When life hands you a lemon, sell a lemon ice. When the economy gets chilly, serve up a chili dog.
That’s what more and more folks are doing this recession, turning to street treats — hot dog carts and ice cream trucks. The initial investment is low, the income can be good, and there isn’t a boss looking over your shoulder.
In the first three months of 2009, American Dream Hot Dog Carts, a manufacturer of mobile food-vendor carts in Florida, reported to the Wall Street Journal that it was selling 25 new carts a week, more than double its typical output. Other manufacturers are also reporting record demand for new hot dog carts.
On the ice cream truck side, Captain Tom’s Ice Cream, which runs a fleet of about three dozen trucks out of its depot on West 67th Street in Cleveland, is enjoying a wave of driver applicants.
“We’re getting a lot of good drivers,” says Joshua Gee, Captain Tom’s depot manager. “I hate to say it, but when people lose jobs, we get a good quality of driver.”
Cleveland considers hot dog carts a food-service operation, which means you’re going to need a few permits. You’ll need a food peddler’s license, which is $60. To get that, you’ll also need a medical screening to make sure you’re free of salmonella, tuberculosis and other communicable diseases that no one wants on top of their Polish Boy.
The cart itself needs a mobile food-service license, which is $263.44. Because city code prohibits food from actually getting cooked on the sidewalks (carts can only keep food hot), your cart is going to need a separate location, called a “commissary,” where the food is prepped and cooked and where your cart is stored and cleaned. That commissary requires a Class 4 food-service license, which costs $617 annually.
If you want your cart to be downtown, you’ll also need a sidewalk permit from the Department of Public Service. That’s another $200. (To set up your cart in a location outside downtown, you’ll need the approval of the council member in that ward, according to Carroll.)
How soon can you start seeing a profit? Basic carts start at about $2,000, so you’re looking at start-up costs at more than $3,000, not counting food, insurance and other costs.
If your cost for a hot dog, bun and condiments works out to, say, 35 cents each, and you’re pricing them at $1.25, you’ll need to sell about 3,300 frankfurters before you start making a profit. Sell 150 dogs a day, and you’ll clear $35,100 a year, not including profits from chips and soda. You can play with the numbers at the Hot Dog Profit Calculator.
Photo by wikimedia.
e² Young Engineers
Build Your Tomorrow. Today! CLICK HERE TO VISIT OUR WEBSITE Background: We are e² Young Engineers Young Engineers enrichment programs combine education + entertainment = edutainment. We created a variety of different programs that can be used to teach science, technology, engineering, math (STEM). Children joining our educational community can learn and enjoy arithmetic, physics, […]
Business owners don’t have the time or know-how to manage their own social media campaigns, yet they know they need to. Start your own business managing social media for local businesses – we provide the website & all the training you will need. Do you enjoy Facebook & Twitter? Why not make a hefty residual […]
Commercial Capital Training
Welcome to Commercial Capital Training Group Own Your Own Finance Business By Completing Our Comprehensive Commercial Loan Broker Training Program Commercial Capital Training Group, LLC 90 State St. Suite #1500 Albany, NY 12207 Commercial Capital Training Group has developed a one-of-a-kind commercial loan broker training program that allows you to own a commercial finance company. With […]