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Messages - duggsdoggs

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Hot Dog Vendors / Re: First day of sales was today!
« on: October 08, 2017, 11:26:10 AM »
First question is do you have a menu?  I assume that you do.  When people ask you how much a hot dog is say: "I have a menu right there and point to it; then say your best deal is my combo because you get the drink and the chip with it".  I then tell time the condiments that I offer for free.  I also say as you can see I take credit cards too.  Plus tax is included.  Always remember that some people will walk away but for the most part you must sell them a hot dog, people expect to be sold.  If the walk away just wait on the next customer.

Lets say you sell a 2 hot dogs for $5.00 then you take the tax out of the $5 that means at a 8% tax rate they are getting the dogs for 4.60 for two dogs, that is $2.30 each, if they can't pay that they need to go to Walmart and buy some hot dogs and buns and cook their own.

Look at these number and remember you are out there to make money, these are cost projections for a vending business.

                                                                               ONE DOG    ONE DOG              TWO DOG
2017                                                                  BEEF         COMBO BEEF         COMBO BEEF
MEAT TYPE                                                            $0.30      $0.30                        $0.60
BUN                                                                            $0.21      $0.21                           $0.42
CHIPS                                                                                 $0.24                           $0.24
DRINK                                                                                 $0.29                           $0.29
CONDIMENTS                                                            $0.18      $0.18                           $0.36
TOTAL                                                                    $0.69    $1.22                         $1.91
CURRENT PRICE                                                    $2.25      $4.50                         $6.75
PROFIT PER UNIT                                                    $1.56     $3.28                         $4.84
RECOMMEND  PRICE   3X FOOD                               $2.07       $3.66                        $5.73
PROFIT ABOVE RECOMMENDED                            $0.18     $0.84                         $1.02
7% SALES TAX                                                     $0.16     $0.32                           $0.47
PROFIT ABOVE RECOMMENDED AFTER TAXES    $0.02     $0.53                          $0.55

Hot Dog Vendors / Re: Modernizing an old cart
« on: October 05, 2017, 07:06:08 PM »
Let's say that 8.34 lbs (which it does), x 25 Gallon = 208 lbs.  Now in saying that if you have a 5 gal fresh water tank and a 7.5 gallon gray water tank then you would have 150% of Fresh Water.  That should be more than enough to cover any cart.  That weight would be 41.7 lbs.  Now in saying all of that don't read too much into the code, normally you can sit down with the health department and talk to them and have them explain the code.  I will say that there are a lot of carts in California that are currently working and I don't believe for one second that they are hauling 208 lbs plus of water on their carts.  You don't use your ice bin to put ice in that melts, you would use ice packs which has no waste factor.  If you are talking about your external coolers you would not dump them out into your cart sinks, you would take them back to your base of operations to drain them.  Hence no need for extra water.  Your sinks on your cart are for washing your hands and for washing utensils if you need only if you drop them.  For me I carry extra clean utensils that are in a zip lock bag that I use if I drop a utensil.  Your product water is less than 2.5 gallon (WAG), I have never used more than a couple of gallons of water to operate my cart (you only need a couple inches in the full size pan and about 1/2 full in the the half pan and 1/2 full in the 1/3 size pan so why would you take more water than that.  Most vendors only work 4 ours a day on site so why would you need 208 lbs of water.  Sorry I got long winded..

Hot Dog Vendors / Re: Modernizing an old cart
« on: October 04, 2017, 04:42:22 PM »
I am not an expert in this field but you can get a "Build a Cart Program" and find a great list of items to buy it does cost about $99.00.  That is about the best advise I can give, I know my cart real well but others not too good.

Hot Dog Vendors / Re: First day of sales was today!
« on: October 04, 2017, 04:36:08 PM »
I am glad that you did Good!! Good!!  I guess that is why we tell people to do a trial run but truth be known I just set my cart up and hoped for the best.

Drive up, walk up, factory, business, street spot, catering, etc etc... does not really matter, if you are not making money after a fair test period then you have to decide if the location works or not but give every location a chance.  Stand back and look at your operations, would you buy a dog from yourself!!  Is your food good, your operation clean, do people have access to your cart or trailer, can your signs been seen; is your menu readable and the list goes on and on.

Hot Dog Vendors / Re: What are your prices?
« on: September 30, 2017, 04:46:50 AM »
Every area is different case in point, I get 2.25 for a 8/1 All Beef but that same dog may be $3.00 some where else.  The standard is 3 times food cost = price.  This is 1/3 food cost, 1/3 Operating Cost and 1/3 Profit.  In saying all of this if you start out at the higher price and have to go down in price customers will not get mad but they don't like it when you raise your prices.  Over the years I have raised my prices once but I arranged my menu which covered cost in a different manner; point two when I started you could get a two dog combo for $5.00 now my Hot Dog Combo is $4.50 but you get one dog, one chip and one drink.  If you want a two dog combo it is $6.75.  People do not mind paying for quality food, quality service and that is what I give them.

Your cost don't add up in my brain, $200 for Propane, $50 for insurance, $275. for hot dog cart fee.  The propane fee of $200 is not only a little high but a lot high.  I assume the $50 per month, which would be $600 per year but you can get $2 million with flip Insurance and get it for less if you are a member of Vendors United but you have to buy it from their site and pay for a year at a time.  Did not really understate the $275 for hot dog cart fee, I assume you are renting the cart or have it on some kind of lease.  Good!! Good!!

Hot Dog Vendors / Re: Question about water lines
« on: September 18, 2017, 04:53:22 PM »
I don't have that on my cart but I would think if it is gray water it should go to the gray water tank but it it is clean potable water then I would thing the ground but in saying that some places that you vend at do not want anything to go on the ground clear or not so I would run it to my gray water tank to solve that issue.

Hot Dog Vendors / Re: Insurance? How & where should I get it?
« on: September 17, 2017, 06:40:31 AM »
Not that I know but if you are a member of vendors united you also get a small discount.  That is the reason it is so low cost, you pay by the year.

Hot Dog Vendors / Re: Insurance? How & where should I get it?
« on: September 16, 2017, 04:09:52 AM »
I have flip insurance on my vending business.  Now in saying that it cost is $299.00 per year but you can get a discount if you are a member of but you have to go to their site for the discount.  You can also go to for the $299.price if you gross under $50,000.00 per year over that is $100 more per year.  You can also get inland marine policy added with flip.  They offer other coverage too.

Instant Coverage
Immediate Access to Your Certificate
Customized Dedicated Limits
Inland Marine Coverage Included
Quality Insurance
Licensed in all 50 States
Convenient Online Purchasing
24/7 Access to Policy Documents
A+ Rated Insurance Company
Peace of Mind
Free Unlimited Additional Insureds
$2M General Liability Aggregate
$2M Products-Completed Operations Aggregate
$1M Personal & Advertising Injury
$1M General Liability Each Occurrence
$300K Damage to Premises Rented to You (Any One Premises)
$5K/$10K Business Personal Property/Inland Marine (Any One Article/Aggregate)

I do not sell insurance but this is what I use.  Works for me.

Good!! Good!!

Hot Dog Vendors / Re: Staying True
« on: September 15, 2017, 01:58:04 AM »
Yes I still have my secret sauce and yes it is still a secret...sorry but it will always be a secret....Good!! Good!!

Go to and you should be able to find parts that you need to change your burner system.  Note that if you have a little mechanical ability you should have no issues but if not you can also check with your local propane dealer and they should be able to install the parts.  I have a big dog and have 3 burners on it but when I bought it new I only had two.

If you do it correct you should not have any left overs or very limited about.  Remember every left over takes away your profit.

Set you price.  Down here you can go to the local convenient Store and buy a hot dog for .50, I sell mine for 2.25 same size dog.  You can always go down but going up sucks.  Try things and if it works find if it don't try something else.  Down here if you say ALL BEEF they will buy it but every area is different.

Hot Dog Vendors / Staying True
« on: September 03, 2017, 05:15:20 PM »
As some may know I have been doing this thing called a "Hot Dog Business" since 2009 and what I have found is the following:

I love doing this and if you don't you need to run as fast as you can and do something else.

I started out with a plan to only be part time and for the most part have remained part time, my cart has been used 60 times this year so far.

I do 8/1 All Beef Hot Dogs, 4/1 All Beef Hot Dogs and 1/4 Roger Wood Sausage Dogs, Assorted chips and Assorted 12 oz can drinks.  I only do Mustard, Ketchup, Sweet Relish, Yellow Banana Peppers, Hot Peppers, Graded Cheese, Kraut, Chili and Slaw.  I only use fresh baked buns from our local bakery and cut them on the top, yes I cut ever bun.

I have done everything from Street Spots to Catering Birthday Parties, Grand Openings and also Festivals and Special Events and even a Wake.

I fix ever dog that is served at my cart so you may have to wait in line which is a good good thing because I provide a great show and treat people like they need to be treated.  In other words I serve my customers and am glad when they come back.

Now in saying all of that I have tried a few things, nacho's, bacon jam, coke onions, sweet tea.  At catering events I have even served BBQ sliders, Slaw, Potato Salad and Baked Beans, all from my cart.

I say all of this to say the one thing that I have found is that you do not have to serve everything in the world to do this.  I always tell people to use the KISS method.  You can do the basic hot dogs from a cart and make a great living but what you have to do is provide a service that people remember.  Over the years my advertising for the most part has been word of mouth and free except for my signs and shirts and a few events that I sponsor.

My wife and me went to town today to Subway and it was the worst service I have seen in a while, the person that waited on us just did not want to be there and really did not want to wait on anyone.  I assume that my sales have gone up so much.

Remember you don't have to have everything for everyone, but you do have to provide good, clean and safe food for your customers and also remember if you don't what to serve people or wait on people find something else to do.  Stay true to your business plan and yourself and you will make it.  Our business is 99% customers service and 1% good good food.

Duggs Doggs
Good!! Good!!

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