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 Switching to nights - need thoughts and tips....

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  • Total Posts: 439
  • Joined: 10/1/2011
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Switching to nights - need thoughts and tips.... Wed, 11/28/12 11:17 PM (permalink)
So it's been about 3 months at my daily spot and i think I'm going to make a's the story.
Brand new in the biz....placed my cart at my downtown spot about 3 months ago.  Things started off strong enough and of course the weather was beautiful here in the NW then....fall crisp days full of sunshine in the 70's.  From what I've learned new restaurants (and no we're not a restaurant but I think some things can relate)  can start off with a bang and then level off then you build from there.  The weather has turned...we don't get drifts of snow here but here but we do get wind and rain.  There are several offices around and I know people have liked the dogs but I think the weather is keeping them from coming out of their offices.  I have days that spike high like the first of the month, but for the most part I'm selling 25 dogs....sometimes over 30......a few here and there over 40...not enough as far as I'm concerned. 
I got permission from a company to set up in front of their place that is adjacent to the sidewalk and in the middle of the block.  It's in the middle of a block that has several bars and nightlife.  I told myself that I wasn't working anymore late shifts but when push comes to shove, you gotta do what you gotta do....
My plan was to arrive at the spot around 10 pm....have food and everything set up by it until 2:30 am or so....probably crawl in bed not too long before the sun rises....eep.
So those of you that work the bar scene with your hot dog cart...anything I should be aware of?  I'm thinking of having my menu even more simple than it is now....maybe very large pics, the name of the dog and a list of the condiments, etc.  I might be overthinking this (and I'm sure you guys will tell me I am.....ha ha) but I'm picturing drunk patrons that can't see straight and trying to figure out what is on what dog.....but maybe it's not that bad?
During the day I usually have the cooler off to the side and let my customers grab their own soda but is it stupid to let this type of crowd do that?  Also I'm guessing marketing is a bit different...I use punch cards for my office people, was thinking about doing weekly specials, all that jazz but it seems like the bar crowd just want a dog and all of that stuff really doesn't mean a whole lot....just getting the cart placed in a spot where there are partying folks walking by seems to be the most important thing but I might be oversimplifying it?
Any thoughts would be great...thanks!
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