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Hot Dog Vendors / With great freedom comes great indecision.
« Last post by on Today at 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?
Hot Dog Vendors / Re: Anybody got a night light solution?
« Last post by on Today at 09:37:57 AM »
Oh yeah I do have a couple gas lamps. Coleman makes these things called "propane distribution trees".

Propane lamps are great for making light and heat. The thing is (obviously) they are dangerous to large crowds and especially kids. Knock one over and now you have hot broken glass and a propane leak.
Hot Dog Vendors / Re: What a day
« Last post by on Today at 09:19:51 AM »
Yeah what can I say? I saw a chink in the armor and I went for it. Old age and treachery will defeat youth and beauty!

I do recall that state of utter over-extension. Last few times I was on the other side of the rope: director of event security. One reason I won't do that job again is I never had enough budget therefore never enough trained staff and the only way to compensate is just work ourselves half to death. By day 3 we're qualified to secure a sleeping bag.

Plus it wasn't all festivals. It was mostly political. Mostly mainstream republican politics but the political sphere has gotten so hostile that the only way to secure it is just tell everybody to stay home.

Thank God hot dogs aren't political. I've had just about all the politics I can stand. By comparison, slinging is a way more effective way of making life tolerable. But I guess we fight our own war. The war to find the happy medium.

The major challenge to most of us in finding the happy medium is the seasonal nature of our business. We kinda gotta make hey while the pastures are green.

Hot Dog Vendors / Re: What a day
« Last post by Super Weenie on October 22, 2017, 07:25:44 PM »

You will note that there was no mention of a "problem" in my post, nor any complaints. Just a statement of needing to wise up.  ;)
Hot Dog Vendors / Re: Anybody got a night light solution?
« Last post by on October 22, 2017, 03:14:42 PM »
Militantly opposed to 110V. We should be self-contained.

Only options are batteries (which we are using) and a genny.

I don't like gennies. They displace oxygen.
Hot Dog Vendors / Re: First day of sales was today!
« Last post by on October 22, 2017, 03:13:14 PM »
It is a dream. A delirious vision. What does it take to be the best in our field? To be the best among us would take all of us and then some more.

Honestly I hope to be competent. To be the best? I kind of need you youngers to discover what the best is.

Every time you guys push the boundaries....actually screw this....

I started this business so my woman could have some time for her kids. That was the number one objective. Everything else that happened since then is just us trying to get better.

Let's never stop. And let's keep helping people on this same line. The better they get, the better we all get.
Hot Dog Vendors / Re: What a day
« Last post by on October 22, 2017, 03:05:22 PM »
45? Did you just say you are 45?


You just lost cred. You aren't allowed to have problems until you are 50.

Man I love saying that because people that are 60 and 70 and 80 are saying that to me. But I shall assert this superiority over you! Ha ha!

I am older than you therefore my life sucks more so you should entitle me with showering honor.

Or we could just keep improving every day. Just do me a favor: never let me be better than you.

Always do better than us young ones. All you have to do is learn what we know and make it better. That's kind of how the human species evolved from apes. That and agriculture. Followed by metalurgy.
Hot Dog Vendors / Re: Tomorrow is pretty big
« Last post by on October 22, 2017, 02:26:00 PM »
So....the fun part. Debriefing.

The location was stunning. It looked pretty much like a 5 star wedding setup.

And here's us slinging carnival food. I did kinda have a sense of being...maybe if not out of place but incomplete.

Kinda at the last second the property managers decided to limit everybody to one hot dog which was a mistake. And they tried to make us take tickets which I refuse to do. We serve food. We are not here to impose corporate policy.

We could have overcome the deficit in perceived value by letting everybody have as much as they want until the food runs out. We had enough food! But the limit kinda destroyed that. By the time I convinced them that we should make an announcement that everybody can have more hot dogs it was kinda too late.

We had a reasonable level of coordination. Service time was 5:30pm so we began at 9:00am at a leisurely pace and just kinda kept that casual vibe going all day. We stuffed two minivans and an Explorer to the gunnels with all the stuff. Drove there in a convoy. We arrived with 1:45 to set up.

We looked like this:
and this:
and this:
one more:

Nice chino shorts and red shirts eh? Now we have that "I work at Target" or Staples or just about any other servant in the Southwest look down.

The new coolers worked great. Given as I knew they don't have wheels. Ho by gods those things are heavy fully loaded. Luckily we rented some young men. But I'm glad we have them now. The coolers not the young men that is.

So ONE OF OUR CARTS MALFUNCTIONED! We could barely keep it light with a dull guttering flame. It reduced our overall capability by at least 15%. It's gotta be the regulator. However we retasked and compensated and got through the line of eaters well before event end.

See the plan was to have 2 hot dog carts and the pretzel cart at the end but the malfunctioning cart forced us to keep heating hot dogs and just stuff the pretzels in wherever we had pan space. It worked.

If we didn't have 2 young men dedicated to just handling popcorn, cotton candy and replenishing the condiments table it would have fallen apart. We had just the right staffing.

Every single day that any of us goes out with a single cart to do a job, we're one regulator away from TOTALLY BLOWING IT. I feel lucky this one failed where we had 2 other carts.

So that's how that one went. Only other notes on this one is they had us sign a contract that was 12 pages long and they had us jump through more hoops than the IRS. Took about 5 hours combined before we even showed up to serve.

One more note on that before I leave....their insurance requirements were beyond anything we had seen before. Our insurer said "sure, we can write this for $300" so I told them that. And I'm told a whole legal department reviewed it and decided they didn't need the extra insurance for $300.

Tell me how much it costs to have a room full of lawyers decide that saving $300 is worth it. After they come back from the 3 martini lunch and 18 holes on the golf course.

Hot Dog Vendors / Re: What a day
« Last post by Super Weenie on October 22, 2017, 01:49:49 PM »
 This is a very good cautionary tale for me! About a month ago I did a music festival. I got up at 7am on Friday and worked straight through until about 3am when I climbed into the back of my car and slept for about 3 hours. Then I worked until I went to bed at about 3 AM Sunday morning.

My only real break came at about 11 PM on Saturday night when my brain suddenly got very foggy, I had trouble talking  and I started to feel very sick. I closed for about 45 minutes, finally ate some food, drank a lot of water and slammed 32 ounces of Gatorade. Then, I went right back to it even though I knew I should call it good and chill out.

I'm 45 and in very good shape, but I can't do that again. It's stupid and very unhealthy. Hearing of a trip to the ER is the wake up call I needed. I'm glad your wife is ok!
Hot Dog Vendors / Re: Tomorrow is pretty big
« Last post by Super Weenie on October 22, 2017, 01:37:41 PM »
This kind of work isn't for everyone, that's for sure! If I were concerned about other peoples opinions of me, I never would have resigned from the cool sounding titles of "Senior Producer" and "Broadcast Design Director"…  The truth of it is that my old career wasn't cool at all. I was just digging digital ditches for huge faceless corporations that only cared about money. Every idea I had to come up with was subject to being dismissed or ruined by the people who wore suits and signed my paycheck. Most of them resented having to have "creative types" around at all.

Weenie slinging suits me perfectly! It is always funny when a former coworker comes by for some hotdogs… I can usually tell that they feel sorry for me; having traded in my office, my bullsh*t title and job security for a street corner and some weenies. Truthfully, I feel much sorrier for them than they could ever ever know.

Anyway, how did it go? I hope it was a great day!
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