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 Hungry Dog Hot Dog carts

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Hungry Dog

  • Total Posts: 24
  • Joined: 10/28/2012
  • Location: Freeport, IL
Hungry Dog Hot Dog carts Sun, 10/28/12 8:32 PM (permalink)
re-posted from forum "Hot dogs and sausages"
Hiya Guys,
Name is Leo, I am a new member from Northern Illinois. I am new to the food vending business But have been interested in starting a vending business for years, and have thought a Hot Dog Cart an excellent way to pursue my dream. Kinda a bucket list thing I guess. I found a Cart right here in town got a good price on it as it needed some work. It's a New York Street Cart from All American carts in Miami. All the needed work is done I am ready for my first Spot.
Is there anyone on this list from Illinois with a cart such as mine? I am wondering what the Health inspection(s) going to be like?
I have a BUNCH of questions. Many of them have already been answered just reading the various posts. I know I will have many more. I got my food handlers licence here in Illinois Just this week, after almost 3 month wait! That kinda killed the thought of getting my feet wet this year. I thought I would share my plans and thoughts with you guys looking for some constructive criticism (?)
I held a Hot Dog Party and invited my friends and relatives for a tasting. If anyone is interested I'll post the results. We also had a "Name the cart" page and got a bunch of great names. I decided on "Hungry Dog" Hot Dog Cart!
I plan on starting small with a "Loyal Dog" (8:1 Sams dog) my "BIG DOG" a 4:1 Nathans dog. and A Sam's Polish rounds out my everyday menu. I plan on a "Daily Dog" A different gourmet dog every day using the Big Dog. Here's my list of Daily Dogs:

BACON CHEDDAR DOG ----------------------- Heaped with bacon & Cheddar Cheese.
CONEY DOG ------------------- Covered in Meaty coney sauce, White Onions & cheese.
CAROLINA DOG ------------------------- Pulled Pork & mustard sauce & Spicy cole slaw.
BACON LETTUCE TOMATO DOG ----- Just what it says with Ranch dressing.
NEW YORK DOG ---- Famous Sabretts Red Onion Sauce, Saurkraut, Onions & Hot Mustard.
TEXAS DOG ------------------ Chili, Chili Sauce, Hot Mustard, Jalapenos & Pickled Onions.
CHICAGO DOG --------- Mustard, Onions, Neon Relish, Tomato, Pickle, sport peppers celery salt.
BURRITO DOG ------ 2 Loyal Dogs, Bacon. Chili, cheese, Onions, Jalapenos in a Burrito wrapper.
MUSHROOM SWISS DOG -------- Garlicy grilled Mushrooms, Grated Swiss, Hot Mustard.

The favorites at the tasting were the BLT Dog, the Carolina Dog and the bacon cheddar dog

Due to the size of my cart I can only manage one daily dog at a time. My next cart will have more space for sure.


I am using the Local Moose Club as a Commisary, offering to place a Moose logo on my menu.

I have contacted the local Humane society as well and told them I would like to donate a portion of every dog I sell in town. They were estatic to say the least. This alone should make obtaining locations MUCH easier (So Far anyway)


I stopped by my local Propane vender in my motorhome. My dog was in the front seat and the gas guy was playing with him.

I am quite proud of the following conversation!


Me- "His name is Buddy" I said

Gas guy - "Cute dog"

Me- "Thanks you must be a Dog lover?"

Gas guy- "Me? Oh yeah, I love dogs?"

Me- "Have you ever thought of helping out the Humane society at all?"

Gas Guy- "No ... But I would. Why are they looking for voulenteers?" He asked

Me- " I'll be selling Hot Dogs from a cart here in town starting next year. I am helping support the Humane society with the income. My cart uses Propane. Would you be interested in Donating the Propane? I will put your name and logo on my menu and a sign on my cart."

Gas Guy- "Yeah, I would go for that"

Me- "Great, Thank you! I'll come talk to you more about it this spring! I will bring a prototype menu for your approval"


Not sure if you guys have approched your gas vender with a similar request but something you should think about! Propane is a Major expence! Just a thought.

I plan on approching the larger factories in the area with the thought of inviting the Mgmt to buy lunch for their employees. I have made up a catering menu to bring them along with a regular menu to post in the lunch room. I'll also ask them If I can set up in there parking lot a day or two per month?

I plan on approching the Bridal and Tuxedo stores as well and leave cards inviting the new couple to provide a "Midnight Snack" to their guests at the reception. (a picture of the cart is on the back) Not sure if this approch is going to work or not, time will tell I guess. You guys every try anything like that?

I got a colapsable 20' flagpole at Harbor Freight tools for $50 and a Hot Dog Flag off Ebay for $5 and an "OPEN" Banner, all will fly from the flagpole while I am open for business.

Ice will be bought for my drink coolers (2) but I am planning on using ice packs for my food coolers.

In addition to dogs I will be selling chips, Potato chips (made here in Freeport) Soda, Coke, Diet Coke, 7up, Bottled Water, Bottled Root Beer, candy bars, drink powder and a huge Dill pickle on a stick. I want to expand a bit more as I gain experience.


I will be wintering in Yuma This year, unfortunatly I will not be able to bring my cart. I would be interested in working one while there or leasing a Hot Dog cart if any of you guys know of any available in that area let me know.

Next year if the HDC works out, I'll find a way to get the cart there next year!

Well I guess thats enough for now. I will look FWD to your critisiem and further Ideas




    • Total Posts: 7762
    • Joined: 7/24/2008
    • Location: Bayonne, NJ
    Re:Hungry Dog Hot Dog carts Sun, 10/28/12 9:57 PM (permalink)
    Welcome Hungry Dog!

    Gotta watch the lettuce when it's a unitasker...and can be a cranky hold.

      • Total Posts: 7762
      • Joined: 7/24/2008
      • Location: Bayonne, NJ
      Re:Hungry Dog Hot Dog carts Mon, 10/29/12 12:07 AM (permalink)
      When you say "hot mustard" for the New York Dog you mean spicy brown mustard? Hot mustard here usually means Chinese hot mustard.

        • Total Posts: 7762
        • Joined: 7/24/2008
        • Location: Bayonne, NJ
        Re:Hungry Dog Hot Dog carts Mon, 10/29/12 12:18 AM (permalink)
        Wait a minute. You're in Illinois...using a Nathan's (very good) for the big dog.. Sabrett onions for the "New York Dog (very nice)... a Sam's for the loyal dog (they gonna get ya honey) and also using the Sam's or Nathan's for the "Chicago Dog" Illinois?

        In the very passionate regional loyalty world of hot might want to look at Vienna Beef...or take loyal & Chicago out of the menu descriptions.
        <message edited by CCinNJ on Mon, 10/29/12 12:37 AM>

          • Total Posts: 9583
          • Joined: 9/1/2006
          • Location: Gilbert, AZ
          Re:Hungry Dog Hot Dog carts Mon, 10/29/12 1:28 AM (permalink)
          There's a manufacturer in Phoenix that will rent you a cart that you could take over to Yuma. He also has lease/purchase plans as well.

          Have you had a Sonoran Dog yet?
          It would be a BIG seller in Yuma.
          When you come out, stop in Tucson and check out the various Sonoran Dog places.
          Much better than a regular hot dog IMHO!


            • Total Posts: 7762
            • Joined: 7/24/2008
            • Location: Bayonne, NJ
            Re:Hungry Dog Hot Dog carts Mon, 10/29/12 1:35 AM (permalink)
            Ummm...that's some daily commute.
              Hungry Dog

              • Total Posts: 24
              • Joined: 10/28/2012
              • Location: Freeport, IL
              Re:Hungry Dog Hot Dog carts Mon, 10/29/12 2:07 PM (permalink)
              OK Thanks for the replys
              First off a Vienna Dog WAS the original dog planned for the Chicago Dog. As I mentioned in the post I had a taste off with many of my friends and family. I had them taste three Premium dogs:
              Hebrew National 4:1 won the best taste vote by 1 vote.  The Nathens 4:1 came in a close second. The Vienna dog came in a poor third place lagging the others by quite a bit. So I decided why carry another dog when everyone seemed to like the Nathens better anyway. So I switched my menu to read different.  So I decided why carry another dog when everyone seemed to like the Nathens better anyway. So I switched my menu to read different. 

                    I had them taste 4 different 8:1 dogs (my Loyal Dog) 1st PL Sams 2nd was Ball Park 3rd Oscar Mayer and GFS bringing up the rear in 4th. This was much closer with the difference only a couple of votes seperating the various dogs
                     What canned Chili do you guys use? In Illinois I can only use canned.    Taste test for the Chili (canned, No Beans) was interesting as well. the winner by a small margin was "Centraila" A local store brand from Sullivans Market. Second was Hormel.
               In a resounding THIRD place (1 Vote) was Texas Pete's Chili sauce. This stuff was absolutly disgusting, it got one vote from someone who has seirous taste bud difficulties I am sure. Course as soon as I saw it was fat free and had no Carbs I knew it couldn't be any good and I was right boy, yuck!!
                    Sonoran Dog ?!?  I think I was looking at that when I was designing the menu. it has bacon wrapped around it right? It did sound good but it was quickly set aside as I cannot use raw bacon in Illinois, I have to use pre-cooked. I was planning on using pre-cooked Bacon slices or bacon pieces. Az would be a different story perhaps!
                  As far as the Mustard goes. it IS Spicy brown mustard. Acually it's the Cleveland favorite BERTMAN original Ball Park Mustard. Perhaps I should address that different as well.
              hey CCinNJ  What did you mean the Sams dog "is gonna get me"?

              Thanks for the replys
              <message edited by Hungry Dog on Mon, 10/29/12 2:38 PM>

                • Total Posts: 436
                • Joined: 6/16/2012
                • Location: Las Vegas, NV
                Re:Hungry Dog Hot Dog carts Mon, 10/29/12 5:22 PM (permalink)
                Vienna beef dogs on thier poppy seed bun with hormel no bean chlil.
                HOT DOG!
                and all thier other sausages are good to. and they also make pickles and relish and stuff.
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