I bought a DVD that someone recommended here not long ago called, "A Connecticut Hot Dog Tour" (www.ctoriginals.com). It was a very good DVD if you are a hot dogger, especially for only $9.99.
But anyways, I noticed in the DVD that all of the featured hot dog joints were using regional made brand dogs from their tri-state area. I don't recall the brand names as there were two or three popular ones, I think one was Hofman, and they seemed to be the dog of choice in your neck of the woods. Also, you do know that these companies usually offer a consumer and commercial dog, and I swear there is a difference between the two. The dogs made for restaurants/commercial always seem to taste better than what the grocery store sells under the same brand name.
If you have a meat distributor in your area I would give them a call and ask them what is their most popular selling dog and start there. You may pay a bit more but the quality of the dog will more than likely beat anything Bakers and Chef puts out and you can charge more. On your cart, play up the fact that you are using a premium brand, which will easily justify you charging more for your dogs. I hear it all the time regarding my Vienna dogs, the customers love the fact that they are getting a great tasting premium dog locally instead of the usual Sam's Club fair the hot dog joints around me sell. A good example are my chili dogs, or Coney Islands up here. The guy down the street sells them for .99 and they are nasty to say the least. I pump mine out all day long for $2.75 with no complaints to date.
And don't skimp on size, I use an 8 to 1 natural casing dog, some here use a 6 to 1 or even a 4 to 1. I like the 8 to 1's because they are bigger than the 10 and 9 to 1 dogs my competition sells, but are not so big that the toppings fall on the deck and down my customers shirts. Something else to think about... And will depend on your customers.
<message edited by localnet on Wed, 04/6/11 4:47 AM>