Coney Dog Vendor

Author
celticmoose
Junior Burger
  • Total Posts : 6
  • Joined: 2014/05/14 15:41:00
  • Location: Mount Vernon, WA
  • Status: offline
2014/05/15 10:52:50 (permalink)

Coney Dog Vendor

Hey everybody, new to the forums!  Looking forward to getting to know some of you and sharing my insight if I ever get any in the years to come.
 
I am looking to start a hot dog business, specifically coney dogs in WA state.  I don't think a cart is a viable option here, as I really don't see any at all in my neck of the woods - I just don't live in a populated enough area.
 
What I am looking to do then is to be a vendor for fairs, markets, special events, etc.  I know this forum is mainly dedicated to carts, but does anyone have any tips or information to become a special events vendor without a cart?  Or do you still recommend a cart for ease of setting up and breaking down at the even itself?  I already have my a good idea on menu and what I am going to sell.  
 
I am looking at something like an APW Model HRS-50S roller.  I am a believer in steaming buns however so not sure if just a bun warmer would have the desired effect?  I would then need a warmer for the chili, and a cold storage for the cheese and uncooked dogs - does anyone have any insight in a setup like that?   Or perhaps getting a grill would be a better option?  
 
Then I would assume I just need a table/stand, hand washing station, and a canopy (and signs).  
 
Thanks for any and all help on this guys.  I'm just trying to decide the best way to get a setup for special events.  I have a commissary lined up that charges $10/hour for the first 20 hours a month, and then $8/hour, and $10/month for a shelf in the fridge which I think will be ample for my situation.  
 
This is a part-time weekend gig for fun and some extra cash.  
post edited by celticmoose - 2014/05/15 10:54:52
#1

9 Replies Related Threads

    pnwchef
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 2926
    • Joined: 2011/03/16 14:15:00
    • Location: Kennewick, WA
    • Status: offline
    Re:Coney Dog Vendor 2014/05/15 11:50:04 (permalink)
     A big Welcome to Roadfood from the Eastern part of your state. If your not doing a day to day operation, why not do an outside set-up. You could have charcoal grills with great char grilled sausage and hot.dogs. It would be a lot easier to erect a tent at a fair, have mobil grills and other equipment, tables, warmers etc. This could all be hauled in a trailer......the best of luck in your adventure.............pnwc
    #2
    celticmoose
    Junior Burger
    • Total Posts : 6
    • Joined: 2014/05/14 15:41:00
    • Location: Mount Vernon, WA
    • Status: offline
    Re:Coney Dog Vendor 2014/05/15 12:06:57 (permalink)
    Grilling would certainly be the least expensive of the two, but the labor is more intensive, and I assume the risk of ruining product is higher as well (burning them).  I like the idea of a roller for a more consistent even cook and ability to hold at proper temperatures.  But that's why I'm here, to learn from people who have done both and can offer opinions.  
     
    pwnchef - do you have a hot dog business in WA?  Do you know if you can cook on-site rather than a commissary?  For example, could I cook my chili at a farmer's market rather than cooking at the commissary and then transporting it?
     
    Thanks!
    #3
    pnwchef
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 2926
    • Joined: 2011/03/16 14:15:00
    • Location: Kennewick, WA
    • Status: offline
    Re:Coney Dog Vendor 2014/05/15 15:29:29 (permalink)
    We have a farmers mkt in Pasco. The Mexican food vendor cooks all the food fresh on the grill then holds it in warmers. If they could cook Chix, beef and pork from raw, I can't see why you couldn't brown your meat on the grill for chili. I would talk with you HD, tell them what you want to do, see if they buy in. I would also talk with the farmers mkt. If your going to do sausage make sure it's a good local crafted sausage. I'm against the roller idea, it's to C store for me. You want a nice char on the sausage...........This is just my opinion, do what fits for you.........pnwc
    #4
    celticmoose
    Junior Burger
    • Total Posts : 6
    • Joined: 2014/05/14 15:41:00
    • Location: Mount Vernon, WA
    • Status: offline
    Re:Coney Dog Vendor 2014/05/15 18:12:42 (permalink)
    Interesting, not being from the area I did not know about the Seattle dog with cream cheese, might have to consider adding that to the menu.  Is that typically done with beef?  Steamed or grilled buns?  
    #5
    jcheese
    Double Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 765
    • Joined: 2011/03/05 13:00:00
    • Location: Fieldale, VA
    • Status: offline
    Re:Coney Dog Vendor 2014/05/15 20:42:02 (permalink)
    Kill the roller thing...that's lame. Plus you need an electricity source every time.
    Get at least a propane grill with maybe a side burner for other things.
    A BBQ that you could use real wood in (Not Kingsford, real hickory or apple etc) would be awesome. Some places restictk that.
    If I had my way, I'd have a fire pit where folks roasted their own over a fire. But I'm weird.
    Why not get a cart? Makes things easier.
    #6
    celticmoose
    Junior Burger
    • Total Posts : 6
    • Joined: 2014/05/14 15:41:00
    • Location: Mount Vernon, WA
    • Status: offline
    Re:Coney Dog Vendor 2014/05/16 10:56:46 (permalink)
    Well the main reason for not getting a cart are I only plan on doing events (part time), carts are expensive, and there are headaches getting them up to code in my county.  The main reason is price.  If prices were even I'd get a cart no question but those are upwards of $5k on Craigslist.  But a cart would allow me to park outside of breweries, etc.  
     
    Curious as to why rollers are no good?  The one I am looking at as dual temperature controls, so you crank up one side to cook them quickly, and use the other side for a holding temperature.  Yes you are restricted to power sources which does suck.  
     
    Thanks for all the input so far guys.  
    #7
    jcheese
    Double Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 765
    • Joined: 2011/03/05 13:00:00
    • Location: Fieldale, VA
    • Status: offline
    Re:Coney Dog Vendor 2014/05/17 18:57:04 (permalink)
    If you are thinking faiis, events etc.........keep in mind, every charity, Girl Scout Troop, etc. sell Hot Dogs. And cheaper than you. I compete against them every time. But since I have a cart and look like a specilist, I get the business. Plus I have a reputation. Not to mention my food is awesome.
    If you just throw together a table, a tent and a roller grill, yer just another schmuck selling weenies. Folks will buy from folks raising money for a cause.
    Did an event today. I know I sold more than the Ruritan did, 25 feet away.
     
    #8
    FriedTater
    Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 415
    • Joined: 2008/06/21 20:18:00
    • Location: Badlands of New Mexico
    • Status: offline
    Re:Coney Dog Vendor 2014/05/17 20:36:33 (permalink)
    Erase the word "roller" from your mind right now. Don`t even think about it. Like pnwchef said, don`t be a convenient store wanna be. Get yourself a propane grill, put on a show making your dogs. Good luck.
     
    #9
    celticmoose
    Junior Burger
    • Total Posts : 6
    • Joined: 2014/05/14 15:41:00
    • Location: Mount Vernon, WA
    • Status: offline
    Re:Coney Dog Vendor 2014/05/19 14:29:27 (permalink)
    Thanks for the advice jcheese - I am still debating cart vs. pack-up trailer setup.  Looks like rollers are out of the picture now though.  Maybe just a propane powered soup warmer for the coney sauce, steam table, and a grill.  
     
    Any advice on grills?
    #10
    Jump to:
    © 2016 APG vNext Commercial Version 5.5