We are going to do DIY hot dog cart commissaries for hot dog vendors and talk about that you don't even have to be a hot dog vendor.
I've been talking a lot lately about lemonade vending and I've had vendors calling me up and say…
Ben I got to have a commissary.
Okay, not a big deal.
The commissaries, let me give you the short rendition.
It's a fancy French word for commercial kitchen. That's what it is.
This isn't rocket surgery, it's a commercial kitchen.
Now you're probably thinking, well, I can't.
Let me tell you, that's just ridiculous.
Here's an article on to how to get a hot dog cart commissary.
Most States are awesome to deal with, except South Carolina. They're assholes
-I'm just kidding.
Most South Carolina is pretty easy to deal with. I've talked to their head honcho there numerous times.
But let me tell you what's going on. Let me tell you what happens.
This is capitalism at its finest, okay?
So what happens is restaurant owners who have deeper pockets, they go…
well these street food vendors, they're just taking all our business. And even though we're a capitalistic country, I would like to create some rules that prevent them from vending, cause I don't like competition.
So what happens?
They create rules that prevent vendors from vending.
But most of those rules end up, if they're challenged (and usually doesn't even go to court once you show them the case precedents) losing.
I've never heard of a town winning yet. And I've been doing this almost 10 years.
So they don't win. I've been a party to two lawsuits federally and they didn't win. Florida and Miami didn't win.
And they both came up with different convoluted excuses how to prevent free enterprise.
So the bottom line is you have these capitalistic pigs.
These are pigs who help get elected lawmakers who create rules.
Then they find out, Oh, we violated that person's constitutional rights. We're sorry. We'll retract that.
And they retracted. Jason dealt with this a year ago. Last fall.
He's in our Vendors United group and he talked about it, but we felt hundreds of vendors that face this.
Bottom line is, it's an easy one.
But then they've gotten slick. Only one state has done this so far.
One state slick, Willie's state, South Carolina has said…
Well, your hot dog cart commissary is a commercial kitchen, has to be attached to a restaurant. But, if you do something wrong, we can blame the kitchen.
We can blame the restaurant!
What are they doing right there?
Now you have nothing to do with that dang restaurant.
What they're doing is scaring the piss out of the restaurant owner who's allowed you to use them as a commissary.
Even at a fee, they've scared the piss out of him thinking that if you go out and get somebody sick, they're shut down.
They do this intentionally.
And I did a article in learnhotdogs.com a couple of years ago called Summerville-ISTAN.
Cause at Summersville, South Carolina, where they already had some restrictive codes, we got rid of those codes.
We showed them that they violated federal law and they would be sued if they continued on.
They decided, we don't want to continue. We didn't know, it was all about public safety.
I called BS. Here's what they're doing…
They're coming up with crazy convoluted bat shit ways to prevent vendors.
South Carolina has gotten slick and they've said…
Oh, you gotta be attached to a commercial restaurant. Their restaurant has to take liability for you.
You have to have them sign off the form saying that they're taking responsibility for you.
What restaurant is that freaking nuts?
Who's going to sign off for you saying they gets in trouble if you get in trouble. None!
So what they've done is they've violated the law and it will go to court. It'll go to court, I promise.
Bottom line is these are restrictive codes to prevent you from creating competition for restaurants.
They're protectionist codes, they violate federal law seven ways to Sunday.
So with that being said, I've had some vendors call me out from South Carolina.
Cause I've been pushing the hell out of a lemonade lately.
I don't know if you noticed.
And lemonade is kicking butt!
We've had some vendors in the last 30 days make over 10 grand in lemonade profit!
And I give you the course, I give you everything.
It's, learnhotdogs.com/lemon. Check that out.
They're calling me up and go…
Ben, South Carolina wants me to have my own commissary and they're basically saying that if I link to a restaurant, the restaurant can be responsible for me and they gotta sign off the form, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
And I'm going, you know what?
Fricking South Carolina pisses me the hell off.
So they say..
Oh, we're Republicans, we're capitalists.
No, they aren't capitalists. We're crony capitalists!
That's what South Carolina should say on all their license plates, crony capitalists of America.
Crony capitalism is where you only allow it for your friends, your buddies.
It's the me, me, me game.
That is not capitalism. America was founded on free enterprise capitalism, which means you and I can start a business and make a living, right?
But restaurants are going…
they ain't gonna pay property taxes. They don't have to pay for the fuel for my jet. This ain't fair!
Here's the deal…
What prevents them from getting their own damn cart? Ahh lazy?
I don't want to do it, but I don't want anybody else doing it either.
That's what the hell they're doing.
That's crony capitalistic ideology.
I don't want to go out there and set up a table and start squishing lemons, but I don't want nobody else doing it either because public safety.
You know what?
There's tens of thousands of vendors, street food vendors in America. Guess where the number one places people die?
Die from food, eating food out.
Even at home, if you counted at home and everywhere, fast food restaurants, restaurants period, are number one for causing people to get sick and die, but yet they're all about food safety.
Kiss my ass. This got my red up today.
Can you tell it got my red up?
I bet I've, I was doing emails this morning from two days ago and I've gotten so many freaking emails…
Ben call me, South Carolina says, I can't believe, blah blah, you know the story, I already shared this.
Let me tell you how to fix this. You're ready?
So here we go.
What do you need for a hot dog cart commissary?
Let's make our own commissary. DIY hot dog cart commissary.
Here's what you need….
They're going to tell you a bug proof building. Bottom line is a portable shed or anything with a floor.
You can use one of the cheap metal buildings, but you better put some pallets down and close it off, so that bugs can't get in there, cause that health inspector will check.
You need a bug proof building. Easy as pie.
Now let's talk about cost.
Let's say that you can find one on Craigslist, $500 to $3,000 building.
All right, so you've got a bug proof building.
Now you need a three bay sink.
Some state codes say that the sinks must be able to submerge 100% of a pan.
If that's the case, You use a steam pan. A normal full sized steam pan is 12 wide 20 long. Depth doesn't matter.
So you need a sink that's 20 width, okay? And you need three of those.
Have three bay sink, wash, rant, sanitizer. But some say have to be able to submerse half (most say half).
Some say as long as you're able to functionally clean.
The bottom line is you need a three bay sink.
You've seen them in restaurants, three bays all attached together. One false. You can have 12 falses. That doesn't matter. Most people have one.
It's cheaper, right?
So three bay sink you're looking at anywhere $500. I'd be willing to bet you could find this on Craigslist for cheaper.
I just bought one for $125.
Then they're going to say a hand-wash sink and a mop sink and you're going, Oh my gosh, that's a lot of sinks.
It is a lot of sinks.
Most States do not require both or they allow you to call your hand-wash sink a mop sink or vice versa.
(If your mop sink is one of those floor ones, those little fiberglass ones you can buy).
But most people use those utility sinks, those deep sinks that are on plastic legs.
You can buy them on Amazon for about 150 bucks. So there's your hand wash sink.
Let's say you had to buy some faucets.
And let's say you go to Habitat For Humanity‘s home store and you had to have two faucets.
And I'm gonna say the worst case scenario, a hundred bucks for both.
So now some require a floor drain.
This is ridiculous, but some do.
Some require a floor drain, not the end of the world.
A floor drain, is just a drain in which the water in the floor drains so that when you clean up, it can all be sprayed to that floor drain and then run out.
Now, where can you set all this up?
Let me get to that real quick.
You could put this at your house like I did.
I put it in my freaking yard.
Now they did make me, because I was on septic at the time, have the health inspector come out and inspected to make sure that it was of the size required to handle washing some dishes.
It wasn't a big deal.
They don't consider it an extra bathroom or something.
So the floor drain is, I'm gonna go big, a hundred bucks.
It doesn't cost $100 for a floor thing.
But if you do a floor drain, you have to seal floor. So let's say, the floor drain and the seal is a hundred bucks.
Let's be fair, right?
So you've got to seal the floor with something that's non pour so that water stays up above it and then goes down.
You've seen them. They're in the bottom of a shower.
That's a floor drain. Especially like a towel shower.
Now let's go to fridge and freezer.
Some say they will not care what equipment. Let me get this point across.
Some will not care what equipment you have, okay?
As long as it's the equipment you need.
So if you say, I will be deep frying cannolis, they're going to tell you that you need a deep fryer and a hood system and a ventilation system and all that crap.
Stay away from deep frying!
Now what if they tell you where are you storing your extra hot dogs?
Where are you storing your lemons?
Where are you storing the extra lemon juice?
Well, I've got a fridge and I got a freezer. Most of them will let you use a normal household fridge and freezer.
But not all of them, let's go negative…
Suppose they require you to have a commercial unit.
You can find two commercial units for about a thousand bucks used. And sometimes you can find them new, through some of these importers and they will be E T L certified NSF.
So let's say to get a fridge or freezer, you need 1000 bucks, right?
And then you need a prep table. Well, prep tables can run upwards of $1,500.
I'd say you can find one used for &300, but I can guarantee you'll build one for less than $300.
So we're gonna put $300, I want to be fair.
All it takes is two by fours, paint it so that it's a non porous and then seal the top with polyurethane or some other food grade sealer.
And now you're good. Now you've sealed your prep table. Now you can cut your lemons and do all that stuff.
Right now it's a non porous surface for prepping your dough lemons.
Let's say you have to cut the notches out of every hot dog or whatever. Yeah, I'm just making up stuff. But the bottom line is, it's a food prep area.
Now you've got your whole thing.
Now let's add this up real quick. Let's do the top of each item. Let's do a total of less than $3,000, okay?
That is awesome, right? Wouldn't you agree?
$3,000 and you can have a hot dog cart commissary.
And you go, Oh my God, I don't have $3,000.
Well, let me tell you, what if you knew you can make your money back off that $3,000 commissary that you've now got?
And this is just another way, okay.
It's not the easiest way, but it is the most profitable way to do a commissary.
Jason Brown's done it. I've done it.
Lots of vendors have done it. It makes money.
If you live in an area where there's other vendors, guess what they're going to need: a commissary!
Well, there's nothing saying you can't share your commissary with them!
How much, how much?
Right across the mountain for me, Asheville, North Carolina, there's a dude that used to vend with us. An awesome dude. He opened his own commissary.
This fellow built his own cause he got tired of dealing with it.
He'd made his own commissary and then he got vendors to come in and he charged them $350 a month.
Some vendors don't want to go through any of the trouble, just pay $350 a month even though that's a whole lot like four or five grand a year.
Now he's at $450 a month, and has about 25 vendors regularly come into his commissary.
Recently Frankenstein's friend of mine, Alex, he's at Asheville, he just opened his own commissary and is allowed to rent that out.
And because he's been on our show and we've been to his place and we did videos, he's gotten people coming by his cart going, how do I do this?
How do I get started?
And then he shares that information with them and then they can get a commissary from him. Makes it easy, right?
It works all the way around. It's a beautiful thing.
The bottom line is, do not panic about a commissary.
If you're going…
Ben, this is way too much, I do not want to do my own hot dog cart commissary.
Well, I cannot blame you.
I would not have been able to financially or been able to immediately do a commissary.
This was something I learned later.
You can do it this way that I just showed you or you can do it a myriad of other ways.
I showed you the easiest way to do commissary.
I showed you the the way to get a commissary for free.
Works every time.
I show you all of that HERE.
So that will give you your commissary information and let you allow you to solve a problem if you're in a non-free state such as South Carolina.
California, on other hand has gotten better actually over the years.
We've challenged California multiple times and California has gotten better in some places or even way easier than other States in the nation.
But nobody, nobody in the nation has something as stupid as South Carolina with their fricking, “you gotta be attached to a restaurant and you got to store your cart there”.
What? Scam? It's thievery.
It's dishonest crap.
To wrap this up…
Free ways to get a Hot Dog Cart Commissary…
Go to Learnhotdogs.com home page and type in the word commissary in the search box. You will have plenty.
And there's a video on YouTube that goes about the easy way to get a hot dog cart commissary, not the cheapest.
Here's the link… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4KJf93ZnVY
One final note…
Talking about culinary incubators?
Check out this detailed article. Boom. It's there.
Hope it helps!