The Ultimate Guide to Finding the Best Hot Dog Cart Location

hot dog carts location

The Ultimate Guide to Finding the Best Hot Dog Cart Location

The hot dog cart is an American icon. However, it can be difficult to find the right location to open your shop and offer hot dogs to the public. Is it better to go to a busy street corner or a quieter area? A deserted area in the middle or far from anywhere? Is it a college campus? This guide will help you choose the right location for your hot dog cart.

College Campuses

You might be thinking of opening a hotdog cart. College campuses are great places to make an income while you attend classes. College is filled with hungry people, which is a big difference from high school. These people are also hungry and need to earn some money. If you are looking to sell food full-time, colleges can be a great option. Keep in mind that college vending regulations can be quite strict. It’s important to do your research and plan ahead. It’s not good to get set up and then have it shut down by someone because of insurance requirements or local ordinances that prohibit mobile food vending.

Big box stores

It’s no surprise that larger businesses set up shop at such high-traffic locations. Because of their high traffic, big box stores tend to have lower rents. Because there are fewer barriers to entry, you might be able to get your cart to more customers than if it is located in a less convenient location. Traffic means more foot traffic and potential customers. This can lead to higher sales opportunities. It’s no wonder that big businesses love big locations.


Hot dog carts are a great addition to any courthouse. Courthouses offer many benefits, whether you are selling on a sidewalk or in a county court. First, because courts are open 24/7, you can set up and begin selling anytime you like. Because people work odd hours and require sustenance at all times, the courthouse will attract steady customers. Due to limited lunch options, sales are more likely in counties that have a lot of jury duty. Most people don’t want to eat at the cafeteria. Before applying, make sure you check with the local courthouse as they may have strict guidelines regarding outside vendors.

Flea Markets

You can find food stalls at these outdoor bazaars. If you want to get your business started while saving money, this is a good place to start. However, you’ll need to put in a lot of effort when trying to get customers through your lines. Many markets restrict vendors to certain categories, such as home goods and arts and crafts sellers. Some flea markets don’t allow you to sell food. If you find one that allows food carts to be sold, ensure there is enough parking space. You don’t want to lose sales because there isn’t enough.

Before you open your shop, make sure to find out what approval process is required. Some require you to apply, while others only require you to check in with them once a day. Make sure you don’t have to pay an extra fee for setting up shop, such as an hourly charge. Remember: It is possible that you won’t be able to work every day. Check in advance if market hours are affected by holidays or seasonal changes (e.g. Christmas markets close in December).

Mini Malls

Mini-malls, especially on college campuses, are a great way to establish a shop and lock your cart in place. A lot of foot traffic will be generated and you’ll have a smaller customer base which will enable you to better interact with your customers. The downside is that this arrangement may not last for long. Property managers might feel threatened by any additional competition from other vendors, even if they already have food carts and other mobile food options visiting their property every day or weekly. You might try another location if everything goes well the first week.

Farmers Markets

Although you may not be able to park your hotdog cart at a farmers market every day for a profit, it is possible to work in a booth. You can rent space in an existing building to cover most of your expenses. You should be able to make at least $10 per day selling one item (hint: it doesn’t have to include hot dogs). You can sell more than one item at this level. You may be required to sell additional items at certain markets. Before you sign up, make sure that you are familiar with the rules. When looking for deals, keep in mind that some markets may charge a percentage or take a commission on profits.

Corporate picnics

Attending corporate luncheons and picnics is a great way to get top business catering opportunities. You can often bring a sample of your product to these events and you will have one or two happy customers by the end of the day. It gives you the opportunity to make customers return for more. People will know where their hot dog cart is on Wednesday lunch so they can plan where to get their favorite dog. These opportunities are worth taking advantage of as often as you can, but be careful not to overdo them. There is nothing worse than a hot dog cart empty!


Your wedding guests will never forget the hot dog cart. Hot dogs are a favorite of many people. Guests often consider food to be one of the most important parts of any event. Every wedding must have food.

A hot dog cart is an excellent way to get people to stay longer and have a good time at your wedding. Keep in mind though that you want as many people as possible to attend your wedding. Make sure to include your budget when planning. It’s OK that what works for one couple may not work for another.

Children at a wedding may be fussy eaters. It’s important that your menu is child-friendly so you don’t have a lot of children who won’t eat. Consider including chicken fingers and fries in your hot dog cart menu to ensure that there is plenty of choice for both parents and children. Keep in mind that everyone wants to have a great time.

Dollar Stores

Nearly all major cities have a dollar shop within walking distance to most residential areas. These stores are great for finding decorations and other supplies at a discount. To brighten up dull signs, spray paint or stencils can be used to transform your cart into something that catches the eye. These stores will have everything you need, even if you don’t want it to cost more than a dollar. It won’t cost much to replace anything that breaks or gets thrown away.

Parking lot or a street corner in downtown

You’ll first need to find out what the rules are in your area for hot dog carts. Hot dog carts are mobile and therefore have different regulations than regular businesses. Many cities have made it easier for vendors by categorizing them as mobile food units, which can operate in areas not specifically designated for food carts. Some cities are more strict than others. New York City recently increased its cart permit fees and has restricted new permits in recent years.

Call center, hospital, office building

To make a profit entrepreneurs have set up carts near hospitals, offices, and call centers. Each one of these places has its challenges, and each may be your best option. However, it is worth exploring each one if you want to expand beyond public spaces like parks or beaches. Find out how to start no matter where your shop is located.

Transportation centers, such as trains, buses, or subway stops

Consider the proximity of public transportation as one of your top priorities. Because commuters often have a tight schedule and don’t want too much walking before they can get food. You should set up your shop near the entrance or exit of any building. This will ensure that customers see you immediately. Are you on your way out? It is possible to set up your transit center during the evenings when there are fewer people, such as on weekends and holidays.

Birthday parties, anniversaries, bar mitzvahs

These are great reasons to have hot dog carts at your event. You don’t have to worry about order – here are some things you should consider when selecting a location for your event. These tips are only applicable if you plan on attending an event and not having your cart run for you. Before you begin any negotiations, answer the following questions.

Final words

There isn’t one perfect spot for a hot dog cart. You will need to look at all options and customize your pitch in order to be profitable and successful. It is important that you choose a location where hungry people are in desperate need of delicious food. Because, let’s face it, your cart appeals only to dogs. You can be sure that customers will come to your shop no matter where it is located if you follow our advice and do your research. Good luck!


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