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Friday, July 10, 2009

Light at the end of the tunnel....

Looks like everything is resolved for now. I met with my rep today and got everything straightened out and got a free breakfast! I am much happier now and can finally see the end of setting up and the beginning of selling.

I should be getting all of my marketing materials on Wednesday. Found out that their ordering system has been down and items are backlogged because of all the new hot dog businesses opening up. They are sending my stuff express thru FedEx and promised me that it would arrive on Wednesday. We have had a couple of "Wednesday Deadlines" before and I hope this is the final one.

My local rep brought me some dogs, buns, a pennant, an open/close sign, and the biggest freaking umbrella! I put the umbrella on the cart and it covers the whole cart.....and I don't have a little cart, I have the biggest one that All American Carts makes. That put a big smile on my face because it means that I am that much closer to opening.

Having a hot dog taste test this weekend. I have 2 packages of Vienna (skinless and natural casing) and 1 package of their competition. I am going to make them all the same and have a test to see which ones taste the best. In the grand scheme of things, it won't change what I am going to sell...I just wanted to do it to prove that Vienna makes the best dogs!

I spoke with my preferred food service vendor and got my prices back down to a reasonable level. Some items came down nearly $10 a case. I know that these companies are out to make money, but why try to squeeze me for every penny when you know I am going to order from you. This cart isn't the only one I am going to own and the more I make, the more I order from them. The prices are very good now and actually compete with the local restaurant warehouse store. This company still doesn't deliver to my area, but I am working on that....since they deliver to the resort which is 8 miles away!

Bratwurst. Texas loves Bratwurst. I love Bratwurst. Bratwurst is confusing. You have uncooked and pre-cooked. Pre-cooked is good because I can just put them in my pan and heat them up on the cart. Uncooked are good because you have the ability to change the flavor by cooking in onions, garlic, and beer. Pre-cooked are usually already cooked in onions, garlic, and beer but still don't taste the same as fresh. They don't taste bad, but the spice content is a little different....not enough for an untrained person to recognize, but I would know. Uncooked are a big no-no unless you have a special permit that allows you to cook food on your cart. It really isn't worth the cost. The price difference is very little and so is the taste difference. Guess we are going with pre-cooked....

Now on to bigger issues......

Bratwurst gets more confusing. Everyone in Texas loves Beef......that is why we are selling pure beef hot dogs, not all beef. All beef hot dogs mean any part of the cow/bull except parts not acceptable by USDA standards (lips and assholes!). Pure beef means that they make it out of the same cow/bull (Vienna uses bull meat) meat that kosher companies do.....anything behind the neck and about mid-way thru the cow/bull. That is where brisket and other tasty items come from! Bratwurst also has it purely German roots. German Bratwurst is pork and veal (pig and baby cow) in a sheep's intestine casing. Yes, they really use intestines to do it....not that big of a deal considering all the processes it goes thru. With the different style Bratwursts comes a big difference in price. The pure beef ones are actually more expensive than the pork/veal. But what do I choose for my customers? I would rather have the original German style, but will people in my area like those or will they even notice a difference? I know the difference, but I am a tube meat (keep the dirty comments to yourself) eater and know the difference in my hot dogs and bratwurst. This is something that will take a little time to figure out. I might offer both at first and see which one sales....or just carry the one I like better and see how that goes.

Spoke to some people about carrying ice cream bars. Not interested at this point. They need me to buy $85 worth, just to stop the truck next to the building. And I have to buy my own ice cream freezer. Thanks, but no thanks.....maybe next year.

Looks like we are on the final push to open. Will be getting my insurance and heath permit next week and then just have to buy all of my products. I am seriously going to try and open on the 18th or 20th. We do not know for sure and won't until everything is done. I will be sure to let everyone know when that date is set in stone!

The floral coolers are still broken. I am working on giving one of them away since it was built in the 70s and doesn't work. Not sure I am going to find someone who wants it. The other cooler should be getting a new compressor on Monday or Tuesday. Waiting to see if we can get the compressor and then will need to get my buddy to put it on for us. Can't wait to get that resolved so my wife's business can be back up and running.

Not much else going on right now. I don't think I could take anymore! Hopefully I will have a productive weekend and can make strides in getting everything taken care of!

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