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Sunday, December 20, 2009

New Orleans here we come?!?!?

Slow week.  Weather was good, then bad.  Sticking with it because we are making fans every day.  That is what is important.

Going to be closed on Thursday and Friday.  My helper (niece) is going to visit her mother and we are taking her to the airport on Thursday morning.  Will have to work by myself until she comes back on the 31st.  Will see if I can do it without her.

More and more people are watching the webcam.  I really enjoy doing it and should be getting my new cam up pretty soon.  Going to use my old mini-dv cam instead, since I can put it anywhere in the building or on the cart...versus just having the cam on the computer itself.

Still haven't had any online orders.  Will need to market that more.  I think it is a good idea, but will have to convince people to use it.

Got invited to participate in the 2010 New Orleans RoadFood Festival in March.  There are only 20 restaurants invited from across the US.  We are considering going, but only if our city will come up with some of the money.....I want to promote the town and need some assistance with the fees, gas, and lodging.  Will have to wait and see what they say about it.  I think it would help our tourism (New Orleans is only 8 hours away) and would put our business on the map.  Only other issue is, who goes with me?  I will still need to have someone running the cart at our current location and will have to take 2 other people with me.

Haven't started offering the Italian Beef Sandwiches yet.  Still working out the costs of the sandwich.  Want to make money, but would have to charge lots of money for each sandwich.  Will figure it out and then will start offering it.

The new menu items are going ok.  The nachos are selling more than any of the other new items.  Would have never thought that.  I put our chili on them instead of ground beef and people love the taste.  I'm not much into nachos for the most part, but I think we do a good job making them.

Have a couple other ideas of what to carry.  Want to stop carrying the jumbo dogs and carry polish sausage.  Will have to convince our food supplier to carry those.  The sausage are much better in taste and would sell much better than the jumbo dogs.  Also want to get a griddle and carry other sausages.  I have some really good beef and jalapenos sausage that is really good.  If we offer more than just the dogs, then that will help us get more business.

Still working on marketing ideas.  I really need to build a bigger client base.  I currently don't have any competition (until the spring), so this is the time to get noticed.  Will be working with my mentor and others to come up with some new ideas.  Can you say "Hot Dog Costume"?

Music is up and going each day.  Been playing 80's Metal for the most part.  I really like it, now that I am older.  I listened to some of it as a kid, but seem to appreciate it more now than ever.  Will be trying to play some other things from time to time.  Will have to see how things go.

Still want to decorate more.  Will start looking for old broken guitars, records, and posters.  If we are really "The Rock and Roll Hot Dog", then I want to display it as much as possible.  Also want to paint my area.  That will have to wait until we move the big cart into storage.  That should happen pretty soon!

Resting on Sunday.  Will rest again on Thursday and Friday.  Will hopefully be really busy next Saturday....only if the weather holds up, then we should have a pretty good day.

If I don't get to post again this week, then everyone have themselves a Happy Holiday weekend and Merry Christmas to you all and to all a good night!

Monday, December 14, 2009

New menu items...Very Exciting!

New menu items will be available tomorrow.  Come by and try them out!  New items are great for colder days.  Hopefully tomorrow will be nice so we can be on the sidewalk, but they are predicting rain.

We will have our "Rockin Taco" Soup available this week, unless we run out early.  Once we run out, there will be a new soup.  Since we are making them ourselves, it will change from time to time.  I would rather not make a bunch and then freeze...would rather make it fresh, store it in the fridge, and then serve it.  Not sure what the next soup is going to be.  Will have to discuss with my crew.

Switching our meatballs and chili to electric warmers and taking it off the cart.  I like having them on the cart, but the other warmers will work better and won't burn the chili or marinara.  Won't change the taste at all...might actually make it better! 

Why the change?  We are going to start offering Italian Beef Sandwiches!  Working with my mentor tomorrow on how to make them on the cart.  This guy taught me how to make those delicious Chicago Dogs and I get tons of compliments on them (Thanks Mark!)  Not sure how much room I will need, but moving the other items off will give me plenty of room.  No idea on when I will offer them or what the price will be.  Going to buy the products tomorrow and will have to wait and see.  And of course, we are going to use Vienna Beef products.  Can't wait.  Will have to get some marketing materials for the sandwiches.

Have been getting more regulars coming in.  They really like the products and will hopefully be excited by the new items we are carrying.  Will be making an huge effort to bring more people in and get my business recognized by everyone in town.  Just have to find a good way to do that.  Hot dog costume, anyone?

Will be open tomorrow.  Prep time takes a little longer because of the new items.  Will need to come up with a new system for opening and closing.  Not a big fan of it taking us an hour to close everyday.  Would like it to take around 25 - 30 minutes.

Come see us or watch us online.  The web cam will be up and when things are slow, we usually discuss various topics.  www.franksrocks.com



Thursday, December 10, 2009

just a quick update before heading to work...

Adding 3 new menu items this weekend.  Adding Frito Pie, Nachos, and Soup.  This should helpboost sales a little.  Still want to add a couple of other items, but will have to wait until we get the equipment.

The new hot dog names are going over very well.  People seem to enjoy them and like to hear the back story on why there were named that way.  Great way to start a conversation with someone and make them feel welcome.

Our webcam is up and running.  I am now looking for an external video capture device so that I can use my miniDV camera instead.  I really wanted something that gave a much wider shot and the built in webcam on my mac just doesn't cut it.  If you know of a cheap one that is usb 2.0 or firewire, please shoot me an email.

Online ordering is also up and running.  I hope this turns out to be something that people use.  It is really handy for those who are busy and we will deliver it to you!  The system we are using is map based, so only people in Downtown Bastrop can order for delivery.  Everyone else can order for pickup.

Hours are changing again.  Doesn't seem like we ever sell a hot dog before Noon, so we are changing the hours to Mon - Sat 12:00PM to 4:00PM.  I think this will work better for us during the winter months.  When Spring and Summer roll around, we might think about opening earlier and closing later.

Christmas Parade is this weekend.  Come see us on Saturday!

And remember to check out our website!  www.FranksRocks.com

Friday, December 4, 2009

Stupid Smarch Weather!

 

No snow, no rain, no ice, no nothing.  It is just cold for no reason.  Should have been open today, but needed the day off to take care of some plumbing issues at the house and had to get the heater looked at.  Better that I did it today instead of trying to get someone out on the weekend.

Hopefully we will have soup available next week.  Going to try and get the equipment that we need and buy some soup or maybe make it ourselves.  We do have some canned soup that I will start selling tomorrow (we canned it in glass jars).  Still have to finish the labels and decide on a price.

Since we didn’t work today, I will reveal how the specialty dogs got their names.  I had to do this sometime and this is just as good as any other time.

Sweet Home Chicago Dog – Named after the song “Sweet Home Chicago”.  It was written by Robert Johnson and was featured in the movie “The Blues Brothers”.  Plus, it is a Chicago Style Dog and the name was perfect!

Livin’on a Prayer Dog – This dog is kind of like a Coney Style dog with the chili and has plenty of cheese (but we use real chili and not hot dog sauce/coney sauce).  So it is named after the Bon Jovi song because they are from the New York/New Jersey area (where the Coney Style is found) and their music is kinda cheesy.  Not saying it is bad, because I listen to it and other 80’s metal bands, but it is a little cheesy.

Stevie Ray Dog – Named after one of the greatest guitarists in the history of music.  I have been a fan since right before he died and felt that he would appreciate a really “Texas Style” dog.  It not only is a chili cheese dog, but also a Frito Pie.  What could be more Texas?

Hotel California Dog – This started out as a style of hot dog that is found in California.  Made a couple of changes to it, since some of the other ingredients were not easy to carry on the cart.  In finding a name, only one song came to mind.  I only started listening to the Eagles about 15 years ago and really like this song.  So that is how it got the name.

Kickstart My Heart Dog – This isn’t ready yet, but we are nearly ready to debut it!  The name popped into my head after talking with my wife about hot dog names.  It fits!  With the double bacon slices, bacon bits, chili, cheese, and hot peppers…it is a heart attack waiting to happen!  Plus, I really like Motley Crue and wanted to name a dog after one of their songs.

Rock-afire Explosion Dog – This is the one that people don’t understand.  Rock-afire Explosion is an animatronic  puppet band that used to play at Showbiz Pizza and Chuck E Cheese Pizza.  I remember it as a kid and there is a huge following for those puppets.  Since this dog is a “Pizza Dog” and Showbiz/CEC are/were pizza places, this name just kind of fit.

“Room for One More” Meatball Sandwich – The name is kind of misleading in a way.  I don’t really think you can eat more than one.  It is pretty big, even for me.  The name is from an Anthrax song that I really like.  The premise of the name comes from the fact that a certain sub sandwich company only puts 3 meatballs on a 6” bun and we put 4 meatballs on a 7” bun….so there is “Room for One More” meatball on our sandwich. 

The King’s Favorite – This one is for those who are still young at heart (but it isn’t available just yet).  It is basically a Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich on a 7” Plain Hot Dog Bun.  Inspired by someone who changed the face of Rock and Roll.  Things would have never progress as far without his influence.  I think that Mr. Presley would really enjoy this treat!

Have another hot dogs that we are serving now.  I don’t have a name for it yet and need help giving it a proper name.   If you can name it, I will give you one for free and will put your name on our website!

Check out the website to see the ingredients of all the dogs and to help me name the newest dog…remember, it must be Rock and Roll related in some way!  www.franksrocks.com

 

We are also now offering a combo meal.  It is two hot dogs with any of the available condiments, a bag of chips, and a drink for $ 5.75.  It is a really good deal and saves you about $ 1.75.  It is only valid for the regular hot dogs and not the specialty dogs.

We are also offering a chips and drink for $ 1.50 with any hot dog purchase.  This saves you around $ .50 and is a very good value.

 

Everyone have a great weekend and come see us if you get a chance.  We would love to serve you one of our wonderfully delicious Vienna Beef hot dogs and Italian Meatball Sandwiches.

 

Remember to tell your friends about the blog and the website.  Getting the word out will be the secret to our success. 

Waiting on the weather

 

Not sure what the weather is going to do tomorrow.  Will probably be closed, but you never know.  Not really looking forward to getting up and freezing my butt off.

Working on doing some marketing for the business.  Really need to continue getting the word out.  Things are getting better, but they aren’t where they should be.  New signs will be the first order of business and then printing menus for people to take with them.

Still need to rewire the Sandwich Prep Table that we were given.  Not sure that it even works at this point.  The power cable was ripped pretty bad, but I cut out all of the bad part and should be able to rewire it.  If it does work, I am going to be so super happy!  This will allow me to keep the condiments cool and store my pickle buckets.

Working on booking catering jobs for this coming up Spring.  Doing it early so that we know what is coming up and will be better prepared.  This also helps me determine my expansion plans.

Finally named all of the hot dogs.  Check out www.franksrocks.com to see the names.  Getting tons of questions about how the names came about.  If we don’t open up tomorrow, I will post the names and how we came up with them.  If we do open, then I will try to post this weekend.

Going to add new items to the menu, as soon as possible.  Will need to buy some equipment to make it happen.  Once we get the equipment, I will start offering more than just hot dogs. 

Thinking of changing the name a little, if/when we expand the menu past just hot dogs.  I will keep the current name for our cart business, but will use the new name for any deli style restaurant we have…which is what this is turning in to.  Already decided on the new name… "Frank’s Rock and Roll Deli”.  What do you think?  I think it will work and is still pretty catchy.

Got a lighted sign from Vienna Beef.  It is a subway style sign, like they have in subway/train stations.  I hung it up in the front window and leave it on at night.  It looks really cool and shines some light on the big cart and the Vienna Beef umbrella.

Nothing else really going on.  Hope everyone has a great weekend and be careful if snows or sleets where you live!