Making Money with Hot Dog Carts

The economic downturn has been so widespread that millions and millions of people have been affected. From foreclosed homes to lost jobs to dwindling retirement fund values, the bad news has come in every size, shape, and form imaginable. The biggest impact has arguably been on personal finances, as individuals are doing everything they can to stay afloat. This includes taking on part-time work in the evenings and weekends if at all possible. One option that many folks have turned to with great success is selling food from hot dog carts.

There have actually been lots of news stories about this growing phenomenon. One reason hot dog carts are so popular is that they are affordable. Whereas it can take tens of thousands of dollars to start other kinds of businesses, it only takes a few thousand to buy a cart and food supplies. Yes, that’s still a lot of money for many folks out there, but comparatively speaking it doesn’t take much to get started as a vendor.

Another reason people are buying hot dog carts is that they get to be the boss and set their own hours. If you take on a part-time gig working for someone else, you can’t just set your own hours and turn up whenever you want. You have to abide by someone else’s schedule. But as a street vendor, you call all the shots. This kind of flexibility is extremely appealing to those with families or other commitments that prevent them from devoting every waking moment to the pursuit.

To get started, you obviously need to check out new or used hot dog carts for sale. There are plenty available online, so spending an hour or two with Google, Yahoo, or Bing should yield numerous purchasing options. But getting a cart is just the beginning. Before doing that, it would be a good idea to perform a bit of market research. This doesn’t mean you have to hire a consulting firm and do in-depth studies about consumer habits. Just go to the area where you think you might set up your cart and spend a few hours observing. Are there other food vendors around? Is there enough foot traffic to provide you with a steady stream of potential customers? What kind of competition will you be dealing with? These are critical questions that you must ask before moving ahead with your business plan.

And don’t forget that most cities require all operators of hot dog carts to be properly licensed. This usually just consists of filling out some forms and paying a fee, so make sure you do it. You don’t want to be shut down by the police for operating illegally.

Anyway, while most people would probably shy away from starting a new business in a time of recession, hot dog carts are selling well because of the low start-up costs, flexibility, and low overhead associated with operating one of these rigs. If this is something you’re thinking about getting into, go out and do some field research before buying a cart of your own. If conditions warrant a purchase, you could become your own boss in no time!