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Topics - AZHotdog.com

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1
Bitcoin this magic digital substance that makes people rich.

This was years ago somebody said "hey come serve hot dogs and learn about this new digital currency thing" and "it's a pot-luck so it would be great if you set up a cart and gave away food".

At that time I was like yeah sure. Marketing event. People with money. Why not?

So I get there and set up in somebody's back yard and people are like "WOW A HOT DOG VENDOR THAT TAKES BITCOIN" and all the sudden these guys start "paying me" in like.....pretend money. "I'll pay you 0.0025 of a bitcoin!" and all i have to do is install this app on my phone or take this barcode or set up an online wallet at www.go-eff-yourself and all this garbage and I'm just like hey, have a hot dog. We're available for parties and mitzvas and weddings and bla bla bla.

Fast forward to roughly now. I'm going through old files on the computer and I come across this one thing From "BitcoinJerry". It's a text file.

I open the file and I see this string of alphanumeric garbage but I'm like hey...hey this looks like one of those "crypto codes" these guys were talking about and I find a guy that knows where to plug this number in and.....

ONE MILLION DOLLARS!

wait how much?

ONE HUNDRED BILLION DOLLARS (Dr. Evil all the way)

No actually it was worth $3500.

Huh?

Yeah just that one day I probably had like a dozen of these numbers being thrown at me and i only saved one of them so in technical terms, I sold a $3500 hot dog. Except I didn't. I was giving them away. I had no idea I just sold the most expensive hot dog on record. It was only retroactively that it became the most expensive hot dog on record.

Man. If I had kept all of those stupid numbers? Wow. I'd have the widest margins in our industry in all time. Think about that and weep all ye competitors!

But I am told if you lose the number, that value is GONE FOREVER. You can't get it back. So I am a massive total winner in one sense and a massive total loser in another. I got way, way more than I expected but I could have got way way way way more if I had known.

So let's get down to brass tacks here. Know what I'm glad for besides the glamor of being the guy that sold the most expensive hot dog in our known universe?

I'm glad it didn't change my life or who I am. I'm still grateful to be a slinger. And I know that as we come into spring sales season, the only metric for success or failure I have is our food and service quality.

BY OUR HOT DOGS WE SHALL BE JUDGED.

EOM.

P.S. if any of you have questions about this crazy technology, I do have a math/science/tech background and I have looked into the tech. It is integral and sound. It's just the application of same that has gone totally sideways. It's not what people think it is. But it's not going away. It's here to stay and it's gonna make change happen.

2
Just kidding about the pagan part....

To each of you a very happy New Year which means winter, the period of privation is half way over and it's all looking sunny from here. At least is solar calendar terms on the Northern hemisphere. Good news to most of you who have been half freezing to death.

Even here in the low desert I saw people, real humans have to put on jackets and coats and shiver in 57 degree temps. You read that right, +57F not -57. That's all it takes us to shiver here.

And like all of us I suspect, all of our businesses kinda go into hibernation for the holiday season. I'm happy for the chance to do all the maintenance and get things all set for spring which is our summer.

So what are you guys gonna do new this year? Got new goals and objectives?

For us we're fortunate to be legally able to do more than just hot dogs so at this point we have a regular carnival menu. We spent pretty heavy on some new equipment and we're targeting big game.

I re-learned an old rule since we teamed up with our guy Dean, in this new year, try to kill them with condiments. Roll out the red carpet for folks. This is the year where we destroy the "dollar menu" in terms of value and service.

Anyways, all the best to you guys, keep the news coming.


3
General Discussion / I think I got fired from a job. I broke.
« on: January 05, 2018, 05:38:40 PM »
We had this contract to feed people in a lovely park. It was a lunch gig so we arrived extra early to scope out the scene, get ourselves positioned.

All these homeless people came creeping out of every shadow and bush. All these guys with backpacks and bedrolls and suitcases. Just creeping up out of nowhere. And then we get the fires burning and the smell of our wonderful food just pervades the place and I see their eyes.

I know I am under contract to only feed my clients and take the best care of my guests to the exclusion of the whole universe but the eyes. Eyes speak words and those words were "I am so hungry" and I'm feeling like a bar of steel under stress test. I can only take this for so long and I'm gonna break. I'm still serving our happy guests but these eyes. What do I do?

Thankfully, I'm part native and we know sign language. That came in handy not at all. Almost nobody remembers the Great Sign Language so I resorted to our street sign language. I made the eye contact. I made the "shush secret" sign. One finger upright on your lips and you say "shhhhhhh" and then with my eyes direct you to the corner. And I will feed you. Just keep it on the down-low. Shhhhhhh.

I think the client saw this and did not approve. Dang.

I cannot refuse a human being food if it is within my capability because of this dude. This one guy that ruined our business one day by the shores of a sea called Galilee. And there was one dude that caught a single fish and a baker with only a single loaf of bread left. And this radical dude called Jesus found a way to multiply this and gather the leftovers to be given to the needy.

That is a model of intent. Did the apostles say "awesome dude, let's set up a commissary and a distribution center and do this full time!"

Why didn't they say that? They were still busy being amazed at all the wonderful things Messiah did. Their job was to follow the Lord wherever he went and to absorb teachings.

The job of gathering and distribution is left to us.


4
Hot Dog Vendors / On the subject of rebranding
« on: January 05, 2018, 05:00:37 PM »
Some of you know my history and rap. I got into this business for a way to have my woman and the kids to do something together. It was my best idea for to tell Susan to not get a job.

Yeah go get a job Suze but that means you have no time for the kids. How about we get a hot dog cart and at least they get to be together with you. Don't get a job honey, let's make one!

And it worked OK for a few years but...I kinda left them to run it and let's face it, not every kid in the world wants to grow up to be a slinger.

So the company that bore my name kinda went into the weeds. It got neglected. Run down.

So the next thing that happens is I semi-retired which is a fancy word for being sick to death of being a computer and systems guy and I have had just enough of the stupid corporate world and anybody in a Polo shirt and I figure hey, now I can just be the hot dog guy!

And I walk into this total disaster scene. The little business was broken. My name is broken. The patient is on life support but there is no detectable cranial activity. PULL THE PLUG!

Pull the plug on this one, it's beyond rehabilitation. So I aggressively rebranded.

Now all of this entails getting registered as a new LLP or LLC or whatever, it involves throwing out all of the old business cards and getting new ones, it involves websites and new logos and designers and all that stuff. All that stuff.

But taking a page from our Native American past, what it really means is going out onto the earth, our mother and asking the plants if they can help. Specifically one plant: the yucca.

If a yucca plant dies and offers itself, you can make a whip. Not just a whip, a freaking flexible saw blade that is literally designed to rip the meat off your bones. And if your vision is in accordance with the earth, you take this whip and you flay the people, you turn over tables, you hurl dust into the air and you are the face of terror. We knock down every door, we overturn the couches, we break all the dishes, screw these dishes we're getting new ones. And everything you thought about life or comfort just radically changed.

That's right, daddy came home and he brought a closet full of warriors with him. Here are the nations of our people. Here is mighty Chippewa, Llenappe and Eastern Cherokee. And just about every nation of Europe. We gotta lotta killas and they don't use mops. Maces, axes, tomahawks, swords both long and short are more their style.

And we militantly dedicate ourselves to being THE BEST.

THE BEST! And that makes the yucca whip seem benign.

There is only one way to be the best. Keep trying. If that takes re-inventing yourself from the ground up? That's exactly what we do.

Now if you can do all of this with humility? The grace like Dugg that passeth all understanding?

If you can do all this and just be happy with who you are? No matter how great or small?

You win.

Know what I like about us?

We know that winning small is still a win.

5
Hot Dog Vendors / To each of you, a very merrry Chrismas
« on: December 25, 2017, 10:44:23 AM »
Every single one of you are my personal heroes. And so I will carol you'

Gods  rest ye merry gentlemen let nothing you dismay

Remember Christ our Savior was born on Christmas day

to save us all from Satann's power  where we have gone astray

OH GREAT TIDINGS OF COMFORT AND JOY, OH  GREAT TIDINGS OF COMFORT AND JOY.

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Hot Dog Vendors / Hmmmmm
« on: December 17, 2017, 04:07:39 AM »
We wish you a merry Christmas we wish you a merry Christmas wish you a merry Christmas
and bring lots of beer!

Wait that's not how it goes. It's not supposed ta...

Good tidings to you and bring lots of gin! Good tidings for Chrismas and a ton of good beer!

Wait that's not the way it's supposed to go, thats...

To you and your kin and a very happy New Year!

7
Hot Dog Vendors / M Culinary Creations rented our carts
« on: December 13, 2017, 09:57:45 AM »
Ever feel small?

Guys I know the pride we take when we graduate from street sales into catering. I know the feeling of competence and capability we have, with just 3 little carts we can serve THOUSANDS. And look what we did! We all started with just one dinky cart but we grew it up out of the dirt and it's thriving.

So I get a call from M Culinary Creations. Headed by a real-live "Celebrity Chef". They want to rent our carts. And I was thinking they probably have a pretty neat setup.

OMFG. They have a warehouse. They have a warehouse that could fit 15 of MY HOUSE in it. Their walk-ins alone were the size of my house. I have a 3br, 2 bath house with a two car garage and you could have fit the whole thing through the door.

Row after row of shelves containing everything you can imagine. Dozens of Camp Chef stoves, dozens of coffee urns, hundreds of flagons, they have a propane filling station in the yard. And they got trucks. Real trucks. They have a fleet of trucks. Big ones. And they turn $3.5 MILLION per year. $3.5 MILLION DOLLARS.

Oh man were they hard on our equipment. They beat the crap out of our equipment. Our vintage Victor hot dog carts are our pride and joy. They are irreplaceable. And they took more damage in 3 days than we have put on them in a decade.

My team is outraged. Highly indignant. Downright pissed actually. But I drank a couple cold ones, collected my thoughts and cordially informed them (via email) that I am willing to forgo any charges for damage if we can come by and get an actual tour of the facility and meet Mr. Celebrity Chef himself.

Why?

Because I don't know how to take us from where we are to where they are. I just want us thinking in that direction. And I'm willing to absorb a couple hundred in damages if it gets us thinking in terms of what is POSSIBLE.

Hey if we put our heads together we could do this. Hey we're smart too! Hey we're organized, between us we have this capability. We touch the sky! We get to kiss angels! We don't know God but we got to take a selfie!

Of course, the counter point to all of this (Dugg's Dogs!) is we're allowed to be happy and grateful for the life we have (Good Good!) and there's a lot to be said for just doing what we do and doing it well.

So I'll leave this with my usual ball of confusion. I'm not sure all of us can or even want to do this. But I know at least one of us can. And that one of us might just be you, dear reader. And it's our job to lavish advice and encouragement on you. We do happen to be pretty good at that.

May God bless each and every one of you this day and all days to come.

NOW GET OUT THERE AND SELL!

8
Hot Dog Vendors / Failure. Success. How do we define it?
« on: December 05, 2017, 11:31:57 AM »
I've been on a few hot dog boards over the years. I like this one because we're sorta "country". Success to most of us means "getting by" or "happy with myself". There's other boards for top dogs that literally make like...megabucks. And they brag (market themselves) far and wide.

And that's cool. I had that attitude myself starting up. It's an East Coast thing if you haven't noticed. The whole "come in large, project success" thing.

Some of us do make megabucks and you don't get there by being quiet, shy or underconfident.  We've all heard about them. Guys with perfect locations, guys with vision, guys that brought in half a $million where we had a couple thousand to start up with.

So for newer readers I thought I'd talk about failure a bit. Like how many locations we tried and lost money. Losing money is just part of business until you can't pay the utility bills. Or buy the kids new clothes for school. And I'm not sure if more money is gonna change anything with me and the kids. Because at one point there was no baby sitter so the kids got dragged out on the jobs with us.

So are they ever gonna see me as anything but the guy that let them down?

I dunno. They are grown up now.

Can I consider myself a failure now that our company puts smiles on people's faces? And how we've helped some people out along the way?

Naw. Not in the long run anyways. I'm pretty proud of all of us.

For you folks just starting up, over the past 15 years or so we kinda took hot dogs from this kinda sleezy dirty biker business into something fresh and hip. The food trucks added a lot to this effort. But the one thing that really marks us is our TENACITY. We just don't give up. I think that's the one thing that we all have in common.

Sometimes I tell customers that this beats working for a living but that's one of our lies. We're supposed to make it look easy.

The man I remember most (Old Pete my mentor) told me "I'm just willing to work as hard as necessary to not have a job".

So we know it's hard. But we never give up after the first try. Or the next few after that. And if it really was that easy? If this business was really easy?

We'd find something cooler to do. But for now we're doing this. Keep at it.

9
Hot Dog Vendors / Been saving this one. THIS GUY IS KILLING IT!
« on: December 02, 2017, 05:37:07 PM »
(Preamble: Dear Dugg please don't banish this post. Even though it's about a truck not a cart. The truck people don't need to hear this and we do. So it's not for them it's for us.)

We started seeing this new black 12 foot trailer behind a nice black truck on the side of the road around the corner. Then we saw him again. We started seeing lines of cars lined up. It started creating a traffic situation but guess what? The local cops were in line to get this guy's food.

We were like "who is this masked man?"

We saw him at a school we served at and I dove. I came in from high altitude with the sun at my rudder and opened fire:

"I have heard you guys are AWESOME I can't wait to try your food, anything we have is free to you, anything you need we're here to help".

This brought the Proprietor Richard by. And he brought samples of his menu. And the guy is just on fire. Big handshake, the guy actually made me feel like a million bucks just for talking to him. But he told me how he did it. He tells every single customer "I need your help to make this happen. I need you to support me on facebook and Twitter".

And people love his product and his attitude so they do just that. So there's the lesson here. I have seen people just go right to the top of this game by using facebook and twitter correctly.

He's called East Coast Cheese Steaks in Phoenix AZ. Look him up, it can't be hard.

What might be hard is some stories. We have stragetic partners as some of you know. Other guys with carts that we team up with now and then.

One of them, our guy Dean, he finds himself at and event and he forgot his tongs! And he sees this guy Philly Cheese Steak and he asks if he can maybe borrow a pair of tongs. And this is what he told me. The guy Richard drives across the street where there was a Sam's Club and he buys this guy a pair of tongs and drives them back and hands them to him.

Wow. OK. This guy Richard is a major dude. He might be new but he has the old values. You always look out for the other guy. So he's in with us. Whatever he needs we will endeavor to lend a helping hand. It's gotta be in our genetics or something but when you are a major dude you are a major dude.

The only comment I will make on the menu is um....it's really good, you get a huge portion, but the product deviates from East Coast norms in a way that makes it better for the Southwest. Frankly it's an INTERPRETIVE CHEESE STEAK.

But the lesson here is about how he used "social media" and just roadside shotgun service to build his brand.

He's one of the reasons I asked you guys to tell me what you would serve if you could serve anything. This is hamburger land, this is taco land, this is the land of the same fast food franchises every 5 miles.

I hate social media. I am incapable of understanding how these softwares are positive and helpful in the real world. I just have personal hangups about using them. It don't mean you have to hate them. You can even hate them and use them at the same time! In fact here's me telling you to do so for your own benefit. And I'll offer you a justification. We actually serve real people real food and this is good for them.

Start sending me crap about puppies, children or your best vacation ever and I'll hate you too.

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Hot Dog Vendors / If you could, if you were allowed to, if they let you?
« on: November 28, 2017, 01:26:33 PM »
If you had carts such as we do but NO LAWS saying what we can or cannot serve.....

What would you serve?

With the carts we have (mostly steamers) and if you could serve ANYTHING YOU WANT....

what would that be?

11
Hot Dog Vendors / I blew one. I blew a gig. Major fail.
« on: November 05, 2017, 10:39:56 PM »
I had this major day yesterday. I was supposed to move 1800 hot dogs at 3 locations.

It did not go well. And I played every trick in the deck. My brave company failed to show at one out of 3 locations. And the warehouse "lost  my order" so I had to scramble the remainins staff I had to secure product from supermarkets. And I'm supposed to have backup people. They had "the flue". Oh no problem, Susan also developed "the flue" in the morning.

I  had all the equipment but I didn't have enough oh whatever...

This one had me trying to figure out  some angles that just didn't have enough time and space and product and people at the right place. None of the math worked out. I had to let one go.

FAIL. MAJOR FAIL. I FAILED ONE LOCATION OUT OF THREE.

Screw what I just lost in dollars ($1500) for the loss of this event but the loss to our reputation is worse.

What's worse than anything is I didn't do Good Good like Dugg tells us. And I really know that our label, not just my label, our label of quality reflects on all of us as an industry.

I really am sorry guys. I feel like I let us all down. Every time one of us fails it takes us all down a notch.

12
Hot Dog Vendors / I was saying I don't worry about food truck competition
« on: November 04, 2017, 01:42:17 AM »
Food trucks. Our glamorous elder brothers in this biz. So high priced that our low priced quality always works. Or so I thought. I guess we impressed some well to do people so they get us into new places and....

Rich people don't spend money on hot dogs. They love free hot dogs. They don't pay for them. I did a few school gigs recently for wealthy patrons and other trucks beat me. They had actual MEALS.

I guess that's where this "plated" thing comes in with catering. And I'm thinking I need chafing pans. I gotta up the game.

For you guys just starting out? For any event you want to expand your menu from just hot dogs, chips and drink. We were making popcorn in house until we found a wholesale deal. Ditto cotton candy. Snow cones are just too easy and I have the spreadsheet that shows you how much ice and flavors you need per serving.

I think I sold about $300 in beverages tonight. Got a couple of those "white wale" coolers.

We were joking that these new coolers are a great investment because if the business fails at least we have coffins. Everybody but Dean but we got one of those Igloos on wheels for him.

13
Late? What's late? I need 2 locations with 500 dogs and buns at 9:30am. I need another 800 at 2:00pm.

All I really know for sure right now is I'm gonna like doing nothing on Sunday. Except maybe order Chinese.

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Hot Dog Vendors / Best location ever and not a single pic
« on: October 28, 2017, 08:30:32 PM »
http://www.therailroadpark.com/

The got something like 30 acres of park and there are these steam locomotives towing people around. Funny thing is I realized I had probably never seen a steam engine in operation.

I'm told these were burning coal. If so it's the highest grade coal in the world. You have to stare hard to see smoke from the chimney. And no odor! And this thing is pulling about 10 little cars full of about 135 people. Oh yeah and quiet! That also amazed me. They had to use those whistles to warn you of their approach because they don't make that much sound.

So we served assorted sausages and burgers "plated" today which means you get your meat on a paper plate with cold baked beans and cole slaw. Plus pretzels and cotton candy. Went over pretty OK except a sharp person or two asked about our food temps. We had the slaw on ice but on a buffet table in the sun? We were working against the clock a bit on that one.

Nobody thinks to worry about the beans. But with the slaw we had a number of other factors working for us:

The dressing is pretty alkali. With the vinegar marinade we're doing the pickling trick. Nobody worries about the mustard and catsup for the same reasons. Nasty microorganisms don't like it. Slaw is a good pick for a caterer for this reason alone. You got some holding time.

Now what makes cold baked beans so special? Why do they have holding time?

Dehydration. The "candied" effect of dehydration. Baked beans are cooked down with sugar and with enough sugar and boiling down, the moisture content becomes difficult for microorganisms to metabolize. You know this from jellies and jams which are pretty good for canning and preserving for this reason. Sugar is a carbon crystal that traps water. And you know that nasty things you can only see with a microscope need 3 things to thrive: water, food and warmth. Baked beans make it harder for them to get water.

There. Now I made steam engines in some way relevant to slinging. This post might just have a chance at surviving the Dugg-Dustruction, the banishment into the "general" category which is basically a purgatory full of posts that have no legitimate reason to exist.


15
Hot Dog Vendors / With great freedom comes great indecision.
« on: October 23, 2017, 07:21:52 PM »
Today I'll talk about a problem which I dearly hope each one of you will one day have.

It seems that just about everyplace is inventing more laws and more regulations on what we do and Phoenix (Maricopa County AZ) is doing the exact opposite.

Know how most of us could only serve sausages and nothing else since our grandparents were young? Well here they just kinda opened it up to anything we can buy precooked and frozen. And then they decided heck, screw frozen, screw prepackaged, now you can sell anything from an "approved source". And these are the guys that do the approving of the source.

So anything from a wholesaler, anything from a restaurant, whatever you can sling from the corner deli. We could be out there selling baba ghanough or doro-wat or chicken ching chong from china.

Now you guys get the natch on catering right? Private party catering has always been our thing and we have been totally rogue for years. We serve all kinds of things besides hot dogs. But our menu grew out of customer demand. For real, every time we heard something from customers twice or 3 times we added it to the menu. Do you do snow cones? Do you do popcorn? Do you do nachos? Do you do cotton candy? How about hamburgers? How about booze? Bar service? I dunno.

So here's me thinking "what do people want now?" OK almost nobody in America likes gag ghanoush. And if i said i have gulab-jammans?

If you are like most people you don't even know what gulab-jammans are. I can tell you what they are but the truth sounds worse. Gulab-jammans are milk balls in sweet rosewater.

So how would you like to suck my milk balls? How about with some sweetened rosewater?

My point is now we can serve you whatever we want. So what do you want? Philly cheese steak? Swedish meatballs? Gyro? Hammentashen?

I am legally entitled to serve you whatever you want now. Can you just tell me what that is?

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