Hot Dog Carts: Selecting Hot Dog Vending Units and Equipment
For those looking to get into the hot dog cart business, particularly in vending at fairs and festivals, the process of purchasing a hot dog cart is the first step in establishing your business.
Many options are available to potential vendors, from a wide range of model types and price ranges. Prior to starting your search for a cart, it is important to establish a budget.
For most people starting out in the vending business, the most cost-effective choice is to invest in a used hot dog cart.
Used vending units have many benefits over their newer counterparts for a number of reasons; firstly, they cost less.
Many used vending units start from as little as $600, which can vary depending on the model.
With a minimal investment in your vending unit, this provides some relief in regards to your losses, in the unfortunate event that your business needs some time to take off.
Basic Features a Hot Dog Cart Should Have
A range of criteria should be established prior to looking for a hot dog cart. Firstly, a hot dog cart should have the basic features that are essential for the cooking and preservation process.
Hot Dog Broiler
The hot dog broiler is the most important component; it keeps the hot dogs at a consistently warm temperature and allows them to be instantly served.
The most common types of hot dog broilers will have a glass overhead arch (or a similar type of enclosure) which will help maintain and preserve the heat, along with an adjustable dial to control the temperature setting; these should be standard in all hot dog carts.
Hot Dog Steamer
Secondly is the hot dog steamer, which simply cooks the hot dogs through the steaming process.
The hot dogs are generally hoisted on a wire rack frame in a tight enclosure, where the collective of steam will circulate around them and maintain a consistent heat, making them ready to serve instantly.
The bun warmer operates on a similar principle to the steamer, yet instead focuses on keeping the bread crisp through thermal heating, as opposed to steaming.
Often, both units will sit adjacent to each other in most vending units, to make the preparation process quicker and more fluent.
Selecting the Right Size Hot Dog Cart
The size of your hot dog cart should be taken into consideration as well. In a festival or fair setting, large crowds are to be expected, meaning that your cart must be able to cater many customers throughout the day.
In this context, a large cart may be necessary in order to keep up with demand, along with being able to hold a large volume of stock in one place.
Check Used Hot Dog Carts for Damage
When inspecting potential hot dog carts, look for any hidden imperfections or damage around the interior and exterior of the model.
Check that the broilers and steamers are clean and in full working order, along with making sure the unit is easy to transport.
If all these factors are satisfactory, you will know that the previous owner has looked after it, ensuring a long life span with no hassles.