RE: How many fryers?
I think if your going with fryers anyway, why not fries?
If no one else is serving them, you have a sure thing.
We have 5 free standing propane fryers that have served us royally.
Yes it's a pain, the grease and the heat, but..... as we all know everything is good that's deep fried. Especially in a festival atmosphere.
We use frozen top of the line McCains Harvest Pride fries. The fresh cut's break down the oil and are more of a nuisance.
Number 50 paprus plates sized portions $3. You could get even more, but we're in a small city and that's the best we can get this year.
I have never had a fire problem, and just have the extinguisher handy.
These fryers aren't cheap, but once you have them you'll be more inclined to seek out the money jobs. In and out, fast cash, and more fun than catering a wedding I think.
The weather is your only enemy when you have exclusivity on any menu item.
Corn Dogs have served me extrememely well. Homemade, secret recipe with corn meal of course, no one else has them, and they really are good. We used to use the electric table tops with the prongs to hold the sticks but now we just do them in the big fryers - free floating, mass production. People gobble one down and then grab another to walk away with. $ 3 ea.
I am going to do Elephant Ears this weekend for our big Canada Day Celebration, using Rich's 7" frozen pizza shells. They work great.
portion cost is approx .40 - Same old deep fryers ! Just proof them and pop them in, a bit of sugar and cinnamon, think I'm going to try for $4.50 a pop.
Hot dogs and fries are a staple, wether their coney dogs, chili dogs, corn dogs, or just plain old ball park dogs, most everyone craves one in the carnival environs.
Fries, salt and fat, got to have it.
Good luck with all your planning, keep an eye and ear out for those deep fryers, just keep inquiring you'll find them.