You will need to find quality local suppliers for the consumable items you will be using to operate your hot dog cart and as well as the food items you are going to be selling. These things include the meat, condiments, drinks and side order foods you will sell as well as cleaning supplies, paper goods, propane, etc.
Here is a comprehensive list of the supplies you will need to be buying on a regular basis for your hot dog cart business: Hot Dog Cart Supplies List.
Here is a page of links for some possible suppliers for the stuff you will need: Hot Dog Suppliers Links
Check for a local bakery for your hot dog buns. You may want to have a couple of sizes i.e. standard and jumbo and maybe even a deluxe bun like a cheese bun or an onion bun.
Also check out a local meat supplier for the dogs. You may wish to offer standard size, jumbo, garlic, polish, spicy, bacon wrapped, or whatever is the local favorite.
You may need to get set up with a commissary. A commissary is a licensed food establishment such as a restaurant or deli that will prepare and store certain perishable food items for you. Having a commissary near your regular vending location will help you avoid dealing with many of the health department regulations for preparing and storing perishable foods. It will also provide a location for your foodstuff to be delivered. Basically, for a fee, the commissary provides the refrigeration equipment and storage area, prepares some of the perishable foods, and conforms to the health department regulations for these services. It simplifies your business. Here is where you would store your hot dog meat and have prepared your daily supply of chopped onions or grated cheese. Having a good rapport with a quality commissary is a real asset to your business.
You will need to comparison shop for suppliers of other items. These include condiments, potato chips, sodas, other beverages, plastic cutlery, napkins, hot dog bags, take-out bags, cleaning supplies, sanitizing solution, and propane gas. These items can be sourced from specialized restaurant supply companies, big box stores, discount supermarkets, commercial cleaning supply companies, and so on. Many of these can be stored in your home office but again take care that even non-perishable items will be stored in a manner that conforms to any local health code regulations.
See our separate section on Hot Dog Cart Suppliers for web links to some of the major national suppliers for hot dog meats, buns, and other specialized items used in the American hot dog cart industry.
Suppliers: A Key Partner to Business
Finding quality suppliers is a key element to the success of your hot dog cart business. These suppliers are the essential parts in your food cart and these include meat, condiments, drinks and other side dishes you would be selling. Other business supplies you would need are paper goods, cleaning supplies, gas and plastics. Here are some recommendations you can do to find cost effective as well as reliable suppliers for your business.
- Find local suppliers for food. This is probably one of the most cost effective means to find the best suppliers for your business. This is most important when it comes to fresh food items in your menu. Engaging a local bakery for your bread not only makes for lowered expense, you can also have bread made to your specifications. Not only can this be done, but freshness as well as the quality of the bread can be maintained. You can also engage the services of a local meat shop for your hot dog needs which can also be suited to your own design and taste. Also, purchasing products from a local commissary can help your business in the long run. A commissary is a licensed seller of perishable items at wholesale prices and with them you can purchase all your perishable items at high quality as well as great taste.
- You need to canvas specialized shops for your personalized business needs. Specialized items would provide not only a clear identifiable mark but also a secondary marketing item for your business. Your napkins, cups, utensils as well as paper bags can provide for marketing as well as comfort for your utensils. Though it may cost a little more, having these items with your business name emblazoned on them would surely help in making your hot dog cart business a successful one.
- Find nearby shops that deliver for your other operational needs. Having nearby supply stores for cleaning supplies, propane needs as well as waste management products makes for savings for your hot dog cart business. Also when emergencies arise, such as when gas runs out, having the supplier nearby can make for quick fix solutions for your hot dog cart business.
In order to get a greater understanding of these finer aspects of the hot dog cart business, do visit particularly the separate section on Hot Dog Cart Suppliers for web links of major national suppliers of the items identified above and which have established themselves in the American hot dog cart industry.