Promoting Your Hot Dog Vendor Business
A few well-chosen methods of advertising and publicity can do much to boost sales.
Many people believe that advertising and publicity are the same things. But there are actually major differences. In this page we give you some ideas of how to advertize for your hot dog cart.
Advertising directly tells people about your business and why they need your product.
Publicity is less direct. It may simply get people familiar with seeing your product.
Advertising will usually cost you money. Publicity can often come for free or even while you are making money!
For example: You can pay to advertise in the local newspaper or you can be included in a newspaper feature article on new businesses. The advertising costs. The news article publicity is free.
Here are a few ideas:
Introduce Yourself to a New Area.
When you set up your cart in a new area advertise yourself. This will get your new location off to a running start.
Print up some quality flyers and take them around to the businesses in the area so they will be familiar you. Include a nice color picture of you and your quality WillyDog cart.
Drop them off in business mailboxes. Post them on information boards. Hand them directly to business owners, managers, receptionists, and other employees. Dress neat and professional while doing this as you are making that all-important first impression of your quality food service vending cart!
The flyer should include your hours of business, location, menu, and cell number for phone orders. It should show that your cart is licensed and meets all the Health Code requirements.
Keep it to one page in length and one-sided so it can easily be posted in a lunch room.
Include introductory discount coupons at the bottom of your flyer to encourage first-time customers. See our sample Introductory Flyer in this Marketing section.
Signage and Graphics:
Have a vinyl graphics company make up some large quality graphic signs for your cart. This will help identify you and your products and draw customers.
Put up sandwich board signs 200 yards down the road to pull in traffic.
Install vinyl lettering on your vehicle to advertise your WillyDog cart. Include your regular cart location.
Tie a colorful helium balloon to your WillyDog cart to get noticed from a distance.
The WillyDog business is capable of generating a great deal of publicity.
The media is often interested in successful small businesses that epitomize the entrepreneurial “dream”. If you have an “angle”, a story that is somewhat unique or has a special interest aspect, the media may cover it. This can include newspapers, magazines, radio and television.
Include your WillyDog cart in any local events where the news media will be present. These include charity events, parades, cultural festivals, grand openings, etc. Check your local city and media websites for listings on such upcoming events. Offer free “taste testing” to media personnel to draw them to your hot dog cart.
Always wear your WillyDog business apparel (hat, golf shirt) for these opportunities.
Here are some other Publicity Stunts that have been done successfully:
Keep a camera in your cart. If a celebrity comes by, get a photo of them with you beside your cart.
Have the mayor do a ribbon-cutting ceremony for your new WillyDog cart.
Put your WillyDog cart in tandem in a parade.