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Monday, June 22, 2009

Competitive eating and other stuff going on....

Finally got the flower cooler fixed. It ended up being a dryer valve...has something to do with converting the freon back over. It costs a lot less than replacing the compressor. Funny how I ended up finding a local person to do it after searching for nearly a month. It was kind of accidental since I had called them about a new alarm system, which they also sell and support. I had to get this fixed because we get flowers in tomorrow.

Still need to finish up my kitchen area and get my health certificate. It isn't going to take that long, but getting going is really hard. I hurt my neck the other day and moving all that stuff is going to be painful...not to mention that my wife has a stress fracture in her left leg. That happened from all the walking in Chicago.

Gotta spend time this week getting our insurance figured out. Not sure if our current policy covers my kitchen or not. I think we are going to find another company to use that will give me what I need. On top of all that, I still have to have insurance on my cart. Looks like I am going to be spending some serious money each month just on the insurance. That's fine because it will be one less thing I need to worry about if something bad happens.

Met with our new Vienna Beef rep. He used to work for them and now is an independent broker. He is the greatest! Others have shrines built and children named after him.....just kidding....but he is a great guy. He is sending me all of my marketing materials. He also gave me some sample signs, kids activity books, and a Vienna Beef clock. I was very excited. He is sending my stuff and it will be here on Wednesday. He is also sending some sample food for us to test. I can't wait to get all the stuff in. We talked about all kinds of things and found out he lives in a city that has a huge (HUGE) antique sale twice a year. This thing is HUGE!!!!!!!!!!! I mentioned that it would be nice to sell some dogs during the next one in October and he told me to come out and we could stay with him. That's a rep that cares about his customers and making not just a business connection, but a lifetime friendship.

One of the things I've always been a fan of is competitive eating. I just love watching people stuff food in their faces to the point of getting sick. In saying that, Joey Chestnut is the man! I watch the Nathan's contest on July 4th; every year for the past 8 years. Our rep mentioned that they are putting on a contest in Houston and I told him that we would love to do it. He asked when and I said "in November during our annual car show in Bastrop". There are normally 25 to 30 thousand people in town during that event. He said "I'll bring the hot dogs and buns". And that folks is how the 1st annual Hot Doggin for the Hungry was born. We plan on using this to not only promote the business, but also raise money and get food donations for the Bastrop County Emergency Food Pantry. Getting them this help before Thanksgiving and Christmas will make a big difference in peoples lives. We are going to try to get some corporate sponsors, some prizes, a big trophy, and some celebrity guests to compete. I should compete in this, but it wouldn't be fair...I can eat a ton of hot dogs!

Still working on the idea of a video blog. I have a camera, but just need to find the time to record. Eventually I want to stream live from my cart so people can see how I work. That sounds funny, but it is a great marketing tool and gives people an insight to how things work. We have a couple network cameras for the building already (that I still haven't connected), but I am buying a dv camera tomorrow that I should be able to use to broadcast.

Figured out the menu and prices, but still need to finalize those based on how much the food service company is going to charge me. I should have those figures tomorrow. Once I have those figures then we can get those numbers set and order our menu board.

Looks like we might have to settle on opening up later than we thought. We had wanted to open on June 29th and then moved it to July 1st. We were also planning on doing something for the July 3rd celebration in Bastrop, but they are having it all at the park and I don't feel like buying a vendor pass from the city. So now the date looks to be July 6th or 7th, depending on if I have everything purchased and ready to go. I will update our main website ( and my blog when we set the date.

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