Opening Hot Dog Shop 200 Per Day Realistic?

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Buzzie8
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Opening Hot Dog Shop 200 Per Day Realistic? - Sun, 01/6/13 5:24 PM
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I am closing one of my bays down in a car wash I own and putting a small hot dog shop in it. I am working on my business plan and want to know if building to 200-300 hot dogs/sandwiches per day is reasonable. I am modeling my business after one that is about 15 miles away and have heard that they are doing a minimum of 200 per day. I realize food quality and service are needed for any business but just need to have some realistic numbers from current or former owners. I few years back I mentioned 200 a day to a roadside vendor and he said that it should be easy to achieve 200 per day. Just need some reaffirmation. Thanks in advance for your response.

BpCBlake
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Re:Opening Hot Dog Shop 200 Per Day Realistic? - Sun, 01/6/13 6:17 PM
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It's hard to say. you need the traffic and the people to want them. depends on your menu too. some times you do well right away and some times you have to wait for the business to build up.

brickboo
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Re:Opening Hot Dog Shop 200 Per Day Realistic? - Sun, 01/6/13 8:18 PM
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I wish I could do 50 a day.  Not every one finds the right location and an area is important too. You're not going to sell anywhere near the hot dogs in a 120,000 population area in Western Colorado as you will in a 120,000 pop back East. Believe me. I've been at it since Aug last year. Had one night I'd call pretty good at $187, then it got too cold to work at night and the club slowed down.
 
If anyone else is selling hot dogs in your town, go spend the day and count the dogs. It'd be worth it. I wish I had. I'm still hunting.

Tristan225
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Re:Opening Hot Dog Shop 200 Per Day Realistic? - Sun, 01/6/13 10:46 PM
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No one out of your area can tell you that for sure but some kind of business consultant or a fortune teller. Maybe buy a cart and stick it in there to try it out. Could save you some time and money.  

Foodbme
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Re:Opening Hot Dog Shop 200 Per Day Realistic? - Mon, 01/7/13 1:14 AM
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What's your customer count at the car wash? That will be an indicator.
There are so many variables to the Dog Business. It's hard to guess how many customers you could expect without knowing eveything about your circumstances. 

Ice Cream Man
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Re:Opening Hot Dog Shop 200 Per Day Realistic? - Mon, 01/7/13 10:52 AM
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Most people don't realize every new business is a roll of the dice.
You can do all the research you want, have top line products and still fail.
Never invest more than you can afford to lose.
Always have a plan B.
Be prepared to give it 5 years. 

CCinNJ
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Re:Opening Hot Dog Shop 200 Per Day Realistic? - Mon, 01/7/13 11:11 AM
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You have an existing business and will be altering the existing business by shutting down one of the bays. It's difficult to project and use the hot dog cart plan as a means to promote the primary business...with the reduction.

Unless you are banking on so much separate business (not related to car wash) to come to the car wash...for a hot dog.


How much work and at what cost will it be to convert a bay in to a hot dog shop?

How much work and at what cost would it be to convert it back to a bay (if hot dogs don't work) so as not to reduce the business sale value of what would now be a car wash with one bay and ? instead of a two bay car wash.
<message edited by CCinNJ on Mon, 01/7/13 11:32 AM>

BpCBlake
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Re:Opening Hot Dog Shop 200 Per Day Realistic? - Mon, 01/7/13 3:19 PM
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thats true. a hot dog cart would be way cheaper then converting a whole bay to a dog bar. keep both bays, and buy a cart for your lot and hire some girls to run it.

CCinNJ
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Re:Opening Hot Dog Shop 200 Per Day Realistic? - Mon, 01/7/13 3:37 PM
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Priority #1 in the hot dog business (just like any other business) is quality product served properly...by someone who can have an intelligent conversation about the product & business. Especially in areas where people take food seriously.


tbone654
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Re:Opening Hot Dog Shop 200 Per Day Realistic? - Mon, 01/7/13 9:14 PM
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Here's a test...  go to SAM's club or COSTCO, etc. buy $300 worth of hotdogs and buns...  Put up a sign "FREE HOTDOGS" and see if you can give away 500 hotdogs...  Ask them to take a survey which includes questions like "How much would you be willing to pay for that hotdog?", "would you stop to buy hotdogs if you were not getting your car washed?" ...  Etc...
You just did market research that cost you over $300 but was worth thousands...  Now make your decision, because you have a better clue...
My guess is, you can't even give that many dogs away for FREE in a day...  Which means you should not go on "Apprentice" any time soon, AND you might have trouble selling 40% of what you can't even give away...  Who's going to buy something you can't even give away?
good luck... Have fun...
 
p.s. my buddy worked for a guy who couldn't sell more than 12 hotdogs on his best day at a location across the street from 1000 people a day...  This is a tough business...  It's sales...

brickboo
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Re:Opening Hot Dog Shop 200 Per Day Realistic? - Tue, 01/8/13 12:05 AM
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Tom, T-Bone,
You're the only person here that sounds like me. In my city I don't think I could give away 500 hot dogs in a month. No one believes me. They just don't eat hot dogs out here. It's steak, wild game, potatoes and tacos, burritos etc. Hot dogs are way down the list.
 
I feel better now that someone else isn't making a killing on selling hot dogs besides me. Maybe I need to move back East.
<message edited by brickboo on Wed, 01/9/13 8:47 AM>

djdawg
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Re:Opening Hot Dog Shop 200 Per Day Realistic? - Wed, 01/16/13 4:03 AM
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What everyone else said....200 a day sounds high to me but who knows.  I like the idea of finding a cart first and setting it up on your lot and seeing how that goes before doing construction....

YOAman
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Re:Opening Hot Dog Shop 200 Per Day Realistic? - Wed, 01/16/13 8:25 PM
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Or, you could do it the free way, find some one in your area with a hot dog cart and ask them if they would like to set up at your place for a few weeks to a month free of charge, then ask them how they did. simple

jcheese
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Re:Opening Hot Dog Shop 200 Per Day Realistic? - Wed, 01/16/13 9:05 PM
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I concur with most......Kill a bay that produces, invest bucks for something that may not work with the idea that 200 dogs sold is gonna fall in yer lap.
Put an attention getting cart on your site and it may work both ways.

hella good tacos
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Re:Opening Hot Dog Shop 200 Per Day Realistic? - Sat, 01/19/13 9:52 AM
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Buzzie8


I am closing one of my bays down in a car wash I own and putting a small hot dog shop in it. I am working on my business plan and want to know if building to 200-300 hot dogs/sandwiches per day is reasonable. I am modeling my business after one that is about 15 miles away and have heard that they are doing a minimum of 200 per day. I realize food quality and service are needed for any business but just need to have some realistic numbers from current or former owners. I few years back I mentioned 200 a day to a roadside vendor and he said that it should be easy to achieve 200 per day. Just need some reaffirmation. Thanks in advance for your response.

 
Someone already mentioned my first thought, which is "how many people do you have coming by to wash cars?"

i also wonder, what else is in your neck of the woods? Any schools, businesses where there isn't much else to eat, or there isn't any other fast/cheap option? 

These are things that can help you promote sales.  How visible will this new hotdog shack be to the public?  can you put up a sign?

these things will all help.  good luck. 

CCinNJ
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Re:Opening Hot Dog Shop 200 Per Day Realistic? - Sat, 01/19/13 10:03 AM
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It's possible that it could be a quirky fun venue...especially for children who love going to the car wash. A cart would serve as a good gauge of business.

It also depends how close (if not attached) the bays are in relation to one another.

Will navigating water be an issue for customers...or health departments.

happyhotdogs
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Re:Opening Hot Dog Shop 200 Per Day Realistic? - Fri, 01/25/13 1:29 PM
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Definitely analyze the traffic...we're on a good part of town with 15,000+ AUTO traffic and a Menards across the street, BUT building up people stopping has been a SLOW process.  It's a section of highway that goes thru town, so it's not always a guarentee even if traffic is of good quantity.  The bigger cities have more foot traffic (my son just got back from a NYC school trip and said, "man Dad, they have hot dog carts on every corner!  And most were busy...") and may be easier to "ramp up"...you're in Pittsburgh, so maybe you have that going for you depending on what part of town.
 
Keep us updated on your findings, I'm ALWAAAAYS curious about situations that are working ;)