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 Update on my Home Depot Location

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texgrill

  • Total Posts: 302
  • Joined: 11/14/2005
  • Location: Pasadena, TX
Update on my Home Depot Location Sat, 08/5/06 2:54 PM (permalink)
I have been in the vending business for around 6 years and the food vending business for 1.5 years. I wanted to give a plug for Mike Chilton who wrote and recorded the cassette - The Hot Dog Cart Book - some of you may have ordered it or have been to his web site - hogdogbook.com.

Mike's cassette was very helpful me starting my food cart business and he has also e-mailed me advice over the past year and I am grateful to him and many thanks.

Now a one and half years into this business, I have signed a contract with Street Eats/Home Depot here in Houston.
I have all the insurance, and county health permits. I am currently aqquiring the final permit from the small city where the Home Depot is
located.

My first setup is scheduled for September.

I am not going post alot of details on this forum but if you are interested in more details please e-mail me: admin@texgrill.com

Ronnie
Tex Grill
 
#1
    UncleVic

    • Total Posts: 6025
    • Joined: 10/14/2003
    • Location: West Palm Beach, FL
    • Roadfood Insider
    RE: Update on my Home Depot Location Sat, 08/5/06 6:43 PM (permalink)
    Best of luck Tex! Nice job securing a worthy location...
     
    #2
      texgrill

      • Total Posts: 302
      • Joined: 11/14/2005
      • Location: Pasadena, TX
      RE: Update on my Home Depot Location Sat, 08/5/06 6:58 PM (permalink)
      Thanks Uncle Vic for words of encouragement :)

      I mis-typed Mike's Chilton website earlier-

      its www.hotdogbook.com

       
      #3
        ChiTownDiner

        RE: Update on my Home Depot Location Sat, 08/5/06 7:30 PM (permalink)
        Good luck Tex. Please reconsider and update us on your progress. It's great reading, the reason mnay of us are on this site and with everyones feedback, very educational.
         
        #4
          garryd451

          • Total Posts: 699
          • Joined: 12/28/2004
          • Location: dowagiac, MI
          RE: Update on my Home Depot Location Sun, 08/6/06 8:09 AM (permalink)
          congratulations on getting a great site!!
           
          #5
            texgrill

            • Total Posts: 302
            • Joined: 11/14/2005
            • Location: Pasadena, TX
            RE: Update on my Home Depot Location Sun, 08/6/06 7:36 PM (permalink)
            Thanks for the positive feedback. I will post after we have been open for awhile in September.

            Ronnie
            Tex Grill
             
            #6
              LarryRickenbacker

              • Total Posts: 36
              • Joined: 5/8/2006
              • Location: Bossier City, LA
              RE: Update on my Home Depot Location Fri, 08/25/06 9:10 PM (permalink)
              Howdy,

              I've got a SnoBiz shave-ice/Hotdog cart in front of a Home Depot in Bossier City, La. (Shreveport area, some 300 miles NW of New Orleans.) So far business isn't good, but there's more..
              We opened just days prior to the first day of school in our area. We sold 'dogs, Nachos and sno-cones.
              All was fine that first weekend until all our plug-ins tripped the breakers! Home Depot didn't have enough "juice" for our electrical needs!
              So for now, we're selling only sno-cones and making meager profits. Home Depot IS going to install a 50 amp box for us, so we will be selling food shortly, but for 2+ weeks it's been a struggle. SnoBiz also failed to send me a good, visible sign with my cart (they say it's coming, but they've had over 3 MONTHS!).
              My wife works the cart and I'm a school teacher. The heat has been around 100 or more degrees 12 of the last 18 days! Except for weekends, profits have been disappointing. However, the HD employees tell that they liked our 'dogs/Nachos for those 2 days we were able to sell them, and can't WAIT for us to get the electricity to sell them again. I sacrificed ALOT of investment capital on this, and can't afford to fail. We will succeed; it's just not the good start I'd hoped for.
              I'll do some local High School football games and make quick bucks. I'm told that "back to school" time is the effective endof sno-cone season-that's when we OPENED! I suuure hope Nachos/'Dogs will get us by..we pay alot of rent,insurance and labor.

              LarryRickenbacker

               
              #7
                Rootsman

                • Total Posts: 235
                • Joined: 7/9/2005
                • Location: Orlando, FL
                RE: Update on my Home Depot Location Sat, 08/26/06 11:45 PM (permalink)
                Sorry!

                Wouldn't they allow you to use super quiet generators (Honda, Yamaha, etc)?
                 
                #8
                  hottydogs

                  • Total Posts: 4
                  • Joined: 8/27/2006
                  • Location: San Diego, CA
                  RE: Update on my Home Depot Location Sun, 08/27/06 8:19 PM (permalink)
                  Hi Texgrill

                  If you need a hot dog cart in Houston there is a company that makes one especially for there as the rules have just changed.


                  If you want to sell hot dogs outside Home Depot or Lowes you have to go through street eats for home depot or woody's for Lowes.


                  Home Depot is a month to month contract with a monthly rent $1000.00 to $3000.00 based on Store traffic flow and nearby competition. You can apply on their web site (tip :- don't fill in all the business plan stuff, they don't need it)

                  Woody's is a franchise and costs tens of thousands of dollars initial set up and fees. Depending on your location it can take years to get back your initial investment, (thats why a lot of Lowes don't have a hot dog vendor.

                  I know vendors that lose money all week but make thousands of dollars during the busy weekend, which makes it all worthwhile.

                  It depends on how you set up your stand and how you market it. I have seen very busy stands in Arizona early in the morning when contractors are up at 5am so are hungry by 8am. I have seen very busy stands all over California.

                  Some individual counties do not allow vending outside any stores in most states as it is against the local ordinances.

                  We looked into all the options years ago before we started our event and corporate catering business. If you need any further there is a company that makes dozens of different superb quality stainless steel dog carts and food carts and ship them everywhere on mainland USA for free.

                  They are near us in California so we went to see how they are made which was amazing, they actually have a model called the North Carolina and another called the Carolina on their web sites.




                  We bought one of their Idaho Models in 2002 and a smaller one called the Phoenix modelin 2003. They custom make them to order once your health department approve the Diagrams. We bought ours for huge events, swap meets and corporate parties as they grill,steam and boil over 1000 hot dogs per hour.

                  They offer lots of free information on rules and regulations and how to set up.


                  By the time we had read all of the free information, video's, pictures and diagrams my partner and I felt like hot dog carts experts.

                  I wished we had found them before we bought our first cart from another firm on the East Coast six years ago, the health department just laughed at it and sent us away with a list of 11 needed, and expensive modifications before they would look at it again. We did'nt let them look at it again, we took a total loss and virtually gave it away at the very swap meet we were supposed to be selling hot dogs at.

                  After that major embarassment We went to and they coached us through the diagram plan approval process which took 3 days so we had plan approval before we even ordered the cart.

                  Check with your Health dept first as a lot of carts don't pass the health department inspection. Find out their main requirements take guidance from the real experts and then you can choose what cart best fits your use.

                  If you buy a pre owned model make sure it has passed the Health Inspection in YOUR county before as it will be grandfathered in under older and less stringent regulations.

                  Good luck
                   
                  #9
                    EddyBees Dogs

                    • Total Posts: 187
                    • Joined: 12/16/2005
                    • Location: Denver, CO
                    RE: Update on my Home Depot Location Fri, 09/1/06 2:48 AM (permalink)
                    Wow, 1000 dogs an hour! How often do you use it to THAT capacity? lol
                     
                    #10
                      baconman

                      • Total Posts: 33
                      • Joined: 8/16/2006
                      • Location: gaithersburg, MD
                      RE: Update on my Home Depot Location Fri, 09/1/06 6:21 PM (permalink)
                      To sell 1000 Hot Dogs an hr., thats over 16 per minute or around 1 every 4 seconds.

                      I doubt Disneyland does that in the entire park!
                       
                      #11
                        letseat51

                        • Total Posts: 1
                        • Joined: 8/28/2006
                        • Location: Ithaca, NY
                        RE: Update on my Home Depot Location Fri, 09/1/06 7:22 PM (permalink)
                        quote:
                        Originally posted by baconman

                        To sell 1000 Hot Dogs an hr., thats over 16 per minute or around 1 every 4 seconds.

                        I doubt Disneyland does that in the entire park!

                        Finally someone else who will do the basic math--- you would need a very good staff to sell that fast. Many of these hot dog vending sites give a very rosy picture with out the HARD numbers. I've been a food vendor for 17 years and I want to see people succeed doing something that I enjoy. $3000.00 a month rent, wow, you better have a high check average to make that nut.
                         
                        #12
                          EddyBees Dogs

                          • Total Posts: 187
                          • Joined: 12/16/2005
                          • Location: Denver, CO
                          RE: Update on my Home Depot Location Sat, 09/2/06 2:23 AM (permalink)
                          The inside track from my first hand vendors from different stores tell me 200-500 daily in the week, and 1000-1300 on weekend days. Some people by themslves, some with two people. Personally, I crank it out fast with my creative mobile 325 and have done 1500 by myself at a little league baseball tourny. I don't have a Home Depot location, and I have heard there is a three year waiting list in Denver. Does anyone know about other cities? I don't wanna spend even the $50 application fee for StreetEats if its 3 years away. The people I know who have the Home Depot locations bought the contract from an existing vendor, they didn't have to work for a location. I hate them.
                           
                          #13
                            texgrill

                            • Total Posts: 302
                            • Joined: 11/14/2005
                            • Location: Pasadena, TX
                            RE: Update on my Home Depot Location Tue, 09/5/06 2:55 PM (permalink)
                            Eddy

                            That is tough that the Denver wide account has been bought out. You will just have to find one outside of the city limits. Thats what I did here in Houston.

                            Ronnie
                            Tex Grill
                             
                            #14
                              genewj

                              • Total Posts: 370
                              • Joined: 9/2/2006
                              • Location: Bradenton, FL
                              RE: Update on my Home Depot Location Thu, 09/7/06 9:24 PM (permalink)
                              Well, here in Florida, our city and county will not permit u to park on city or county right of ways..Must have written permission from private property owner..Then the city or county will come out and assign u a location on THAT property..Normally at least 25' back from street or side walk..Go find a friendly Car Wash where they hand do them..The owners are happy that someone will cater to theire customers while they wait for their cars..
                               
                              #15
                                Dr of BBQ

                                • Total Posts: 3716
                                • Joined: 10/11/2004
                                • Location: Springfield, IL
                                • Roadfood Insider
                                RE: Update on my Home Depot Location Thu, 09/7/06 11:25 PM (permalink)
                                genewj Great Idea
                                Jack@DrofBBQ.com
                                 
                                #16
                                  texgrill

                                  • Total Posts: 302
                                  • Joined: 11/14/2005
                                  • Location: Pasadena, TX
                                  RE: Update on my Home Depot Location Fri, 09/8/06 12:12 PM (permalink)
                                  I agree with genewi and Dr of BBQ; the car wash would be a great spot. The full service hand dry one would be the key. The wait is around 20-30 mins at a busy one. With that wait time you should sell pretty well. You will still have to have the health permits but the lease will be very simple.

                                  Ronnie
                                  Tex Grill
                                   
                                  #17
                                    EddyBees Dogs

                                    • Total Posts: 187
                                    • Joined: 12/16/2005
                                    • Location: Denver, CO
                                    RE: Update on my Home Depot Location Fri, 09/8/06 12:55 PM (permalink)
                                    My first spot was a car wash just like that and I thought the same thing, but it was horrible. No bizness and noisy. You are also limited to JUST the car wash customers, no one else comes in because of the parking. The employees are not paid a lot, so they bring their own lunch. I had dogs leftover one day, so I gave them to the employees to build good faith. From then on, no employees bought from me with the expectation that I was gonna give my stuff away at the end. I have seen a couple stands pop-up at car washes, but never for very long.
                                     
                                    #18
                                      texgrill

                                      • Total Posts: 302
                                      • Joined: 11/14/2005
                                      • Location: Pasadena, TX
                                      RE: Update on my Home Depot Location Fri, 09/8/06 6:32 PM (permalink)
                                      Eddy

                                      Yeah the if employees are the only one's eating them..... its not a good spot then.

                                      Have you tried catering at car dealerships? You know for their promotions. I have worked several and they were good because the dealership paid me not the individual customers.

                                      Ronnie
                                       
                                      #19
                                        EddyBees Dogs

                                        • Total Posts: 187
                                        • Joined: 12/16/2005
                                        • Location: Denver, CO
                                        RE: Update on my Home Depot Location Sat, 09/9/06 12:47 AM (permalink)
                                        Yea, car dealerships are pretty good and I just did a big fundraiser/car show for one. $600 in 3 hours-two guys working. Of course, the oher gets an hourly $10.00. They aren't regular though.
                                         
                                        #20
                                          RibRater

                                          • Total Posts: 1862
                                          • Joined: 3/3/2006
                                          • Location: Johnson City, TN
                                          RE: Update on my Home Depot Location Sat, 09/9/06 4:11 AM (permalink)
                                          quote:
                                          Originally posted by EddyBees Dogs

                                          Yea, car dealerships are pretty good and I just did a big fundraiser/car show for one. $600 in 3 hours-two guys working. Of course, the oher gets an hourly $10.00. They aren't regular though.




                                          If you live in a good size area, they could be regular. Business is slow for many dealerships these days and they are looking for ways to attract customers. They love free feeds for a few different reasons:

                                          1) when salespeople/managers get to the dealership, they immediately start talking about what they are going to eat that day. you wouldnt believe the time and energy that goes into this on a daily basis.

                                          2) folks will show up for free food.


                                          If you develop a flyer outlining some info about your services and just drive around dropping one off with whatever salesman is standing outside, I guarantee it will find its way to a manager ;-)

                                          You just have to be a little proactive and there should be some nice steady biz there.

                                           
                                          #21
                                            texgrill

                                            • Total Posts: 302
                                            • Joined: 11/14/2005
                                            • Location: Pasadena, TX
                                            RE: Update on my Home Depot Location Sat, 09/9/06 9:11 PM (permalink)
                                            I did what Larry suggested. I made a one page flyer with a pic of my cart. I went to large dealerships and gave them to the sales manager or any senior sales person.

                                            I was contacted within 2 weeks for my first catering gig. Mention on your flyer that you are permitted and have liability insurance.

                                            Ronnie
                                            Tex Grill
                                             
                                            #22
                                              xannie_01

                                              • Total Posts: 1481
                                              • Joined: 10/18/2005
                                              • Location: albuquerque, NM
                                              RE: Update on my Home Depot Location Sat, 09/9/06 9:20 PM (permalink)
                                              way to go tex!!!!
                                               
                                              #23
                                                EddyBees Dogs

                                                • Total Posts: 187
                                                • Joined: 12/16/2005
                                                • Location: Denver, CO
                                                RE: Update on my Home Depot Location Sun, 09/10/06 1:58 AM (permalink)
                                                I addition to car dealerships, I think big carpet or flooring warehouses would like to get info on mobile vendors for promotions. I will try that next if my latest idea doesn't pan out.
                                                I am in the process of trying to get a spot on a city sidewalk near a strip of carpet stores, tile stores, tool warehouses, and misc industrial warehouses. There is nothing to eat near there at all. I figure between the nearby employees and the flow of contractors going through there, it would be great for a mon-fri gig. One little hitch lol. I have a leak on my water tank, so I usually use a water cooler with hot water, soap, and hand sanitizer for hand cleaning, and I do use it probably TOO much. This is ok even for big festivals per health dept. Well, the health inspector for mobile carts inspects them at a location about a block away. It could be a hassle if they wanted to go straight by the book. LOL. Does anyone know how I can fix a water leak on a cart? Thanks Big B
                                                 
                                                #24
                                                  texgrill

                                                  • Total Posts: 302
                                                  • Joined: 11/14/2005
                                                  • Location: Pasadena, TX
                                                  RE: Update on my Home Depot Location Sun, 09/10/06 2:08 PM (permalink)
                                                  Eddy

                                                  Sounds like a good location. I would hand out flyers to all the industrial businesses that will be your customers. That way they could phone in an order to you for a quick to go order.

                                                  Call the mfg of your cart, they will have some ideas how to patch the leak.

                                                  Is this in the city limits of Denver? I lived in Denver for 3 years.

                                                  Ronnie
                                                  Tex Grill
                                                   
                                                  #25
                                                    EddyBees Dogs

                                                    • Total Posts: 187
                                                    • Joined: 12/16/2005
                                                    • Location: Denver, CO
                                                    RE: Update on my Home Depot Location Sun, 09/10/06 9:01 PM (permalink)
                                                    Yes, in the city limits of Denver. Close to Alameda and Jason St. Good idea on the leak.
                                                     
                                                    #26
                                                      UncleVic

                                                      • Total Posts: 6025
                                                      • Joined: 10/14/2003
                                                      • Location: West Palm Beach, FL
                                                      • Roadfood Insider
                                                      RE: Update on my Home Depot Location Tue, 09/12/06 1:43 AM (permalink)
                                                      Sounds like you guys in Colorado are missing out on some gold mines...

                                                      Seen this online today (stolen from http://www.colostate-pueblo.edu/today/live_viewStory.asp?documentID=1019 _


                                                      Hot dog cart makes campus debut
                                                      By Angie Evans

                                                      In an effort to provide something new to entice sophisticated student palettes, Sodexho Campus Dining Services has brought the Vienna beef hot dog cart to CSU-Pueblo.

                                                      Randy Kruse, Sodexho general manager, said the hot dog cart is now available for lunch, or an afternoon snack, Monday through Friday from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on the Occhiato University Center’s south patio.

                                                      In order to keep things “fresh and exciting,” Kruse said, the cart will be stationed in various locations around campus. Kruse said he hopes to position the cart closer to the classrooms for students who may not have time between classes to run to OUC for lunch.

                                                      The basic menu includes bratwurst, beef dogs, chips and drinks. Kruse said the menu is somewhat limited and he hopes to expand it to include whole fruits, hamburgers, chicken breasts and other “grab and go” items. Once the final decision has been made to include the grilled items, a barbecue grill will be pulled along with the cart to the location of the day.

                                                      He said the opinions he has received from the students are positive, most reporting they enjoy the convenience and quality of lunch from the cart. But business is just getting started, Kruse said, adding that he believes the key to increased business is in marketing. He said coupons for the hot dog cart will be made available in the future.

                                                      Kruse said he doesn’t want this considered “just another hotdog cart.”

                                                      He said, weather permitting, the hot dog cart will remain available five days a week. As winter moves in, the cart will most likely go into hibernation for a few months and reemerge in spring, he said.

                                                      The menu lists the prices as all inclusive, which means taxes are included in the price.
                                                      Story last updated 9/11/2006 3:32:55 PM © Today, Colorado State University-Pueblo
                                                       
                                                      #27
                                                        texgrill

                                                        • Total Posts: 302
                                                        • Joined: 11/14/2005
                                                        • Location: Pasadena, TX
                                                        RE: Update on my Home Depot Location Tue, 09/12/06 10:13 AM (permalink)
                                                        Does anyone know how they aqquire the contract for a college? I am guessing that it is a very long process, but this would have to be one of the number 1 locations in the country for a cart.

                                                        Also if you did'nt setup on campus you could lease from a property across the street.

                                                        Ronnie
                                                        Tex Grill
                                                         
                                                        #28
                                                          EddyBees Dogs

                                                          • Total Posts: 187
                                                          • Joined: 12/16/2005
                                                          • Location: Denver, CO
                                                          RE: Update on my Home Depot Location Tue, 09/12/06 11:10 AM (permalink)
                                                          When I went to MSC years ago, there was a cart on every corner, and outside every building. They are no longer involved. DU has a vienna hotdog restaurant/hangout, a winersnitzel, and two existing carts in place within a 4 block area. Too much comp.

                                                          I did just get a gig for a concert with 15 bands, from noon til 10pm, and no other vendors so far. Going full all-out for me--Brats, Burgers, spicy links, cajun smoked pulled pork (ala Dr of BBQ), dogs, shaved ice, snacks and best of all DRINKS. Drinks are huge and on hot days cold bottled water goes for 2 bucks each for a 25 cent cost. This will be awesome and I guess I can't complain about not having a regular spot when I keep getting these gigs.
                                                           
                                                          #29
                                                            texgrill

                                                            • Total Posts: 302
                                                            • Joined: 11/14/2005
                                                            • Location: Pasadena, TX
                                                            RE: Update on my Home Depot Location Wed, 09/13/06 12:50 PM (permalink)
                                                            Eddy

                                                            What kind of permit do you have to have for the brats/burgers? The health department here won't let me serve those.

                                                            Ronnie
                                                            Tex Grill
                                                             
                                                            #30
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