How To Display Your Menu On Your Hot Dog Cart

by · 32 comments

Picture 4

Larry suggested a good back-to-basics topic for today’s discussion. He writes:

Hello Steve. I just finished reading the current issue of hot dog cart news.  I’m gearing up for my first real season (I didn’t get started until mid August last year) and I am implementing some changes to my menu.

I had printed my menus on standard 8 1/2 x 11 computer paper (full color), put them into plastic sheet protectors and attached them to my cart using the wide, clear shipping tape. Now that I wanted to make some menu/price changes it was a total pain to remove the menus from the sides of the cart. What does everybody else do as far as as menu on the cart is concerned?


Special events would certainly entail menu changes from your everyday menu (price changes for certain). It  seems what I am looking for is something that looks clean and professional but is easily changed when
necessary. This could be a great topic for the next HDCN.

Larry Winters…..Island Dogs Camano Island, Wa.

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

Great topic Larry!

I laminated my menus, health department certificate, and business license. Then I got some of those adhesive velcro dots, stuck them to the back of my documents, then pressed them onto the cart in the locations I wanted.

Now my menus and documents are removable for transport and I can keep several different menus in my tow vehicle for different types of events. I just swap ‘em out as needed.

What are you doing for menu displays? Let me know in the comments!

-Steve

P.S. The menu at the top is one of my favorite examples of taking it to the next level. It’s a work of art. You can get a larger view in one of my previous articles by clicking on this link: Hot Dog Cart News: Japadog Video

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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Yank's Franks

Staples has some very attractive and reasonably priced options for creating a quality, full color menu. They can make them any size you need.

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Robin/Lakeside Lunch

I made up a Sandwich board menu that stands in front of the table. I found that the computer paper just wasn’t being noticed and people only bought hot dogs, no matter what else was on the menu. Once I “put it in their face” the sales of the other items doubled. I keep a small whiteboard and magic marker for specials, announcements, menu changes, etc.
I also laminated the HD license, etc.

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Thunder dog

Right now I am pretty much printing and laminating as suggested above. And displaying the pages I want for the day.. Daily specials etc…I am still deciding on what to make permanent. I also have a white board that I hand write things on.

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Buns 'n the Sun

Steve and Larry,

I have 3 menus I use. One, is a description menu explaining what a Chicago dog is. I probably get asked 7-8 times aday what’s on a Chicago dog.
Two, is my daily location menu listing all products I sell. I use a non- permanent marker to change prices as needed. Three, I use a chaulk-board for special events. 2×4 in size. I have a hook on the front of the cart to hang the chaulk board. I keep my menu selection very simple at special events.

I hope this gives you some ideas.

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rick holman

there are so many options to solve this problem. I for one use a 2×2 a-frame board. i bought one at signs by tommorrow. they are velcroed to the board . u can have differnt menus made and just attached to the board . all for under $ 200.00

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Curtis Ormond

Ormonds Concessions uses a A-Frame Sign, my wife has a great hand writing and she changes signs as items change or prices change, sign is heavy plastic and has not ever blown over. We place the sign where is customer tend to approach the cart or trailer.

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Kevin/Weenie Hut

I used chalk board paint on the sides of my towers. Now I just erase the chalk, and make a new menu. If I run out of an item I can also erase on site.

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Terry/The Hot Dog Guy

I have a sign company make all my signs and advertising boards. The material is a plastic corrugated material and the letters are also made from a plastic material. I have different menu boards for different events.
For festivals, I use a 36″x48″ menu. This makes it easy to see from a distance. I also have others made to fit the side of my cart storage box. I attach with velcro. These are now in their 3rd season and look like new. They withstand all weather conditions including rain. The average cost is about $30 to $45 dollars depending on the size and amount of lettering.

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Karen's Lunch & Munch

I bought a dry erase board at Walmart for $20.00 and some clear sticker paper for my printer. Then I just make my menu with my computer and print it on the sticker paper. The paper peels off easy if you want to change your menu. :)

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Tim/Get Grilled Foods

Hi Larry,
Congartulations on year two, It feels good doesn’t it? Your start sounds just like mine. Our first year was a mid-season start. Good luck and we wish you all the best. Now on to the topic. Our first year we used a bulletin board with the menu pinned to it. real easy to transport but a real space taker. We now use two standard menu boards with plastic lettering and #’s. easy to change easy to see and it doesn’t get affected by rain and wind. If you go to our facebook page, Get Grilled Foods, you can see some pics of the street and festival set ups we use for our menus. I can’t seem to explain it in 500 words or less. Have fun and sell’em all! Enjoy every minute.

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Karen's Lunch & Munch

I bought a dry erase board for about $20.00 and some clear sticker paper for my printer. I make my menu on my computer then print it. The stickers come off easily if you want to change your menu. :)

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Brian

I laminate some items but the menu I slide in as needed into an acrylic 8×11 doc holder that’s attached to the cart with velco. Works like a charm and looks great;-) any office supply store has them.

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Ken

Hi GUys,
I like Steves idea of having severral menus available.
IF you make them use “cardstock” which is the thicker paper used for biz cards. You can laminate them and get the card stock at any Kinko’s. I’ve been doing this for years and they work great in any weather.
Cheers,
Ken

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david klinger

you have the right idea don’t put any price on the menu at all make up several price lists for different occasions price wise

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Tiki's Windy Dog

We have a standard menu that we pass out. We also use two dry boards mounted on a folding sawhorse listing our specials. We place two Tiki’s on each side to help draw attention to the menu. Our next batch of menus will have the new items listed. If we aren’t selling an item, we won’t pass out the menu. We are new at this, so we are working out the bugs. Tonight is our first [hopefully] large crowd event [other than a farmers market]; the Villa Park Youth Baseball League. I’ve got the jitters! Tikiman.

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Kim

I don’t have my cart yet, but I’m hoping magnets will work. If so, glue small magnets to the sheet protectors (get the heavy duty ones) and they can be easily placed or removed from the cart, and you can swap out your menus as often as you like using the same sheet protectors.

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Johnnie DangerCh

I had mine laminated at staples, then i bought a roll of strip magnet works great and makes it easy to take down and put up.

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KZ's Rte. 66 Little Red Wagon

Steve, I too love that Jappadog menu. Art for sure. My menu is on a large piece of dry erase board that I framed in wood behind it. Easy to change prices and I can erase if I run out of one thing or another. I bungee it to a merge sign base at my normal location and bungee it to the cart when in other places. The tongue area works well. Love to have a picure menu, will work on that this year, would be extremely helpful to me in my International market place. I also use the velcro strips for the pictures of Chicago Dog, Bratwurst, and polishes. Must use a whole wide strip 6″ long because of wind. I have chased them a few times!

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WaydeG

Since most of my business is for private functions, I print off a few dozen 8.5 x 11 menus with pictures and a description, slide them in a lucite stand up frame (available at any office suppy) and set them out on tables or where ever guests may linger. People come up to the cart already knowing what they want.

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sue and rena

We have chalkboards – they work great! We do them right on our corner downtown. On our small boards – we run specials, etc. If there is something we want to communicate – we just turn-it-over and use the other side…it’s clean and professional. For our weekend events – we hose them off and raise our prices!!!!!!!!!

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Bulldoggie's

Due to my pass career I have been getting things printed for a very long time. The cheapest place to get everything done is psprint.com I got 4 11.5″ x 17.5″ full color menus to place on my cart and several 8″ x 11″ for single items in full color to put on our sandwich board. Seems to be working fine.

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Pocono Hot Dog

You ever go to a new place where the Menu is on the wall but the Line is moving and you don’t have time to see all that is offered? To me that is a bad experience. Keep it simple approach your cart as you would if you were a new client. (I do not like the word Customer for it denotes a one time transaction) QUALITY PRODUCT DELIVERED IN A TIMELY MANNER….That is what most people want.

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Patrick C

My local Pepsi Distributer once gave me a small menu board with changeable plastic letters and numbers just for asking. Now I go to my local sign guy with an idea and he makes me great signs and menu boards for less then $ 50.00 He uses vinyl lettering, if you change the price you just need the numbers that rub on easily and can be made in 2 minutes by your sign maker. Find out what kind of hot dogs your sign makers like and drop them off occaisionally, sign makers don’t get to leave the shop for lunch and appreciate a good dog more than most. Your signs will be great and cheap.

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The Dog Hut

I have a sidewalk sign which is black. I use bright and colorful (and expensive) write on/wipe off markers. It just adds a little more presence for me…

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Al Stoneham

For Kim – using magnets to attach your signs won’t work if you have stainless steel. Stainless steel isn’t magnetic.

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Scotty's Hot Dogs

On the side of the water tower I cut a piece of lexan and laminated my menu and some neat pics and screwed the lexan to the side of the tower and
I also had my regular prices on vinyl above the access hole on the water tower. We also hand out laminated copies of the menu while the customers are waiting so they know what they want when its their turn.

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JP

I had magnets made to put on the side and front of my cart with my menu. Then I put the prices on a white board. Seems to work just fine and it looks professional as I have my logo on the magnet’s as well.

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Dog Gone Dogs

I have a Sandwhich board, that stands out front, (Purchased dry erase boards from Staples) Menu Product is in permanent vinyl letters and price is magnetic numbers. In order to change the price. I have smaller dry erase boards w/ menu and prices that sit on tables etc. Customers are more “at ease” if the don’t have to ask.

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Hot Dog Mike

by ordinance in Little Rock we cannot have any “free standing signs.” i purchased two write on wipe off boards that fit perfectly on the sides of the storage box part of my cart. i velcro them onto the cart then tape computer generated the menu on to the board. if i run out of something i can write it below.

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Tim Jackson

Wind, sandwhich and wipe off boards, not good! (:
Our sign guy, he adopted us, (free food) made our menus, vinal and contact sticky “stuff” that removed from stainless steel. Magnets would not stick, velcro “stuff” makes a mess if you need to change location on the cart and I just don’t like it (personal). Check with a sign company to see what is available, barter with these guys, it is amazing what you can get if you ask. In our case he ask us, he loved our dogs! The product was very pro looking and changable.

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Mike H

Hey Bun’s in the Sun. I am here in Hot Springs competing with Hog Dog Mike in Little Rock LOL. I have the only nostalgic Chicago Hot Dog Cart in the area. It took me a year to get these people to understand what a Chicago Dog is. However, like you I get asked 30 times per day. On the sign, Pepsi and Coke gives away menus, professional style with lettering.

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Wiener Waggin'

For about $35 on ebay, i purchased a signboard where you pop in individual black or red plastic letters to say whatever you want. Easily changable for price. It’s held on the outside with suction cups and removed when I’m done for the day. Looks very professional!

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