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Anyone ever owned/own a hot dog stand? - Christian McQueen - 11-05-2013 04:42 PM

I've been mulling this over in my head last few weeks regarding opening a hot dog stand in LA.

I'm talking about the portable grills you see selling the bacon wrapped hot dogs.

I've observed these cats selling a shit ton of hot dogs over the years and clearly their overhead is low.

Also, it appears I could get 1 up with a very small investment of around $5,000.

The potential beauty of it is I could hire people to run it for cheap and still turn a good profit. Somewhere around $5k+ a month and with little time invested.

Anyone have experience with this?


RE: Anyone ever owned/own a hot dog stand? - DVY - 11-05-2013 05:41 PM

From what i've heard those stands are mexican mafia-run.


RE: Anyone ever owned/own a hot dog stand? - Christian McQueen - 11-05-2013 05:53 PM

^^^In the South Alleys, apparently the gangs will try to tax you, but in Hollywood would probably be fine.


RE: Anyone ever owned/own a hot dog stand? - MrXY - 11-05-2013 08:25 PM

Staff it with girls in bikinis and give all the hot dogs sexual double entendre names


RE: Anyone ever owned/own a hot dog stand? - speakeasy - 11-05-2013 08:39 PM

I'm surprised it would take even $5,000 up front to start one. How much could a cart and grill cost? Those illegal immigrants cooking them are probably paid next to nothing. Hollywood seems kinda saturated though. Those guys are on every corner practically.


RE: Anyone ever owned/own a hot dog stand? - Christian McQueen - 11-05-2013 08:47 PM

The cart and grill is the bulk of the $5k, around $3,500.

The actual costs of dogs etc is a joke. My estimates are around every hot dog including condiments is around $.30 and it sells for $4. Major profit margin.

Saturation could be a problem, however Mr.XY is on the same page: I would staff it with cute 7's and when weather permits, they would be in bikinis.

Guess which stand guys drunk out of the club will go to? Lol

I'm not 100% about it, but based on numbers it could be a real nice additional cash flow...


RE: Anyone ever owned/own a hot dog stand? - Merenguero - 11-05-2013 09:34 PM

I don't know if this is still the case, but in Pinellas County, Florida, El Mechanico territory, they used to have hot dog stands with girls wearing thongs and I think bikini tops working there. It appeared to be a great marketing move, but I think too many motorists were staring at the girls and causing accidents. I'm a really deep sleeper and when I was in high school and visiting my uncle, one or more of my family members used to tell me, "We're going to the naked hot dog stand" in order to get me out of bed.


RE: Anyone ever owned/own a hot dog stand? - WesternCancer - 11-05-2013 09:40 PM

would you just be doing generic hot dogs or something more?


In Vancouver there is Japadog which has japanese style toppings and its the hugest shit in town, they must make bank.

Maybe you could staff it with half-naked girls from different ethnicities and have them serving their countries specialties in hot-dog form.

I was looking into doing a food truck a while back and at least here you need to make sure you have all of your paperwork/permits in order.


RE: Anyone ever owned/own a hot dog stand? - Hotwheels - 11-05-2013 09:54 PM

Talked to a guy in Iowa a few years ago that was running one of these deals. His set up was a small trailer, about the size of a normal hot dog cart, that he just set up in a parking lot along a busy road.

Claimed he put three kids through college doing it.

Looked like this;
http://www.thehotdogcart.com/

Obviously not Hollywood, but if the carts are out there they are making money.


RE: Anyone ever owned/own a hot dog stand? - Hotwheels - 11-05-2013 09:57 PM

(11-05-2013 09:34 PM)Merenguero Wrote:  I don't know if this is still the case, but in Pinellas County, Florida, El Mechanico territory, they used to have hot dog stands with girls wearing thongs and I think bikini tops working there. It appeared to be a great marketing move, but I think too many motorists were staring at the girls and causing accidents. I'm a really deep sleeper and when I was in high school and visiting my uncle, one or more of my family members used to tell me, "We're going to the naked hot dog stand" in order to get me out of bed.

haha Just found this on the site I listed above;

[Image: hdpic.gif]

Hot Dog Success Stories

A group of female exotic dancers in Florida got together and purchased several Hot Dog Trailers. They took turns operating them during the day while still dancing at night. They chose to wear rather revealing attire. Quickly there daily gross climbed to $2,000 - $3,000 per day. All was well until the Florida Highway Patrol noticed that the car accident rates were drastically increasing on the roads surrounding their selling locations. The local government responded by instituting an ordnance that established a dress code for all street vendors. Needless to say this dress code did not allow the attire the ladies were previously wearing. Although business still boomed, it was just not the same for the girls and they moved on to other things.

http://www.thehotdogcart.com/hd_stories.html


RE: Anyone ever owned/own a hot dog stand? - Christian McQueen - 11-05-2013 10:40 PM

Regular dogs but probably premium beef. (Insert haha dick jokes haha)

I don't think I'd go as far as those string bikinis because they'd cause a traffic jam on Hwood blvd lol, but I'll be they made a killing back then.

Cute girls (7's), in bikini tops, daisy dukes and tub socks would kill it though, especially with the names I'm thinking of:

-Big Dog's
-Big Weiner's
-Dirty Weiner's

Ironically, when searching 'hot dog cart' on Google, 'hot dog cart GAME' came up too haha.

I'm sure between the employees and customers it could become a pussy funnel as well. : ) Cash n Ass.


RE: Anyone ever owned/own a hot dog stand? - Christian McQueen - 11-05-2013 10:49 PM

"Maybe you could staff it with half-naked girls from different ethnicities and have them serving their countries specialties in hot-dog form."

I like this.


RE: Anyone ever owned/own a hot dog stand? - Laner - 11-05-2013 11:03 PM

(11-05-2013 09:40 PM)WesternCancer Wrote:  would you just be doing generic hot dogs or something more?


In Vancouver there is Japadog which has japanese style toppings and its the hugest shit in town, they must make bank.

Maybe you could staff it with half-naked girls from different ethnicities and have them serving their countries specialties in hot-dog form.

I was looking into doing a food truck a while back and at least here you need to make sure you have all of your paperwork/permits in order.

I know that couple. They are grossing $110,000 a month.

He started it when his wife went on maternity leave. By month three it was going crazy so he quit (he worked with a friend of mine) and him and his wife worked the cart (she had the baby slung around her).

Key points:

- High quality ingredients.
- Healthy (ish) condoments
- Celeb endorsement (Ice Cube buys 12 at a time)
- Kick ass instagram and twitter (twitter was the make it ingredient)


RE: Anyone ever owned/own a hot dog stand? - Christian McQueen - 11-05-2013 11:10 PM

Good info.

Celeb endorsement would be easy, just hit up some clients and have them take a photo in front of the cart then tweet about it.

I don't expect to make $110k a month by any means but 6-8k would be solid. If it were to really take off, could always open another stand then that's hitting decent cash.


RE: Anyone ever owned/own a hot dog stand? - WanderingSoul - 11-06-2013 03:03 AM

My home town is less than 10k people. A guy opened a small drive up hot dog shop and I heard he was clearing 40k a year and was only opened for lunch. Say $2 profit per sale, 50 sales a day equals 3k month. Hollywood probably gets more traffic in an hour than my town does all day long. I don't know the actual numbers, but the person who told me he made 40k a year is a very reliable source who was friends with the guy.

Cute young girls working the cart, with one of them twirling a sign advertising some sort of sale sounds like a good idea to me.

I went to Chico State and we had tons of pizza carts that were always packed. I thought it'd be a good idea to do one with legit tri tip sandwiches at $7-9 bucks a pop. Be the premium product in a market saturated with cheap pizza.


RE: Anyone ever owned/own a hot dog stand? - WanderingSoul - 11-06-2013 03:10 AM

Good initial marketing idea. Offer customers a free soda if they take a photo of the cart/girls/hotdogs/whatever and post it on facebook. Get a few hundred people to do that the opening week and the word will spread like wildfire. Especially with photos of the girls.


RE: Anyone ever owned/own a hot dog stand? - Hades - 11-06-2013 03:14 AM

I know a guy who does something similar with these panini sort of sandwiches. On a shitty morning at the farmer's market he clears roughly a thousand dollars and spends maybe two hundred of that in overhead. I've never seen him go home without selling all (or nearly all) of his shit.

Chatted with him recently and he found out that if he bought twice as much stuff, showed up an hour early, stay an extra two or three hours, and sell cans of coke or mountain dew he can double his income (lots of "early risers" at the farmer's market apparently). The biggest problem is that he screws his help and barely pays them so his customer service is complete horseshit. Not a bad gig though.


RE: Anyone ever owned/own a hot dog stand? - Christian McQueen - 11-06-2013 04:22 AM

I ran some numbers and it appears that I could average around $2,000 per week/$8,000 a month.

That's net. 4 hours per night Thurs/Fri/Sat so 12hrs a week. With setup/getting supplies etc probably around 20hrs a week. So basically $166 per hour. Not too damn bad for selling dogs.

Could probably do more but those are the busiest nights in Hwood.

The key would be to get one popping then open another. Making $16,000 per month for 2 hot dog stands, 3 nights a week sounds good.

The overall plan would be to get it completely self-sufficient even if I make less money. I don't mind working the cart to start but don't want to spend every weekend grilling dogs.


RE: Anyone ever owned/own a hot dog stand? - worldwidetraveler - 11-06-2013 04:41 AM

(11-06-2013 04:22 AM)McQueensPlayboyRules Wrote:  I ran some numbers and it appears that I could average around $2,000 per week/$8,000 a month.

That's net. 4 hours per night Thurs/Fri/Sat so 12hrs a week. With setup/getting supplies etc probably around 20hrs a week. So basically $166 per hour. Not too damn bad for selling dogs.

Could probably do more but those are the busiest nights in Hwood.

The key would be to get one popping then open another. Making $16,000 per month for 2 hot dog stands, 3 nights a week sounds good.

The overall plan would be to get it completely self-sufficient even if I make less money. I don't mind working the cart to start but don't want to spend every weekend grilling dogs.

That is an all cash business and you know what happens when people handle your cash. How do you plan on keeping the people honest?

You can cross check inventory with sales but that wouldn't help you if they started bringing in their own supplies and pocketing all the cash.

I wonder if you would be better just renting the carts out for a daily fee.


RE: Anyone ever owned/own a hot dog stand? - Christian McQueen - 11-06-2013 05:13 AM

Good point. I would only hire girls and staff that I've known for years and can trust them.

I'm sure a few bucks is going to slip between the cracks but that comes with the territory. Also, I'd plan on paying them well. A well paid employee will tend to be more honest etc.

Renting the carts is a drop in the bucket compared to owning/running them. I started with that thought but it's not worth it.


RE: Anyone ever owned/own a hot dog stand? - pitt - 11-06-2013 08:34 AM

Lots of good ideas on this thread, specially the marketing ones.

I thought of doing this before. It would be good if your city allows you to play loud music on your hot dog stand. Put a TV on it if you can with lots of sports channels. Make it professional, give out receipts for every sale. Employ super friendly chicks and ensure customers experience is fun and entertaining. Your location should be in a really busy night scene and have in mind that many customers would be interested in buying hot dogs after the clubs close down, so be prepared for late night work.

You don't have much to lose, if it doesn't work out, you can do something else, go for it.


RE: Anyone ever owned/own a hot dog stand? - el mechanico - 11-06-2013 08:40 AM

New business + girls working it spells disaster to me.

The key to this is the prep work you don't have a walk in cooler out on the street, I wouldn't trust any white girl I've ever met to do this properly. Hire someone with a friendly face that has a family to feed.


RE: Anyone ever owned/own a hot dog stand? - Veloce - 11-06-2013 11:42 AM

Agree with el mech. You're going to have a hard time finding girls to man a cart for hours on end every day.

Those mexican grill carts in front of clubs are technically illegal. They get busted pretty regularly and I've seen it happen twice. Cops come by and these people have to dump all the food in the trash since they're selling food to the public without the required operating and health permits.

Not to rain on your parade bro but if it were that easy to generate substantial revenue off of hot dogs you'd see more people do it.

Now, what I would suggest, is get yourself a legit hot dog cart like what you see in NYC, because L.A. doesn't have that, we just get stupid fruit vendors. Who the hell is paying cash for a bag full of cut up fruit is beyond me but I laugh at that shit every time. Get yourself an operating and health dept. permit and pay a recent armenian immigrant to run the cart.

For premium hot dogs, stick with Sabrett. No-one sells them in L.A. and you would be a hit with the NY transplants that come here and endlessly bitch about not being able to find a decent hot dog (or bagel or slice or knish and all that other NY bullshit)


RE: Anyone ever owned/own a hot dog stand? - kbell - 11-06-2013 11:49 AM

I like to smoke the hotdogs with hickory and some bbq sauce with charcoal. Not sure how you would do that in volume for a stand though. To be fair though hotdogs don't absorb smoke as well as steaks do. Maybe a gas bbq would work but you lose the charcoal flavor. Also grass fed hotdogs or lower preservatives would have an appeal if you could get them cheaper by volume.


RE: Anyone ever owned/own a hot dog stand? - el mechanico - 11-06-2013 11:57 AM

Quote:stick with Sabrett.

If you go that route you need to maintain the "snap" they're supposed to have or your customers will get pissed.