Income opportunities in the hot dog business are impressive. With such a high markup on hot dogs, vendors that know what they are doing and who are able to shift serious volume can make a killing. Total cost for a standard dog with a bun and toppings averages around 40 cents or even less and the finished product can easily be sold for between $ 1.50 and $ 2.00 in most markets. And in some locations a much higher price is possible.
There are numerous opportunities to profit in this industry. Below we take a look at some of the opportunities available in the hot dog business and how entrepreneurs are capitalizing on them.
Opportunities are plentiful when you consider some of the up-sell options that a hot dog business operator has. There are the obvious 'add on' or side purchase that customers may include with an order like chips, beverages or extra toppings. However there are numerous other products that can also sell well such as flowers on Valentine's Day or disposable umbrellas on a rainy day. Potential is only limited by a business owner's imagination and willingness to try out new ideas.
Opportunities to Expand
It is not unheard of for hot dog stand operators to be making a six figure income and this becomes even more realistic once a business owner is managing multiple stands. Some stand owners profit by running their own stand and then eventually expanding to own more stands in a wider area.
Develop and Flip
Another approach is to get stands up and running to the point where they are making a good profit and then sell them off. Stands regularly sell for five figures when the owner is able to market it is as a going concern and can prove the level of profit that the business is making.
The cart or trailer that you use to conduct your business from should be reasonably portable. One great business model is to work a variety of locations and events. If you follow the crowd, so to speak and get access to festivals, sporting events and concerts in your city then you can make excellent profits while working minimal hours.
Just like pizza and burgers, hot dogs have recently been going more upmarket with all kinds of 'gourmet' options springing up. While people still love the common dog, some entrepreneurs are now opening eateries that specialize in the finest quality products with gourmet sauces and toppings. Running a restaurant is a totally different game from a stand though and presents a different set of opportunities and challenges.
There are a number of hot dog restaurant chains that are franchising although these have large startup requirements in terms of the funds that you need to invest. With this kind of franchise you are looking at startup costs that run into six figures where as with a cart or stand you can get started for four figures.
As it is typically easy to start a stand, cart or trailer independently, franchises are not so common in this area. Hot dog stand owners usually just establish their own brand and business model rather than proceeding under the umbrella of a franchise. Some famous suppliers such as Vienna Beef or Willydogs may allow you to use their branding if you are purchasing supplies or equipment from them.