It can get really hot standing over that steam table and couple that with the sun beating down and creating those hot summer days and it's a recipe for drenched clothes and B.O. The sun and warmer weather is what brings folks outside and where you are so the heat is just part of it. We all must endure it but there are some tricks and tips that can make it much more bearable.
- A big umbrella or even a pop up tent can mean a 10 to 15 degree temperature difference.
- A fan or evaporative cooler (swamp cooler) can reduce temperatures around the cart up to 20 degrees. Jackie and Dee who were on Hot Dog Vendor Radio recently use these in Arizona. They cost anywhere between $100 to thousands. Jackie's unit is a huge $3,000 unit.
- Personal and umbrella misters work great but in the Southeast can add to humidity you are already enduring.
- Cooler clothes are a wise choice as well. Today's technologies offers clothes that still cover you but allow for the free flow of air and they wick away perspiration.
- A hat with a sweat band will keep you cooler and provide some immediate shade for your face.
- Patio umbrella fans are battery operated and attach to your umbrella in about 10 minutes. Jason Brown sent me a link to this one.
If you have a great idea or method to keep cool, please share it in the comments below.
Remember to not overdue it. A vendor can quickly get burned out working in the sweltering heat. Don't let yourself get to that point. Dress smart, adjust your cart for the best shade and you can even position your cart to enjoy shade from nearby buildings or trees. We all sweat but when your buying lunch from someone the last thing you want to see is some sweaty, stinky vendor preparing your food. Sometimes it's unavoidable but keep some deodorant spray handy, a couple clean towels to wipe yourself down with and maybe implement some of the ideas above.
Another vendor told me he keeps a spray bottle handy and lightly mists his sleeves. Just that little dampness can cool your entire body. Always take care of yourself first, make sure you don't get to hot so that you can live to vend another day.