How to Choose the Right Hot Dog Stand Equipment

Hot dogs are a standard in the concession stand business, and one of the most popular foods in the country. Simple to make and with a high profit margin, many beginners look to go into the hot dog vending business as a quick and relatively easy way to make money. So let's take a look at what it takes to start a hot dog business.

First and foremost, you will need to have the right equipment for your business venture. For between $5000 - 10,000 you can purchase all the necessary equipment for your stand, including the How to Choose the Right Hot Dog Stand Equipmentcart or stand, hot dog cookers, coolers, and more. For a few thousand dollars more, you can even purchase a customized food truck. However, if larger sums of money are not available to you, there other options that you can pursue.

Equipment: New, Used or Leased

If you have the necessary funds, it is usually the best option to purchase new equipment. New equipment comes with a warranty and is backed by the store where it was purchased. However, there are also many opportunities to purchase used equipment that is in good condition.  Although you can't always be sure of it's exact condition, used equipment will usually cost about half the price of new equipment. It's just important to make sure that your used equipment is legally outfitted to operate in your desired location.

If you do not have the money to purchase equipment outright, you can look into leasing new equipment. Leasing is a cost effective way of getting new equipment without having to come up with the entire purchase price. Another reason many choose to lease equipment is to avoid spending too much money up front on a business they might not want to continue. Leasing can give hot dog stand owners an easy way out if they want to give up their business down the road for whatever reason.

Hot Dog Stand

A good hot dog stand is a main requirement for your hot dog business. Be sure to choose a stand or cart that is easily transportable from place to place. You can purchase a new or used cart, or you can build your own cart/stand, but take into consideration that people prefer purchasing from a clean, professional looking stand if possible. Whichever option you choose, make sure your stand meets all of the necessary city and state health and safety requirements. It should have a sink, a water tank and a waste water tank. You might need a propane tank to cook with, so it is a good idea to keep an extra tank on board in case you run out. Hot dog stands usually require a fire extinguisher as well. Also take into consideration protection from the sun and other elements, so choose some type of awning or umbrella for your cart or stand.

Equipping Your Stand

Determine how you want to cook your hot dogs before you start looking for equipment. Do you want to broil them, grill them or steam them?  Whichever you choose, your stand will need the appropriate equipment. Decide upon other items that you want to sell and determine which type of cooking equipment these foods will require. At the least you will need some type of a cooler, since hot dog stands usually sell soda.

A big consideration is having adequate storage space and holders for buns, hot dogs, condiments, napkins and other items. The more storage space and condiment station supplies you have, the easier it will be to set up and run your stand. Adequate storage, food containers, and display racks can also help with the overall organization and appearance of your stand.

Other Concession Stand Supplies

What are some of the other basic supplies and equipment your hot dog stand will require?  Oven mitts and gloves are important as they make working with the steamer or grill safer. Cleaning supplies are important for cleaning up at the end of the day, and during quiet times. A safe place to store your money is also a high priority item. Nowadays up to 50% of payments to concession stands may be done via credit cards, so some type of credit card payment system may be necessary. Otherwise, there are many tricks to storing money, including apron pockets, money cash boxes and other ways to store cash at your hot dog cart or stand.

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