So ya wanna be a Hot Dog Man (or Woman?) part 2 location, Location, LOCATION

I run my business in the same location, Monday through Friday from 10:30-3PM. Other folks will travel to different locations, operate "after the bars close" in hopping nightlife areas while others work large events (fairs, festivals, parades etc.). I have a customer who sells sausages on Friday and Saturday nights in a downtown Worcester, MA area with lots of bars and he also works Downtown Worcester on the 4th of July-he sold 1200 pounds of sausages on 7/4/2006! For the purposes of this post, I'll deal with the "same location" model.

The first thing you need to do is find a good spot. Anywhere there are lots of people is good. If you are in an urban area where parking is limited or you can locate in a park, you may want to consider a hot dog cart. If you're in a suburban setting, look for areas where there is a lot of vehicle traffic and a ready supply of regular hungry customers. Good parking is a must for this type of setup. If you have the space in your spot (and the money) you may want to consider a truck or trailer for your biz. I like having a truck-mine is a "mobile kitchen"-because there is more room, shelter from the elements and a decent amount of food prep and storage space.

If you are going to be on public property, check with the local police department for any restrictions you may face regarding locations or any special site permits you may need. Most municipalities have websites these days and oftentimes that type of information is available there, if not the cops are a good place to start (cops like hot dogs-I have many as regulars).

Locating on private property eliminates the need for site permits, but you'll have to pay rent. This is the arrangement I have. The advantages of my location are plenty of parking, good visibility on a well travelled route, proximity to a large industrial/office park and lots of construction in the area (construction workers like hot dogs too). I also know my location will be plowed on snowy mornings and, since I am in the parking lot of an office building and gas station(with a car wash going in next spring) I know there will always be steady traffic in and out. One other plus is that there are few eating places nearby that don't involve going into a congested secondary highway-folks pop out of the back entrance of the office park to get to my spot. The rent is worth it. If you can find a site with these characteristics-you'd be well advised to snag the location. This will involve some networking and sleuthing on your part.

Happy hunting!

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