Running a Business
The adage goes, “the customer is always right” and many customers often abuse this term to get an advantage. On the other hand, many others have valid issues with the product or food you provide and thus file consumer complaints. When at the hotdog stand and you encounter one such incident, here are some tips to use in order to resolve the issues right away.
Preserve the evidence. Often, if the condiment is already stale or the hotdog is burnt, the first reaction is to throw it to the trash bin. If the rotten food is served, then at the first instance, you need to keep the food intact. Apologize profusely to the customer and provide an add-on to replace the returned food. Keeping the evidence would determine if the concessionaire was at fault or the purchaser deliberately made the food the subject of the consumer complaint.
Get names. Many consumer complaints consist of invectives and raised voices. In order to get to the heart of the matter, you need to ask for the facts and get the names of the complaining customers. By sticking to the facts, you are able to determine where the fault originated and review how it occurred. This removes the emotions behind the issues and keeps everything under control.
Review Processes. This is essential to avoid the repetition of the complaint. In this review, you can find out how the problem occurred and institute the proper measures to prevent problems from arising. These may be as simple as hand washing procedures to as complicated as the proper settings for refrigeration. This closes the whole consumer complaint process and resolves the issues straightaway.
So when a customer comes up to you with a complaint either of the food you have served or the service provided, then you need to preserve the evidence, get names and later on review processes in order to determine fault and prevent its repetition. If you fail to address the complaint, then this can be the straw that may break your financial back in the long run.
At the start of the blog, one of the main themes stressed was the fact that being a hotdog concessionaire is not a solitary business. It is a business that employs people and uses materials in order to succeed. These materials come from suppliers that are considered as your business partners. Now, after a few months, you need to review these standing partnerships in order to see if they are helpful to the business or prove to be one of the causes of losses for your going concern. Found below are some helpful tips for you to consider when renewing your agreements with your business partners in your hotdog concession business.
Cost. This is one of the primary concerns that a business should always be acutely aware of and be considerate about in the day-to-day operations. The bread delivered to you by your baker suddenly increases in cost, even by cents, can have an exponential effect on your overall revenue. Even the timing of payment has an attendant cost which needs to be computed so that your overall cash flow is not affected. In simpler terms, you need to always be aware of the cost of your inputs and any changes would necessarily affect your final product costing. Since you can’t just increase your prices without losing customers, your profits would eventually suffer. Always be on the lookout for other cheaper suppliers, not only in per item cost, but also be mindful of payment terms (the longer the better), which can certainly help your bottom line.
Quality. This is very important especially if you want to maintain a regular clientele. You need to check the delivered supplies to see if there are short cuts made or any changes in the quality and make-up from the time you originally engaged the business partner. If the quality has changed, then this has an attendant effect on your final product. Quality checks are important to maintain the quality of your hotdog sandwiches offered to the public. Change your supplier at the first sign of deteriorating quality, lest you receive any complaints from your buying public and thus lose business.
Reliability. Another aspect important to your business is the reliability of the product delivered. This includes prompt deliveries and accurate best before tags for the items used in your hotdog stand. Prompt deliveries ensures that your supplies do not run out thus making your food orders complete and of the same quality and quantity. As for the spoilage tags, this needs to be clear and precise because your inventory needs to stay fresh and edible for human consumption over a number of days. Besides, you will lose a lot of revenue if you eventually have to throw these food ingredients to the trash without turning a profit with them.
As you can see, business partnerships, especially in the hot dog concession business need not be permanent. If the cost increases, then you need to find alternative suppliers for your ingredients. Should the quality deteriorate then you need to find better suppliers for your customers. Finally, if the deliveries or the spoilage directions become unreliable, then you would have to bear the brunt of the losses due to these unusable ingredients. Rest assured, there is always some business partner out there ready, willing and able to provide you a product best suited to your hot dog concession needs.
Since the sun is out, do look forward to hot mid-afternoon rays while you are at your concession stand. This heat together with the heat generated when you cook your hotdogs would not only help you break a sweat but may even lead to heat exhaustion. Here are some ways that could help avoid health issues for you and your clientele.
Put up shaded areas. Depending on the model of the hotdog cart that you have, having an umbrella would help give shade and thus allowing a cool area for yourself and your patrons. If you have a larger concession stand, then having awnings would help in providing shade against the glaring sun. Shade would help provide respite against the ultraviolet rays and the increased temperatures.
Hydrate. If there are no shaded areas aside from your umbrella, then the next best way to beat the heat is by keeping hydrated. With the increased heat sources, you need to always have a quick drink to allow your body to produce sweat. This bodily process maintains the body’s internal temperature to allow you to keep cool. As for your clientele, offering drinks with their food is their best defense against being overcome by the heat while outdoors.
Location. Another way to beat the heat is by adjusting the location of your hotdog stand during the different times of the day. You can do this by studying your location compared to the sun’s position in the sky during the business day. Since you have a mobile concession cart, adjusting the position of your cart is key to keeping cool. You do this by having the clientele area away from the sun, allowing your patrons some form of protection against the sun’s glaring rays.
As you can see, the sun need not be a nuisance when doing business out in the open. You can put up shade for your clients while they enjoy your hotdogs. Or you can offer water or other cold beverages to help you and your patrons keep cool while enjoying the sun. As an astute businessman, your clientele’s comfort is of primary importance and since you have a mobile restaurant, adjusting your location according to the sun’s position would certainly help in beating the heat while at the concession stand. Not only would you earn with these simple tips, it would also help in keeping your clientele happy and content.
It is the time of spring and many holidays as well outdoor activities are scheduled. Many childhood memories revolve around springtime, such as Spring Break, beaches and county fairs. Annual celebrations occur all throughout North America to celebrate and commemorate springtime. What does this mean for the hotdog concessionaire? The following are the reasons why these entrepreneurs celebrate springtime.
Families go outdoors. Be it a staycation or an actual travel, many families come out of their homes to enjoy the sun and the outdoors. Since your business is outdoors, being where families go is the way to earn your profits. These include being near beaches or parks, where many families go. Just make sure that you have the proper licenses and permits to operate in these high volume areas during the springtime.
County Fairs and other celebrations. Spring is the time of celebrations. Many county fairs and parades are scheduled around this time. With these celebrations come the crowds to see and enjoy and this is the opportunity for you to earn a lot more. These events often extend well into the night that extends your income opportunities. If winter is the lean season, then springtime is when the torrents of profits roll around.
Springtime is easier. As an outdoor business, you need fair weather to become profitable. Thus sunny days and balmy nights are the best times for your grilling business. You can even expand your selling space by putting out chairs and tables nearby. Deliveries come on time since there won’t be issues, unless there are just too many deliveries. Clients and regulars go out of their way to enjoy and partake of your hotdogs. All in all, springtime is much easier for business in general. This is the time to make hay while the sun shines.
As you can see, for an outdoor entrepreneur, springtime is the best season for business. Families go outdoors and enjoy the weather. It is also the time for county fairs, parades and other celebrations. Finally, doing business is much easier as the weather is much more cooperative. So when springtime comes around, it is best you prepare your hotdog stand for the onrush of business and the profits you would be making.
You may think as an entrepreneur that your clock ends after operating hours. Sad to say, you have only started on half of your day. What follows next is the most important part of your day and this is all about checking how your business day was from a business standpoint.
Checking Sales against Inventory. This will only operate if you already have a system for the start of the day, which is a listing of the day’s cash on hand and inventory available. During the business day, all sales need to be recorded as to volume. At the end of the day, you need to check on the amount in the cash register. Then you need to deduct the start of day’s cash on hand to see how the day’s sales are. Comparing that with the items sold for the day, you need to find out if the amounts and the items balance. Then you find out the amount of inventory available by deducting the items sold (and its components) to see what is needed. With this simple system, you would be able to find out if your business is earning and weed out undesirables from your business, such as waste, rejects and losses.
Checking on Utilities. As you operate your business, you would be using up basic utilities required to prepare your hotdogs. These include fuel, paper products and water. With fuel, you can check on it if you have a gauge or by the weight method. In the weight method, you lift the bottle to see if you need to order a refill. As for water, since it is a necessity for preparing the hotdogs and for washing and cleaning. A simple visual examination would suffice for this. As for paper products, you need to determine the volume needed for a day and see if the projected utilization is at par with the actual use. Remind your staff that they need to observe the quantities when serving in order to keep your costs down after your examination.
Checking on Cleanliness and Storage. One of the important aspects of your business is health safety. Since your business is about food, you need to ensure that what you sell is safe and edible. Safety starts at the end of the day, as you need to ensure that all the nooks and crannies of the food preparation and service areas are spic and span. Food particles left overnight would become hotbeds for microbes and other harmful bacteria that can eventually contaminate your food. Health safety also includes proper storage of food and other implements for your business. If these items are not properly stored, vermin may infect them and cause problems for your business. Finally, waste needs to be properly bagged and disposed of at the end of the day. Leaving trash bags filled with refuse will only cause you problems and the wastewater needs to be properly thrown away in drainage areas.
As you can see, there is still much work to be done at the end of the business day. You need to review the sales and inventory performance for the day to see how healthy your business is coming along. You need to review your utilities so that you would not be left hanging for the next business day. Finally, you need to be sure of the cleanliness of your hot dog concession so that you would not have problems in the long run. Doing this each day would make your weekends unharried and stress free.
A hotdog is not just simply a hotdog anymore. Most often, the hotdog’s personality depends very much on the geography. While in the beginning, a hotdog sandwich is all about boiled hotdog and a heated hotdog bun with some ketchup. The following are some of the best hotdog toppings that can be done right in your own home.
The New York Dog. The New York topping includes a smear of hot mustard with a little sauerkraut. There is even a derivative to this, seeing that the region has a special affinity for hotdogs, is the Coney Island style dog. This preparation includes a foot long hotdog with chili, onions and mustard. An option is the inclusion of cheese.
The Chicago Dog. The Chicago style dog has toppings of mustard, pickle relish, onions, chopped tomatoes and banana pepper rings with a siding of dill pickle. The secret ingredient for these kinds of dogs is the sprinkling of celery salt on the toppings.
The Los Angeles Dog. This is the very different taste of LA captured in a hot dog. Often, the toppings include mustard, mayo, grilled onions, and peppers with shot of hot sauce. Some would even include blue cheese crumbles instead of the mustard and mayo combo. For some hard-core dog lovers, there is a topping of jalapeno peppers that can really fire up your palate.
The Southern Dog. Like many things from the South, the basic taste is barbecued. Thus the Southern dog includes a smear of barbeque sauce, shredded cheddar, bacon bits, onions on top of a grilled dog and bread. An option is the inclusion of corn relish over the top for a true Southern dog delight.
The Mexican Dog. The first step here is wrapping your hotdog with bacon and then grilling the hotdog. Then the toppings would be American cheese, diced cucumber and sour cream. You also put in salsa, some diced avocado and some peppers for a truly Mexican flavored dog.
The Pizza Dog. First you fry your dog and then lay it out on the bun. Afterwards, the toppings would be marinara sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese, diced green peppers, onions, black olives and pepperoni for a truly pizza flavored sandwich.
These are but some of the famed toppings used for the more popular hotdogs in the market today. You can make your own, so long as you have the palate and imagination to create your hotdogs that would click with your clients.
The adage is the customer is always right in the realm of business. Sometimes, customers claim to be right but are actually wrong and they complain of the services provided them. In order to calm the client and thus save the sale, you and your employees need to be aware on the proper handling of customer complaints. Here are some ways to properly handle customer complaints at your hot dog concession stand.
Listen to the Facts not the Emotion. Since the client would be angry or peeved, you need to listen to what the issue is. Try to keep your calm amidst the emotional outbursts of the customer. Do remember to apologize for the inconvenience and reassure that action would be taken on the complaint.
Action to Take. Once you have obtained all the necessary facts, take the necessary action. If the hotdog needs to be replaced, then replace the item and add on a complimentary item for the inconvenience. Properly note the action taken so that it would be counted in the end of day sales and inventory review of the hot dog business.
Review Processes. Since this problem has come up during the business day, you would need to identify where the problem arose and correct the issue right away. If it is due to employee error, you need to remind the employee of such error and if need be, require further training.
Customer complaints, especially for a small business such as a hotdog concession, can spell doom when word gets around. Thus when a complaint has been made, you need to listen to the facts and not the emotion. Then you need to perform the action that needs be done and then for the long term review processes of the hot dog concession in order to correct the problem and prevent it from recurring. Once these steps have been done, you are now equipped to handle customer complaints at your business.
Your hotdog cart is the flagship of your business. Not only did you invest your hard earned money into purchasing the necessary equipment for your enterprise. You would have also invested a lot of your time and effort in preparing for your opening. But before opening your store, you need to do some advertising to let customers know you are in business. The following are some ways for you to inform the world that you are open for business.
Soft Openings. When you finally open for business, you need not open as a full-blown set up. You can open and provide a few options for your new clients. Once you have opened the hotdog stand, you can learn about the tricks of the trade and iron out the kinks of your business processes. After a couple of weeks, you would be able to identify your problem areas and thus improve your business when you finally run full time. Soft openings are ways in order for you to also test your market as to their response to your hotdog fare.
Flyers. This is the cheapest way to advertise your business. Since you have already scouted the foot traffic in the area and determined the businesses around your business area, giving out flyers a few days before soft opening and full opening would help inform your possible market of your business. Also, providing coupons for those that bring the flyers over to your concession stand would help in showing how effective this marketing tool is to your business.
Quality and quality. As the Latin saying goes, res ipsa loquitur, the thing speaks for itself. You need to show your prospective clients that your menu contents are the best in the area. Thus you need to keep strict quality controls on the food ingredients and preparation process for your food. When you make quality food, then word gets around and when word gets around you would be able to tap into your market and make a name for your business.
Advertising your business need not be such a full-blown and expensive endeavor. Undertaking a soft opening would make a splash for your market to inform them of your business. Giving out flyers would essentially open a larger market for your business by providing information to your target market. The best way though to make and keep your clientele is the quality of the food that you serve. Having all these together would sure start your business right for you and earn your profits in the long run.
Starting your business, like any other business, you need to have specific plans to help you on your way. If you do want to be successful in this line of business, then you need to have a specific plan to build and operate your enterprise. Not only do you have the option to sell hotdogs daily, you can eventually franchise out your hotdog stand and become a conglomeration. But before you start though, here are some basic tips you need to undertake when staring your hot dog stand business.
Get Advice. It’s hard to go on a journey without a map or compass. You need advice especially on some of the intricate details of doing business. Often, get an ebook or attend classes on basic entrepreneurship would help you iron out the details on your enterprise. It may seem to be quite an expense at first but knowledge and information you gain at the start will help you in the long run.
Find a Good Location. Since your hot dog cart business would be dependent on human traffic, finding a location that is accessible should make the business a lot easier. The key in finding a good location is that there are many people that walk past your chosen spot, there is not much competition and your location is easily accessible.
Have a Business Plan. In order to keep your business within the realm of your capacities and capital, you need to have a business plan. This will determine the kind of business you have, the taxes you would need to pay, how large your business is, the operating plans and other needs for your enterprise to become a success.
Choose the Proper Equipment. After you have formulated your business plan, you need to determine the best equipment best suited for your requirements. There are many businesses that claim that they have the best hotdog equipment but the experience and expertise of World’s Best Hot Dog Carts is unparalleled. The carts they produce are tailor made to your requirements and design with a proven track record of reliability and usability.
The Menu. The centerpiece of your business is your menu. The menu is not just about the food and the ingredients, it is also about the quality and the cost for your clients and patrons. You also need to keep your cart and processes clean and within health standards so that you can keep your business open and serving the best food for your clientele.
As you can see, these five simple tips can help you start your hot dog business. You need to be properly guided, have a business plan, have the proper equipment, have the best location and formulate a great menu so that your enterprise can become a success at the soonest possible time.
One way to beat the unemployment bug or the boredom of a desk job is being your own boss with your own business. The hottest business nowadays is having a hot dog stand. A hot dog stand is not just about boiling a wiener and putting catsup on a bun.
Check if hot dog stands are allowed in your area. Some communities have ordinances that prohibit vending in public places. This would definitely torpedo any plans on putting up your own enterprise.
Learn from others. Before putting up your own shop, it is best to learn from others who have been in the business for quite some time. This may include being in not just one but around many hot dog concessionaires to see how they operate on a daily basis.
Attend Food Handling courses. This would prove to be helpful in your business as these would be often required in licensing your business. Not only can this be required, it only would prove helpful in your business.
Finding a Location. You need to check with the city ordinances as to what locations are allowed for this business. The location, if allowed, needs to have heavy foot traffic with few competitors or near a large operating facility with many employees. These would prove to be helpful in making your business a success.
Purchasing the right equipment. Finding the right equipment within your budget is important, as this is your workhorse for your enterprise. You may need to research a bit but you may not need to look far as World’s Best Hotdog Cart provides designs and carts that is suited for your needs and costs.
Get Good Suppliers. These are your partners in your business. You may need to look for the suppliers that provide the best ingredients at the most cost effective prices. You may also need to look for storage facilities if you intend to stock up on supplies for the long-term.
As you can see, purchasing a hotdog stand is not just about the equipment itself. It is about city ordinances and health requirements, food handling classes, learning from other business owners, finding a good location and getting good suppliers. Once you have these down pat, you are sure to be on the right track to making your enterprise a great success.