Hot dog carts rely heavily on foot traffic for revenue, so just like a retail store, location is key. With that said, a hot dog stand can be very profitable. According to a recent article by ABC News, a year-round hot dog vendor can earn a six figure salary.
Price isn’t the only way to deliver value in your hot dog cart business. As a matter of fact it’s the very worst way.It’s normal to be nervous during the start up phase, but it leaves you susceptible to self doubt. The temptation to lower your prices is very strong during this period because it makes you feel more confident.
You think it’s a competitive advantage, something you have control over. In reality this terrible strategy is based purely on your fear of failure.Man up and plan to charge a price that will return a decent profit.
6 Ways to Make More Money With Your Hot Dog Cart：
1. Serve a kick ass product. Use top quality ingredients, super fresh condiments, ice cold drinks, and name brand chips. Watch those expiration dates – your customers do.
2. Be exclusive. Don’t try to compete with QT, Seven Eleven, and every other one-dollar-nasty-hot-dog-on-a-slimy-roller-grill-thingy operation out there. If all you offer is a green dried out no name dog with ketchup or mustard, you’ll get killed by the gas stations.
3. Be creative. The hottest trend in the country right now is “street food”, which usually refers to non traditional or gourmet offerings served from street carts. Jump on this trend by offering gourmet hot dogs. Try unusual toppings like avocado and sour cream, cilantro and tomato, crumbled bacon and chopped dates (try it – it’s good!).
4. Deliver an experience. Have some music playing (not too loud). Decorate your cart. Have a theme on certain days like “Hawaiian Fridays”. Run a little contest every now and then.
5. Be friendly. Don’t be the grumpy lady who sits in a lawn chair by her cart reading Lavyrle Spencer novels until someone rudely interrupts her to buy a hot dog. Chat up your customers. Most of them spend 50 hours a week in a cube farm under fluorescent lighting with no one to talk to. Be the highlight of their day.
6. Be findable. It’s a new decade. If you don’t have a website or Facebook page, make it a priority. In the old days you had to be in the same place every day so your regulars knew where to find you.
When people can find you online, it sets you free from being tied to one location because you can “post” your location each day. Your customers will get an automated email from you so they will always know where to find you.It’s not unusual to have customers waiting when you pull up.
There you go. A half dozen ways to rise above the competition without cutting prices.Have the courage to be the best. It pays.