Please keep me and my location anonymous on this one if you share it.
I’ve been reading your emails with all the great tips, etc. I wanted to share with you and maybe your readers a recent discovery. I am going in to my first full year with a cart. Last fall was more or less a test run with a couple of events and flea markets. I have been looking for a full time place to set up.
There is a guy here in town that has a great location. I constantly hear from folks who frequent his cart and/or talk about how great he is doing. Gotta say that I was intimidated by this hot dog legend and worried that I just wouldn’t “cut the mustard”. I had driven by a few times, he did seem busy and he really does have the location squared away. How in the world could I compete with this guy?
Yesterday a friend and I stopped by to have a dog and see what was so great about this cart. With much consternation on my part we pulled in for the research run. What did this fellow have? Besides the location, nothing. In fact the cart was filthy. There was a small table (looked like a cheap living room coffee table), with various bottles of unlabeled condiments, it also was dirty. The person serving us reached in with bare hands and grabbed a bun to place the dog in it, no glove, tongs…etc. In fact the tongs were only used for the heated items. Of course without washing they also took the money and made change. At four bucks for the basic dog, which did include heated onions and kraut if you dared, you would expect greatness.
Despite what appeared to be the health risk, I had to try the dog. I tasted a day+ old bun, and a mediocre dog. I was finished.
Two things that I learned:
1) Don’t let the competition beat you before you even start.
2) Location, location, location.
This guy had me beat by word of mouth alone. The bar is set so low that I couldn’t limbo under it if I was twenty five years younger and double jointed!
If you decide to share this, maybe there are some stories from your readers about the big dog in town that they thought you couldn’t possibly compete with will inspire someone to just get out and do it!
I gotta go for a drive and find that perfect spot…….see ya!
Thanks for what you do,