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Rent a Hot Dog Cart

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Carlos has a brand new cart that he wants to rent out. What are your thoughts?

(We’re discussing the pros and cons of renting out your hot dog cart in the second half of this article. I’d love your input in the comments!)

rent a hot dog cart

Rent a Hot Dog Cart

Carlos writes…


Hi Steve,

Thanks for taking a minute to talk to me today on the phone. I’m Carlos from Queens, N.Y. I purchased a BRAND NEW Worksman Model 5030 Hot Dog Cart on Feb. 13th, 2013. I am looking to rent the cart to someone serious about making money and who is also very responsible.

I purchased the cart from Worksman Corps. here in Queens, N.Y. They have been around since 1898. This cart is the NEW modern type hot dog cart. A photo of the cart can be seen here.

How should I go about this?

Thanks again for your help. I hope to hear from you soon.



Renting your own cart out…

If you want to try renting out your own cart, there are several ways to go.

  • Renting out an unbranded the cart by itself. In other words, there is no business name or logo on the cart. All you are doing is renting out the cart itself. It’s up to the renter to get his food, find a location, etc.
  • Renting out the cart and selling inventory (dogs, chips, sodas, condiments) to the renter. This is usually the case if you have built up a brand and have name recognition in the community. You don’t want to risk that reputation by letting the renter sell cheap product. He must sell your product and buy it from you.
  • Renting out the cart and selling inventory (dogs, chips, sodas, condiments) to the renter PLUS letting him use one of your established locations. This commands a premium fee because all the renter has to do is show up and step into a fully functioning business.
  • Rental terms. You can rent the cart out by the day, the week, the month, the quarter, the season (what ever that is in your neck of the woods).

Let’s also talk about this. If you have experience renting out your cart we’d love to hear about it.

What have you charged and for what term? Did you do a branded or unbranded rental? How successful were you and was it worth the hassle?

I’m curious to see how other folks are approaching this so let us know in the comments!


P.S. As you can see there are more ways to make money in this business besides selling dogs yourself. But you have to get started first and learn the right way to do things.

Learn How To Sell Hot Dogs

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Glenn Shay

It would have been good to have the answers to these questions before buying the cart.
This is also true for the hot dog business itself as I bought the books and tapes before I bought bought the cart. As they say, “Don’t put the cart in front of the business model”.



Thanks Glenn. Our goal here is to get you educated before you make expensive mistakes. Glad you like our stuff!


My experience with renting or loaning a cart to others has not been good. People do NOT take care of your things as well as they will their own. Even good friends, or charitable organizations. Get a deposit…



Great point Tom. If you are going to rent out your cart a deposit is a must.

I have always sold my own dogs from my own carts. I’ve never rented my own carts out. To be honest, I’m scared to let anyone else mess with my income producing assets.

Hiring part time help to run a specific cart with an established location (or festival booking) makes more sense to me.

I too have not heard a whole lot of positive things about the business model of renting your cart out. That is why I’m asking for input on this.

I’m sure it has been done with good results by some of you slingers. I’d love to hear some success stories!

"FRANK'S" -Tasty- Hot Dogs

I think you should contact the local Veteran’s Admin and see if a Vet could use a new start. Call and ask for someone in “Vocational Rehabilitation”. I’m sure they would be happy to help. Here’s your chance to help a Vet.



Bravo! Great idea Robert!

Joan Miller

I would love to hear more on this subject as a former employee just asked me if I would be willing to rent out my cart to him. I currently only work the weekends with the cart and this young man was thinking of cashing in on the bar business around town by setting up long after this mom has gone to be. I am mulling the proposition over so this question could not have come at a better time. Thanks Steve!



Hey Joan,

I think in your situation this could work because you have a previous relationship with this person. Trust is the biggest factor here. If you trust him then that barrier is removed.

I say go for it and work out a tentative agreement subject to re-evaluation after 30 days.

Roger Vandevert

This question of renting out your pride and joy to others has plagued me over the years. I have shied away from it as there is too much at stake and more to go wrong than right.
First, there is the trust issue. Can this person be trusted to display your business in a way that you would approve of? Training- There is a training period on how to operate all the gadgets and gizmos on your cart, not to mention quality control. My Cart is unique in that it must be trailered or driven…maybe I should say, ridden. It is based on a 3 wheel “tuk-tuk” so it requires a M/C license and training on how to manually shift the gears like a Vespa. Then I have a full blown espresso machine which takes time and skill to produce a creamy espresso drink correctly. More training. Liability- what if the renter blows up the cart or an accident occurs? To me it seems better to simply stick with yourself or immediate family. Make a few bucks and enjoy your own business.



Agreed, especially with a beautiful machine like you have Roger! I would be scared &$%#less to let that out of my site.

P.S. Hows the newest addition to the family doing? She’s a sweetie!


Somewhere in the not-too-distant past, there was a discussion about catering special events. Someone came up with the option of letting the business rent your cart and furnish their own labor and materials for the event. That sounded like a terrific choice to offer along with the usual offers of set-up fees plus tickets, etc. etc. Renting by the day or by the event would give you greater control over the treatment of your cart.



True. And renting to a business or non-profit is a lot better than renting to an individual that you know nothing about.


Renting to friends is a little tricky because friends and business do not mix like oil and water and renting to outsiders could also be tricky because you don’t know them stick to your own guns or hot dogs and let the renter beware!



Sound advice Jose. Thank you for commenting.

Hot Dog Mike !!!

Hey !!! Hot Dog Mike “OVER HERE” What I dont understand is why anyone would
buy a Brand New cart and wanna rent it out ? Especially in Queens NY or any
part of Queens Brooklyn or Manhattan ! Like I said before my father and his
brothers all had carts back in the day ! Now theres to much compition on every
corner theres a cart or two se lling Hot Dogs for 99 cents each !! They mostly
They mostly sell Gyros Shishkabobs things like that !!! And its all teritorial !!!
You cant get in !!!



I bet someone is making money there…


There was a group up around Gainesville Ga. that was starting a Coop and commissary set up. The plan was to have a building, Health Dept. approved, where you could store your cart, clean, cook, prepare etc. The plan was with a variety of carts, folks could rent, lease or just use the services for their carts. There was an organization meeting – but I haven’t heard anything in close to a year.

Any Hot dogger Coops out there you know of ?



Interesting concept. The problem is in organizing. Hot Doggers are darn independent by nature and usually want to do things on their own terms. I love that about us!!!

Belly Busters

$500.00 down and carry the note with interest. Repo if need be. Anyone that wants it bad enough will come up with $500. Renting to own, requires less energy than just renting. Having to manage people at this level can be tough.



I like it. Thanks Joe.


i rent mine but i come with it in some cases im free just the price of the cart, i do this because this cart is now a big part of my life , as well as my only income because of disabilities steve has realy saved my life.



You saved your own life by taking action Pete. Good job!

miss kathleen sl tung

hello steve my name is miss Kathleen tung I would like to be my own boss and open up a hot dog restaurant in the Birkenhead area in Liverpool in England and I want to know can I just rent a cart from you as soon as possible please because I am going to the university in England soon so I need a lot of money for uni in England ok



Hi Kathleen,

We don’t rent carts, sorry. The cheapest way to get started is to build your own. Here are some videos that show you how…

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