Hey Steve, I need some help.

I’m offering delivery because of the large medical complex near to my cart. This is my target market. The majority of these workers don’t leave for lunch.

Is there any preferred way to keep the dogs hot when the customer gets them delivered?

I’m keeping my delivery circle to a 2 mile diameter. It’s not like delivering a pizza with molten cheese on top to help keep the pie hot. Dogs may cool down quickly.

Do any other slingers deliver multiple orders and how do they keep the food hot when delivered in say within 20 minutes?

-James N.

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Great question James.

The key is a concept from physics called “thermal mass”.  Without getting all “Einstein” here, thermal mass means the temperature times the mass of an object.

So, the hotter the dog, the longer it will stay hot. Or – the more dogs there are in an order, the longer they will stay hot. If you have both, that is the holy grail.

This means setting minimum order quantities, not only to keep the food hot but to maximize your profit margin on each order.

Wrap each dog in foil sheets, pack them close together (without smushing them) and transport them in a cooler. Yes, coolers keep things hot as well as cold. Use a cooler just big enough for your biggest delivery orders. The more empty space in the cooler, the less effective it will be at keeping things hot.

Make a Hot Plate. If you want to go high tech, have a machine shop cut you a piece of 1 1/2 thick aluminum plate about the size of a steam pan lid. Be sure it will fit in the bottom of your cooler. Keep that plate hot by letting it sit on top of your steamer.

When you get a delivery order, place the plate in the bottom of your delivery cooler and put the foil wrapped hot dogs  on top of the plate. This will keep them hot a lot longer because we have increased the thermal mass of our delivery order.

Don’t forget to use your delivery cooler for advertising your cart. Get some vinyl graphics made with your logo, phone number, and website and apply them to your cooler. You could even do a full vinyl wrap! It’s a great way to let everyone know who you are when your delivery person arrives at the office or factory.

How about you, slingers? Got any tips for James about doing hot dog deliveries?’

Lets talk about it in the comments below!

-Steve

{ 11 comments }

Hi Steve and everyone,

I need some help on a name. Ive got a few jotted down but, maybe I can get some other ideas.

My name is Derek
I live in Dallas, Texas
I have a Basset Hound named Woody

Thank you.

*************************

Let’s help Derek name his new business. Leave your suggestions in the comments.

This is always really fun. Have at it, slingers!

-Steve

{ 53 comments }

Hamburger on a hot dog cartHey Slinger,

I just heard from one of my  Premium Members who wanted to know how to do hamburgers on his hot dog cart.

As always, the first thing you need to do is to check with your health department to see if your local codes allow it.

You may need to upgrade some of your equipment to comply with the stiffer regulations that go along with handling meats other than hot dogs.

There are generally two ways to serve hamburgers from a cart.

1) You can cook raw hamburger meat at the cart on a grill or flat top griddle, or 2) you can use pre-cooked burgers and keep them hot in your steamer.

One of the big advantages of cooking on a grill or flat top is the smell. Just as with peppers and onions and especially bacon, the smell of food on a grill is a big customer draw. Of course, the drawback is the increased complexity of your set up and the fact that you will probably get bumped up into a more strict food code category.

Also, grilling to order takes a lot of time. Unless you have steady lines 15 people deep, you can’t get away with throwing 10 burgers at a time on the grill. You’ll waste a lot of meat that way.

On the other hand, pre-cooked burgers are so fast to serve from a steamer and your cart is already set up for it. In fact, if you don’t want to pre-cook them yourself at your commissary, Sams and the restaurant supply stores sell a pre-cooked frozen hamburger patty that works nicely. The fact that they are frozen is a plus when it comes to transporting and cold storage on the cart.

The disadvantage here is that you don’t get that fresh-grilled taste (or the customer drawing smell), and customer appeal is not quite as good.

How about you slinger? Do you serve hamburgers on your hot dog cart? If so let us know how you do it, including any tips and tricks, in the comments below. Also let us know if it has increased you daily sales.

In other words, do you think it is worth the extra effort of stocking, storing, and cooking yet another food product?

Thanks!

-Steve

{ 25 comments }

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