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I just got a request to critique a hot dog cart setup at a brewery in Arizona. Mary isn’t selling as much as she would like, and she asked for my help. Here’s what I came up with. Your thoughts are welcome too!

Hi Steve,

I bought a 5×8 trailer and took my cart 240 miles up to northern Arizona. The trailer was essential due to the bumpy and long roads.

Unfortunately, I’ve only had limited success. The monsoon season came in which was good/bad, as it cooled the temps but tends to keep people away.

I’m selling Angus beef hot dogs ($3), pork brats ($4) and nachos ($2). I sold slightly more brats than dogs. Sold almost no nachos.

What am I doing wrong?

As always, your ideas are sincerely appreciated!



Hi Mary,

I like your cart and the way you have your table set up.

The first thing that stood out to me was your lack of visibility. Your cart kind of blends in with the surroundings instead of standing out. I would put a brightly colored 8 foot banner saying HOT DOGS – COLD DRINKS right in front of your cart. Above it on poles would be even better.

My next question is about foot traffic patterns. Is your cart situated directly in the walking pattern or do people have to go out of their way to get to you? This makes a BIG difference.

I’m also confident that the sign with the words “Nutritious” and “Healthy” is hurting sales. When I read it the first thing that popped into my head was, “Healthy, nutritious hot dogs? Hmmm, they probably don’t taste as good as regular hot dogs. I’ll pass.”

Consider the type of person you are selling to. You are set up at a brewery. Those folks are there to indulge in something tasty and a bit decadent. They don’t want health food. I’d lose that sign.

Overall, your set up looks clean and inviting. Good job on that Mary.


OK Slingers, add your thoughts in the comments!

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