FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions)
A: In a word, yes. You will almost certainly require a business license. You may also need a permit if you want to park your cart on public property, such as a street, sidewalk, park, or other public space. Check with your local City Hall, either in person or on the city’s website, for specifics, such as by-law requirements, license costs, and other relevant information. To learn more about obtaining a business license, see the section of this Business Guide titled Obtaining a Business License.
Q: Do I need to get permission from the local Health Department before I can start?
A: In a word, yes. It’s a strong possibility. Consult with your local health department for more information. They may be listed on the city’s website if the city has one. If this is the case, please go to the section of this Business Guide under Health Department Links. To find the online site of your local county Health Department, follow the links and directions provided below. Find out the specifics about the criteria for hot dog carts under the local health code. In addition, there may be an initial inspection cost associated with your cart. See the sections Obtaining Health Department Approvals and Health Guidelines, as well as the subsections Health Guidelines and Health Guidelines.
Q: How do I locate a suitable location?
A good location will have a high volume of pedestrian traffic and no competition, as explained above. More information can be found in the section Searching for a Location, and the subsection Location Suggestions contains a thorough list of suitable hot dog cart location ideas that can be found in the section Location Ideas.
Q: Is it possible for me to shift the cart?
A: In a word, yes. The huge carts are all equipped with a trailer hitch, which allows them to be towed behind a vehicle on the highway. However, it is preferable to pick a nice place and stay there so that others would know where to look for you when they need to. You will be able to quickly create a solid foundation of regular, loyal consumers in this manner. In order to generate additional revenue, the cart can be carried during “off” hours to special events such as evenings or weekends. You should, however, maintain a regular and consistent schedule in a convenient location. For additional information about Regular sites and Special Events locations, please see the section “Finding a Location.” See also the section Tips for Success for some helpful hints on how to run your vendor cart business efficiently and effectively.
Q: What does “NSF certified” mean, and do I need it for my hot dog cart?
A: As a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization, the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) is responsible for the development of standards for food service equipment manufacturers as well as the provision of third-party conformity assessment services to these foodservice equipment manufacturers.
NSF certification indicates that the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) has evaluated and verified the equipment’s compliance with the applicable NSF and ANSI (American National Requirements Institute) standards.
A requirement of the certification procedure is that the equipment manufacturing facility is audited on a yearly basis to confirm that all applicable requirements are being met.
The materials used in the building of hot dog carts must be nontoxic, corrosion, and heat resistant, and any coatings must be evaluated for durability and abrasion resistance before use. More importantly for reheating food, the equipment has proved that it is capable of reaching and maintaining the proper temperatures within a certain time frame. Additionally, the accuracy of the temperature indicating devices (Thermometers) employed has been verified.
Your local health department or your state government may require that your hot dog cart adheres to NSF requirements in order to operate. It’s possible that they won’t. This will be made clear on their website as well.
NSF/ANSI Standard 59 for Food Carts governs the operation of hot dog carts.
Q: Can you tell me where I can get hot dog meat and other materials for my business?
If you are looking for suppliers, look in our Business Guide under the heading Finding Suppliers. Within that part, you’ll find a sub-section labeled Food Suppliers, as well as another titled Supplies List. These will point you in the direction of providers for the various goods need to run your hot dog cart.
Q: Do your hot dog carts have the capability of serving pre-cooked chicken or ribs?
A: In a word, yes. This, however, may not be permitted by your local county Health Department. Vendor carts serving what they deem to be unsafe pre-cooked meats, such as pre-cooked chicken or pre-cooked pork ribs, may be barred from serving at the event. It is recommended that you check with your local Health Department before preparing such foods.
Q: Do your hot dog carts have the capability of cooking raw steak, chicken, or pork?
A: In a word, yes. This, however, may not be permitted by your local health department. In some cases, they may prohibit vendor carts from serving what they deem to be unsafe raw meats. Raw or frozen chicken, raw or frozen beef, raw or frozen pork, and ground meats are all commonly included in this definition of meat. They are deemed hazardous because, if not handled properly, they can promote the rapid growth of bacteria that are extremely deadly to humans when consumed. Before serving any of these foods, make sure to check with your local health department first. Generally speaking, hot dog carts are limited to reheating wieners and sausages that have already been cooked on site.
Q: Can you tell me how much delivery costs?
A: Shipping charges are determined by hand using a spreadsheet. For more information, please contact us.
Q: Is it possible to attach a coffee maker to a WillyDogs cart?
A: In a word, yes. Coffee pots may be found on our Cart Accessories page, which can be found in the top right corner of www.willydogs.com. It would be necessary to have a 110-volt alternating current power supply outlet close by.
Q: Does the cart have both hot and cold running water? A: Yes, it does.
A: In a word, yes. The majority of the carts are totally self-contained, with hot and cold running water throughout. Visit www.willydogs.com and look at the specifications page for each individual cart to find out more. More information and specifications about the equipment contained with each cart may be found by clicking on the images of the carts. Some of the carts are equipped with a 12 volt direct current pressurized water supply. Others have a system that is fed by gravity.
Q: Is it possible to obtain funding for my hot dog cart enterprise?
A: In a word, yes. We can point you in the direction of a finance company that specializes in our line of business. For more information, please contact our customer service department. See the section of this Business Guide titled Getting the Financing Arranged for advice on how to create a firm plan and calculate your start-up costs for your new business.