Floating Hotdog cart

Discussion in 'The Tavern' started by Dan, Mar 1, 2011.

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How do you like your Hot-dog?

  1. plain

    1 vote(s)
    5.0%
  2. with Ketchup

    4 vote(s)
    20.0%
  3. With Mustard

    11 vote(s)
    55.0%
  4. Sauerkraut

    2 vote(s)
    10.0%
  5. Chillie

    6 vote(s)
    30.0%
  6. onions

    7 vote(s)
    35.0%
  7. all the above

    3 vote(s)
    15.0%
  8. Some of the above

    9 vote(s)
    45.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Dan

    Dan Staff
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    Yrs back on my first ship, 3 folks rowed up to the ship and tried to sell "mud-bugs" (crawfish) to the chef. He ended up buying a bucket to share with the crew. Any way, I thought a floating hotdog cart would be a cool way to make a living. Wrote a biz plan yrs later using numbers from NY harbor. There, it is projected to make $147,000 a yr, snork.

    In an attempt to stay focused on one project and wanting to keep a log of progress, I am gonna post here.

    Bought a $600 boat and a $500 truck to pull her. I blew up the truck so now boat will stay at anchor out in the river.

    Went to get a permit from health dept. ($200) They sent me to the police station to get a "peddler's permit" ($100) who promptly told me I needed the health department permit first. Who told me I needed the other first, snork.

    The boat has to be covered for rain, birds and security. I will post pics but any thoughts are welcome. I am thinking of an overhead that slides up on 4 poles like a pop-up trailer.

    For now, just going with hotdogs, drinks and coffee. But when I (if all works out) plan on building a small barge and will expand line to sun glasses, sun stuff, t-shirts etc with a rest room/porta-potty.

    Ideas and thoughts welcomed!
     
  2. BarelyAWake

    BarelyAWake New Member

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    The drifting snack cart idea is great, Dan - sounds like a lot of fun! I'm assuming that your customer base is prolly recreational boaters & fishermen?

    I dunno which body of water yer considering ...depending on location ofc, if you've any transient traffic (liveaboards) - you'd not be able to keep cheap used books, movies & music in stock & that's a fact ;)

    Books are ofc the easiest and most sought after by the cruisers, I toyed with the idea of a floating used book store when I was a wanderin' :D
     
  3. Dan

    Dan Staff
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    2 funny BA. Just came upstairs and was gonna PM ya and ask. Cool thought and glad I asked. Knew you would be up. Really, what time do you get up, yesterday? lol

    Just reread that biz plan. When I wrote it, I was just learning computers, software and sadly, proper English. (Is really embarrassing how bad my grammar and spelling was. As opposed to now. snicker)

    I figured the customer base in order rec. boaters, fishing and security boats. This far north kinda slim pickings. Down by the shore, a lot more traffic. This summer will be more of a feasibility test then any thing. Did count the number of launches of small boats and at 5%, could do well. Sadly, not many "live-aboards" up this way. Be kinda cool. Movies and books are a great idea. Did think of news papers.

    Will be located just south of Hartford on the East Hartford side of the CT river with plans of adding locations south until I hit Long Island sound.
     
  4. Dan

    Dan Staff
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    Having napkins printed up. "If you liked our service, tell a friend. If you didn't, lets just keep this our little secrete"

    And a sign;

    "No shirts, no shoes, no problem"
    (...and thank you Ma'm)

    wut?
     
  5. kerf

    kerf New Member

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    Dan,

    I'm not trying to get political here but this needs to be said. Congratulations, you are living personal liberty and responsibility with your entrepreneurship. Win or lose, you have a dream and are pursuing it just as all great Capitalist have before you. You are taking a well thought out risk and I wish you all the success in the world because what you are doing demonstrates the true greatness of America.

    Gods speed my friend.
     
  6. Elmo

    Elmo New Member

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    Good Luck Dan
     
  7. matthurd

    matthurd New Member

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    back a few years ago when i was like or 15 my dads friend rob took us out for a ride on his zodiac and we went too a full blown floating restaurant, full menu full, bar and everything. bathrooms didn't have hot water and barely had any water pressure at all but hey i can't complain it was really cool.

    if i remember right this was in salem harbor in MA? or maybe gloucester?
    regardless it was on a harbor in ME, and it was really cool :D, there were striped bass that were huge that liked to hang around the area cause people would feed em french fries and stuff. some people would try to catch the fish which were essentially the restaurants pets, and they'd shoo them away lol, anyways i'm rambling now but the point is it was really fun and cool, so good luck :D
     
  8. chainmaker

    chainmaker New Member

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    What kind of dogs are you going to sell ? I would quit My Chef job right now to run my own hot dog cart, man nothing better than a good hot dog. When I lived out in California I used to drive out 40 mins on the 118 to buy hotdogs from this guy that sold them under the overpass. They were great!!!! I dont think I would be too successful selling the idea to the Misses and kids though. Any help or advice I could give on running a food buisness Id be glad to help (for a free hot dog of course) Ive been doing food most of my life.

    Cheers
     
  9. deacon

    deacon minor bike philosopher

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    I thought food trucks were all the craze in CA. I wondered when they did the great food truck race last year why they didnt have a hotdog truck in the mix. They wanted all gourmet I think.
     
  10. matthurd

    matthurd New Member

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    answers a question i had a while back lol.

    and yeah food trucks are awesome when i was like 8-9 years old there was a truck usually parked in the pep boys parking lot that my dad would get his tires realigned at, selling hot dogs steak bombs and italian sausage subs with grilled peppers n onions, the guy always kept busy when we were there.
     
    #10 matthurd, Mar 1, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2011
  11. bairdco

    bairdco a guy who makes cool bikes

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    there's a taco truck on Soto (i think), where the 5 and the 10 freeways meet in LA. it's parked there all night, every night, right in the middle of one of the worst neighborhoods around.

    i used to work on the LA MTSO (Mobile Telephone Switching Office) tower down the street, which is the biggest "Hub" site for Verizon, meaning, if that site went down, 75% of communications go down. most of the work we did was at night, when the call-volume was lower so we wouldn't interrupt service to badly.

    mostly, we replaced antennas that had been shot up by the locals. nothing like being 200' up a tower, dressed all in black so no one notices you and takes a few shots at you...

    anyway, that's how i found that taco truck. it always had a line of people out in front. it was great, you could go do a home invasion robbery, then a drive-by shooting, then pick up some tacos for the ride home...
     
  12. Goat Herder

    Goat Herder Gutter Rider

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  13. Goat Herder

    Goat Herder Gutter Rider

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  14. skjjoe

    skjjoe Member

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  15. skjjoe

    skjjoe Member

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  16. earl.k

    earl.k New Member

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    what a great idea:) now i wish i lived around a body of water.
     
  17. Dan

    Dan Staff
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    Thanks guys! I mean that whole heartedly. In researching this, many folks have tried it but does not seem to "stick" almost all the posts and articles I read are about the start up and never any thing about a second yr. Having started a few little enterprises, I know way to well how these things are not fun in the beginning. Well, just lots of pressure and money worries. But I have summers off from my morning gig so will not be missing any meals. Might be old hot dogs but hey, lol.

    SkiJoe, awesome, thanks! Great reading

    Kerf, I am printing that and framing it. Drives me insane when folks get all upset at their situation and wonder why no one is fixing it for them. Guy at work yelling, and I mean yelling about the state of "kids today" and how there are no programs to help them. I replyed we have a great 13 yr long program for kids. School. Where it is failing is we are not properly helping children understand how important and what a gift it is. The reason his shoes were made over seas by a 6 yr old is she is saving up for kindergarten. Gov can not legislate culture and has only so much power to regulate the economy. We are responsible for our own state of affairs. We need to grab them boot straps. As long as a problem or difficulty is some one else's fault, only "they" can fix it. If one takes responsibility for their own situation, I, they, we have the power to fix it.

    hehe, I should'a started on that rant with a warning.
    "Rise up and do good. Take responsibility for our selves. Blame no one. Fix the problem, not the blame. There is time for that later"

    This political rant was brought to you by the Dansco corporation and no apparent reason
     
  18. Dan

    Dan Staff
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    The "pop-up" over head is to be supported by pipes that telescope. Smaller inside a larger. To get enough height, going to make a "skirt" sort of security bars, out of conduit. So that drunk teen agers don't climb on board at night and get inside the work area. The way the river turns where I want to be and to stay in the slack water, (on the inside of a bend where the water moves slower to make rafting up easier and to better hold anchor, will be on the east/sunny side. So am thinking use the conduit as a heat exchanger/air conditioner by using a paddle wheel powered drill pump to circulate cool river water around the over head. A lot easier then it sounds and will help with heat.

    Building a solar oven as I won't have electricity on this boat other then the engine battery. Will use that and an inverter to make coffee and recharge trolling motor for launch boat to commute. (Always wanted to commute by water!)

    Solar oven is for corn dogs, pretzels and bun warming. Although both are unorthodox, is part marketing (get folks thinking and hopefully talking) and cheap work arounds to their purposes.

    To further word of mouth, free advertising, will be using a MB to tow launch boat to pick up ice and get to the river. Every little bit helps. "Your that guy?" sort of advertising.
     
  19. BarelyAWake

    BarelyAWake New Member

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    Hope ya don't mind another 2ยข lol... but even tho yer not depending on 'lectris fer much, you may wish to consider uppin' yer game a bit on the batts. While jus' the one (deep cycle ofc) may suffice, I found I was much happier with four (even tho they were cheapo wallyworld deep cycles)... as a livaboard, I had a similar usage to what yer planning.

    I did use a small propane stove for the cawfee as heating elements consume massive amounts of juice, but I also used the batts to power a 1hp trolling motor (dock maneuvering), full lighting (running lights and interior, all LEDs tho), my tunage (car stereo, but w/12v PC speakers & sub), as well as various other accessories like spotlights and GPS etc.

    While my usage may have been a bit higher than yours as I was onboard roughly 24/7 (with nighttime lighting & tunes), I found that with jus' the four batteries with one smallish, outdated solar panel (about 4'x1' see not-so-good pic) I could almost be self-sufficient, even without a charging system in the outboard & despite using the trolling motor to maneuver a couple-few thousand pound hull. By spreading out the discharge/charge cycles with the far greater reserve of four batteries & "maintaining" it with the panel, I usually only needed to find shore power to recharge roughly once a week in bad weather, once a month if it was good weather (more to do with increased usage of power in bad weather than the solar capabilities btw).

    It is in my opinion worth the comparatively low cost to add another coupla batteries and ya can usually find smallish solar panels pretty cheap *shrug* it's up ta you tho ofc. I will say ya wanna try and avoid depending on inverters as much as ya can, unless you spend the BIG bucks, they're usually really inefficient.

    Jus' a coupla thoughts ;)

    [​IMG]
     
    #19 BarelyAWake, Mar 3, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2011
  20. GearNut

    GearNut Active Member

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    I think you may want all of your coffee brewers/ whatever open liquid holders mounted on gimbals so wakes and small waves don't spill any of your profit margin. "Canned and bottled beverages only" might be a good on-board policy, but that would put the kabosh on fresh brewed coffee....so I'm just say'n.
     

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