Let me tell you why i say don't use ice on your hot dog cart. I'm talking about the cold stuff.
Most people think when they first get started, that they gotta have ice on their cart. You got to put ice in the cooler…
Most Hot Dog Carts Come With A Cooler
But most carts are also an oven.
And even though they're not used as an oven, the cart gets warm, especially in the summer.
And either way, you have burners going, you have stuff going and the cart gets warm. It's why our carts have that triple insulation between the burner unit.
At the end, it still gets warm.
But there is an onboard cooler, that means inside the cart.
And most people think, well I just dump a bunch of ice here, I need to keep my stuff cold.
Well, the problem is ice melts.
And even though you're only out there for two or three hours, the ice melts and it makes everything else nasty.
So then you have to worry about a drain, about if the drain go to a gray tank and all this stuff.
Reason why I teach to never use ice there.
There's never a reason to have ice in your hot dog cart
You take your frozen goods, your frozen hot dogs, your frozen stuff, and you put it in there, and this is your cooler.
It's not your customer stuff.
I'm not talking drinks.
I know a lot people sell you a cart and go, the drinks go in here.
No they don't.
Unless you're vending for 10 people, you ain't going to get your drinks in there.
So when I go out, I was taking a hundred, 150 drinks, sometimes 300, depending on the location.
Well, you put that many drinks in there, you ain't got room for your stuff.
I like to have my stuff handy, right in front of me.
I just reach over, open the cooler, grab another pack of dogs, slide them into the heat.
I've already got them in Ziploc bags.
What I will use in my hot dog cart is instant ice packs, gel packs, freezer packs.
You can find the commercial ones.
I even have a page where you can find all this stuff for vendors.
It's called learnhotdogs.com/resources and it's just a bunch of stuff.
People have submitted good prices, good places to buy stuff.
And so that's just one way.
But you can use Google too.
Look for ice packs, gel packs, commercial freezer packs, that kind of stuff that are reusable.
Those are great ones.
And you line your cooler inside with it, and throw your frozen stuff in there.
You could leave it in your cart for days and it'd stay frozen.
And most health inspectors are looking for no moisture and for the right temp.
They want the temp typically below 42.
But sometimes they'll tell you below 39, in your cooler.
Then what do you do for drinks?
That's where you need ice.
Ice needs to be used in your drinks because it is eye candy.
It's what attracts you.
To see all these bottles of soda or cans of soda, and root beer and stuff laid out there in ice.
Some vendors, use galvanized tubs filled with ice and drinks and stuff.
They'll layer it though.
They'll put a layer drinks, then layer ice, another layer drinks, another layer ice.
That way if people take stuff, they work down to the next layer, and it just keeps it cold.
Now what do you do if you only have one or two coolers, you do a lot of volume and you're going, Oh my gosh, I need to get drinks cold fast.
Another tip for ice…
You ever made homemade ice cream the old way, you know the cranky, cranky way?
You do that with salt.
Salt works just as like magic
It's like unicorn dust.
So you sprinkle the salt in there.
You can use rock salt, table salt.
It doesn't matter what kind of salt you use. They'll tell you it does, but it doesn't.
They even sell ice cream salt, go figure.
Put salt in there and stir it around and cause as your ice melts that will super chill those drinks, especially if you're using aluminum can drink.
So it will make them cold, really fricking fast.
The ice and salt react and lowers the freezing point of the ice, and it gets super cold.
That's a great tip for you to use if you need to really chill some drinks.
It could be something as simple as, Hey, I ran out of diet Pepsi and I'm gonna drop six cans in a cooler real quick with some ice and salt, you will have some cold Pepsis in about three minutes.
That's where you need to use your ice.
In your drinks.
Cause it's for display.
Even if you keep the lid shut, they're going to open it and it's eye candy, ice and soda.
Hot Dog Cart Business Help…
People do stuff by trial and error.
It's why I have this link right here.
It's the top 40 questions I get asked, but oftentimes they're missed and it's trial, just like me when I started.
See top 40 new vendor questions here:
I was trial by fire and I just didn't know exactly what to do, how to do it.
I could've saved myself a lot of headaches, a lot of extra work had I known some of these things.
So if you look at these top 40, you're going to cover a lot of stuff.
And some of it you're going to go, well, my God, that's just self-explanatory.
But then there's other things you're going to go, I'm glad he told me that.