ago was $550. Listen I'm not trying to knock your plan and if you go ahead and do it I hope you prove me wrong.
#38
intrimarketing
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Re:Please evaluate my hot dog business plan... 2009/08/24 22:13:39 (permalink)
Rickmalek

I won't tear your plan apart, but I will give you a word of caution from experience. Please understand, it's impractical to make a real judgement on your business plan from the details you gave- so take this comment with a grain of salt (or mustard as the case may be.)

Personally I handle marketing on a local level, for restaurant owners throughout the country. I'm very familiar with New Yorker's and Chicagoan's, for example who journey to another part of the country and find that they can't find a "real hot dog" anywhere.

My experience in these major markets is this:

Real hot dogs, as delicious as they may be, hold no appreciative value in Kentucky, Ohio, W Virginia, Tennessee, Arizona, Florida, etc.

Your problem, as I see it, will be that the vast majority of your market (including college students) don't care about getting a good hot dog. They wouldn't know a good hot dog if it bit them.

Currently, I live in Cincinnati, Ohio- but have family in Chicago. I LOVE Chicago hot dogs. I have seen no less than SEVEN (7), Chicago hot dog franchises and independents try to make it in certain parts of Cincinnati with utter failure.  And I have seen that happen in other areas.

OK having said all of that- I do not know the demo of Bowling Green, KY., however I would be damn sure your market exists.

Hope that helps.

Scott
#39
Curbside Grill
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Re:Please evaluate my hot dog business plan... 2009/08/25 01:58:32 (permalink)
Man have you pulled one out of the past.
'07
Last I know Rick is doing well in Bowling Green
#40
hdblue
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Re:Please evaluate my hot dog business plan... 2011/09/28 23:00:52 (permalink)
Curbside Grill

Man have you pulled one out of the past.
'07
Last I know Rick is doing well in Bowling Green

Hi,
 
Thank very much for your comment. It help me to think about for my ideals.
 
Tks again and pls keep posting.
 
#41
Foodbme
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Re:Please evaluate my hot dog business plan... 2011/09/29 03:10:20 (permalink)
hdblue

Curbside Grill

Man have you pulled one out of the past.
'07
Last I know Rick is doing well in Bowling Green

Hi,

Thank very much for your comment. It help me to think about for my ideals.

Tks again and pls keep posting.


Welcome to Roadfood.
I hope you realize that 38 of the 40 posts on here go back to 2007 with 2 in 2009. Most of the concepts and ideas are still valid though.
#42
Barbeque barn
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Re:Please evaluate my hot dog business plan... 2011/10/10 22:49:45 (permalink)
http://bgky.craigslist.org/for/2558912627.html just found on craigslist in Bowling Green. Save some money there. I found a trailer hitch on craigslist for 25 dollars. New is not always best when money tight. and a trailer doesn't care if it's new or used and a coat of paint hides everything old and rusted. Use some elbow grease and save yourself 2000 dollars or more.
 
#43
Benzee
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Re:Please evaluate my hot dog business plan... 2011/10/11 08:12:07 (permalink)
Hello all ,
Is Rich still around ? Would love to know how he is doing in Bowling Green
 
Benzee
#44
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