Hot Dog Business

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by Charlieb, Jul 23, 2011.

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  1. Charlieb

    Charlieb UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    95 5

    I have an idea for a small hot dog business that I can run at uni. We have to run a small business for our degree and I think that this is a suitable idea. I'm just wondering if anyone has any experience of them as I have a few questions:

    What is better a gas hot dog stand or an electric one?
    How much are gas cylinders?
    I've thought that as well as selling on campus I could also do events in the local area such as kids birthdays, sell at the local rugby club and stuff like that. I know that to sell in public I need to be fully licensed but if these are private places do I still need an official licence to sell hot food? Would I need one just to sell on campus?

    Also i'm aware that hot dogs in new york are typically around a dollar, but as they are not as widespread in the UK as they are in the US and nowhere else at the uni sells them, could I justify a price of £2.50- £3? I have found a potential supplier that could sell frankfurters to me at £0.79/unit, this is german imported meat, so presumably better quality than supermarket own brands. Or should I be looking to import sabret ones from america? I would bulk buy then freeze the frankfurters and buns and then defrost them when I need them.

    Would I need to sell from a cart (which could enable me to sell other food) or could I use one of these which would be cheaper:

    Are there any other issues, legal or otherwise I should be aware of? This is just an idea at the mo as I need to test the feasibility of it when I go back to uni in October.


    Posted: Jul 23, 2011 By: Charlieb Member since: Feb 27, 2011
  2. matt seymour

    matt seymour UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    I wouldn't want to pay £3 for a hotdog, but you might get away with £2.50.

    My son was set a task similar to this when at college. The class was split in to groups, given a few quid and told to come up with a business. Whoever had taken the most money in a few months would win and get to keep the profit they made.

    All they did was buy a pool table and stick it in the refectory. They just sat back and watched money roll in and won the task hands down. Walked away with a couple of grand. Not bad for doing nothing more than emptying a pool table every now and again.:D
    Posted: Jul 23, 2011 By: matt seymour Member since: Jan 5, 2011
  3. IANL

    IANL UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    860 189
    Local licensing and Food hygiene rules need to be factored in.

    Also insurance in case you inadvertently make anyone ill and it's traced back to your hot dogs
    Posted: Jul 23, 2011 By: IANL Member since: Aug 13, 2008
  4. Merchant UK

    Merchant UK UKBF Ace Full Member - Verified Business

    2,419 592
    Hi Charlie,

    We're an engineering company which have manufacturered small catering carts which are towable by even the smallest of cars, as they are pretty small they are easier to keep stored when not in use, and are great for not storing so much clutter, The majority of the ones we make are for Hot Dogs, although we have made ones with a griddle, Candyfloss machine, and even crepes.


    You can purchase the majority of suppliesin bulk from cash and carries and do your basic Food hygiene cert on line for about £100 or less, Then the skys the limit :D

    We're doing special deals at the moment for members of UKBF on all our Catering Carts PM me for details
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2011
    Posted: Jul 23, 2011 By: Merchant UK Member since: Aug 15, 2010
  5. GeorgeStrait

    GeorgeStrait Banned

    1,369 470
    Not unless your going to be selling a container load which will be tens of thousands of hot dogs, and equal amount of £'s and then you have to store them. Try a local wholesaler.

    Seriously - this is being done for a business degree with such lack of basic knowledge already. Or is it your first year in October - I do hope so.

    Anyway, good luck :)
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2011
    Posted: Jul 23, 2011 By: GeorgeStrait Member since: Jun 4, 2011
  6. Kensington2010

    Kensington2010 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    19 3
    Hey, good idea, really good mark up on those. Even 79p sounds expensive to buy them in. When I have hot dogs on menu on my stall, people generally ask are they the plastic ones? ANd usually they are asking because that seems to be what they want! bizarre i know but they seem to be more a guilty pleasure than a quality foody meal. anyhow i pay around 20p each for mine and around 15p for the roll, sell them with onions if they wish for £2 and they fly out. So easy too, its not cooking, just heating up. If you do it though, make sure you use the biggest hot dogs and the branded sauces. Does not come across well if your tight on that sort of thing.

    I dont know how pro it needs to look but, you can get electric bain maries, with 4 pots for keeping them warm for £300. Or yeah the steamer would be fine. If you were to have a stall with table, and your equipment on, you can decorate/brand it to be a bit quirky then. Carts are good but a lot of money. a stall type idea can be set up soo cheaply, next to nothing.

    if you have access to electric where you are you could also have plug in waffle machine etc or hot drinks boiler. always good to sell a couple of lines.

    Gas is around £25 for a 19kg bottle.

    food hygiene cert, public liability insurance, and register with council.
    Posted: Jul 23, 2011 By: Kensington2010 Member since: Jul 21, 2011
  7. mrn90

    mrn90 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    38 3
    When I was at uni I often wondered why the local fast food trucks were never about the campus, after some thoughts, my favourite reasons would be

    a. They are making more money from the construction workers that arren't poor students and who end up buying newspapers and other things that students are likely to overlook,

    b. There might be a selling license or other legal thingie that prohibits the rivial competition with the Uni's own food joints on campus,

    c. Students may be in lectures/classes each hour and so the income might not be as consistent as it would be if they set up at a beach or a park on a sunny day for example.

    It could be that they just avoided my uni though; maybe some other unis encourage them but just incase there is some legal thing that provents the fast food carts on your campus, you may want to speak to someone.

    Out of interest one of the fast food vans I seen getting good business was always across from some student halls - he got quite a bit of business because the halls were also next to some factories and the factory workers were always filling in the gap when students were dissapearing :)
    Posted: Jul 23, 2011 By: mrn90 Member since: Mar 22, 2011
  8. Charlieb

    Charlieb UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    95 5
    So would just heating them via the steamer, qualify for correct health and safety? If I had a large battery which I could charge overnight then would I be able to run a steamer off of that? This would enable greater movement around campus.
    Posted: Jul 29, 2011 By: Charlieb Member since: Feb 27, 2011
  9. I Love Spreadsheets

    I Love Spreadsheets UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    1,351 364
    One thing to note about the New York vendors is that they can pay over $250,000 a year just for the right to have a pitch on the streets. They have to sell one hell of a lot of hot dogs at $1 each to make their money back. I'm sure it was closer to $2 or $3 a hotdog when I was last there but that was some time ago
    Posted: Jul 29, 2011 By: I Love Spreadsheets Member since: Jun 19, 2010

    URBAN COLOUR UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    325 32
    Hi mate, I am at Liverpool Uni studying international business,

    Beside needing a street trading license I doubt you would be allowed on campus, why, well if your uni is like mine you will have several on site cafe's that pay the uni a fortune to sell overpriced coffee and food to so called impoverished students.

    Also, hotdogs, to make good money, I imagine would need to be sold through the night, when people arnt so bothered (or dont think about) the vendor urinating in the imaginary toilets (street) and not washing his hands.

    If you were going to do it, why not sell kebabs, its all the same as hotdogs,

    Can you rent these hotdog carts? if not I dont see you doing it long enough to make it worthwhile.

    When selling, overnight till around 5am when clubs are still open, when are you going to study?

    Good luck with degree
    Posted: Jul 30, 2011 By: URBAN COLOUR Member since: May 2, 2008
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