Today I've got a quick tip word of advice for you before you contact your Health Inspector and health department.
I want you to think about this, okay? What I'm talking about is right in the beginning when you're first starting out, when you're doing your due diligence.
And if you need to know the steps in order to get started, so that you don't waste your time on on wild goose chases, go to learnhotdogs.com/start and that will hook you up with step-by-step what to do.
Now when you call the health department and you find out some things, you do not want to go through a litany of things that don't matter. Things that they don't need to know right now.
Because what happens is, their little radars go off like “what are they plan to do”?
And one of those things I've always told you, and I'll tell you in my book called Hot Dogs Saved My Life, is that you never say, man, I'm gonna be have a cart this week and by the end of the year I expect to have 54 carts running here in town.
That helped Health Inspectors thinking, okay, I make the same amount of money whether I'm inspecting 10 restaurants or 10 plus year old, 54.
Inspectors don't want to deal with the headache
So they will come up with reasons to discourage you. They will come up with things to say, sometimes not even true, that will kind of create barriers in your mind for what you can do and what you can accomplish.
They may say, Oh no, you can't do that over here.
We don't allow this.
You're going to have to do this. You're going to have to sign over your kidney, you know, and all that kind of stuff.
And you have to suss out that information.
But why not just save the space and time and not divulge your plans, your master idea.
Don't divulge that stuff and go in and say, Hey, I'm planning on starting a hot dog cart with a hot dog cart business. And I would like to know, are there any condiments and stuff?
I just want to get some basic information and ask you a few questions.
And, you also don't want to go when the Health Inspector says to you, well what are you planning on service?
Oh, I'm going to have everything.
I'm going to do meatball subs on Thursdays, and then we're going to have taco Tuesdays, and then we're going to have fried chicken gizzards and livers on Mondays.
And if you start doing that kinds of stuff, they will give you all kinds of nos. So what you have to do is kind of break in slowly.
We all know hot dogs are legal. They are going to be approved either way in all 50 States.
But you don't want to go, I'm going to be doing bacon-wrapped hot dogs and then we're going to put sour cream cream cheese on top of them. Then we're going to be grinding down flour and stuff. Making bread right there from the cart.
Don't do any of that.
Cause if there's stuff you later want to add, sometimes it's better to ask for forgiveness than beg for permission. But I've got friends in business where…
The Health Inspector gets to know them
This is the most important part.
They get to know you.
They come and show up one day and you've clean as a whistle.
Everything's to code.
They give you that 90 something score cause some of them will never give you a hundred and they ate a hot dog with you.
They love it.
And then next time they show up and you go, Hey, I was wondering to add pulled pork.
It's already precooked.
And they go… Yeah, go ahead!
Well no one in the code, it probably ain't go ahead. But a lot of Health Inspectors will give you some leeway as long as you're keeping it to temp, as long as you're doing that thing.
But if you start off when they don't and you call in and you talk about all this stuff you plan to do and want to do, that's going to scare them.
Here's an exception to the rule
Let's say you want to know because you have a couple items that are just, I gotta have these.
Call a different Health Inspector in the next County over or two counties over.
Because guess what? For most places the state codes are the state codes, so County County doesn't matter.
That way you can go ahead and talk about all the stuff you plan to do and hear him, how all the no's you're going to get about them.
Not wanting to do it, but that at least give you an idea of whether those Chitterlings or those cream cheese Popsicles that you make at home are going to be allowed.
I mean, without disrupting your current or your soon to be relationship with your own health inspector.
So those are some good tips. You can find many more in our Vendors United Group…
Follow those so that you don't end up divulging too much because even your own plans may change as well. Your own plans may change to the point that you didn't even need to tell him.
The thing is, why do it if you ain't doing it yet, why talk about it yet if you ain't do any yet.
So, just get the basics down, get the information you need, that I teach you that you need to get, and no more.
Later you can add that stuff or you can ask about adding that stuff and you will see your success rate go up and up and up.
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