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Friday, January 29, 2010

Name has been changed to .......

Changed the blog name.  I just like it better.  Plus, my business is not all going to be about hot dogs.  We are exploring other opportunities in the mobile food world.  I will still sell hot dogs, but might be selling a lot more than that.  Plus, this blog is about me and not necessarily just my hot dog cart.

Have been tempted to change my blog over to Wordpress.  Figured out that half of the features that Blogspot has, Wordpress charges for.  Guess we are staying here for a while.

Closed today because of the weather.  Not wanting to brave the 40 degree temps and rain.  Heat is still an issue in the building and probably won't get fixed until sometime in the late summer.

We are expanding the business into Austin....and I don't mean "sometime in the future".  We have a new cart and spot in Downtown Austin.  Will be working on all the logistics of it this week and next.  We hope to open sometime after Valentine's Day.  I wanted to open before, but will need to help the wife at her flower shop.  I will post updates once we have a date set.  *(By "We", I mean my business partner and I )

I will be working this downtown spot, once we open.  I plan on only working it for a couple of weeks so that we can iron out any kinks.  During the second week, we will train a couple of people to take over the spot and work it for us.  I would stay and work, but will still have Bastrop to run and any other new spot we open.  Doesn't bother me.  I know that the spot will run smooth if I work it first.

We aren't stopping with the one spot in Austin.  Have a meeting today to find out if my propane cart can be used in Austin and have another meeting next Wednesday about a night time spot in Downtown Austin.  We are moving full steam ahead on this.  I do have a new business partner on this and that is why we are expanding so quick. 

We have other ideas besides hot dogs and those will have to gain approval from the city of Austin.  I'm sure they will be fine with it, but you never know.  If they approve it, we will start working on plans to make those items available also.  This seems like a lot at one time but if you don't move quick, someone else will.

My business partner is someone I know and trust.  He has experience in the food service industry and we are usually on the same page.  We both know how to work in a partnership like this and have tons of respect for each others knowledge and drive.  If I had to pick the one person to open a business with, it would be him.

Had to pay another $150 for my health permit in Bastrop.  That probably sounds should, I just did it back in October.  Unfortunately the county doesn't prorate anything.  If you get a permit, it is for January thru matter when you paid for it.  Oh well, at least we are legal.

Still need help in getting my free sandwich table up and running.  Will try to work on it this weekend and hopefully figure something out.  If not, I might just sell it and find something else.

Business has been steady this week.  Had two days of 2pm rushes and then two days of 12pm rushes.  Not sure why.  I do know that there is only 3 of us restaurants open after 2pm now.  Works for me!

I have updated the website in regards to the Austin location.  No menu or prices up yet.  Still working on that.  Take a look at the new logos on the site and let me know what you think....I'm envisioning t-shirts!

Might be closed on Saturday, will post on my Facebook or Twitter if we decide to open.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Long awaited update.


Haven’t posted in a while.  Mostly because we were closed for a while because of the cold weather.  I had decided to stay closed because it was just way too cold for me to be on the sidewalk or inside.  If we had the heat working in the building, then that would be a different story.  I could use the fireplace, but decided to just stay closed….and found out that downtown wasn’t busy at all during that time.

We are not going to New Orleans for the food festival.  I made the decision to stay here and work on the business.  I got a lot of advice from other people and it was about 80% in favor of skipping the event.  In the long run, it will be a much better decision.  We are hoping to go in 2011, but will have to wait and see.

Was closed on Saturday to attend an equipment auction and have a business meeting.  We didn’t end up winning any of the equipment, but it was only items we wanted and not needed.  I really wanted this steam table that we bid on, but people at that auction were paying retail prices for those items.  Not sure if they just don’t know prices, or just don’t care.  Good luck to them, I’m sure we will see that item back at an auction later this year.

Had an initial meeting with a future business partner.  Will have another meeting with that person and another partner.  Now why would my little hot dog cart need business partners?  Well, it doesn’t….but to ever build the business beyond my current location, it will take a team to accomplish.  Nothing has been decided and plans are only just beginning.  I hope to have more info soon, but am keeping things to myself until we know for sure. 

Shut down the webcam for now.  Since I am working on these other business plans, I just don’t have time for it.  If things change, I will put it up.  I liked having it up because people got to see how we operate. 

Will be offering some test items in the next few weeks.  Trying out some different things that might not even be available at this location.  I chose our kitchen as the test kitchen because I can control the process and get immediate feedback.  Some items we might decide to carry on the cart, will just have to wait and see.

I have noticed that our rush in now from 2pm to 3pm.  I think it is a little odd, but will take it.  It definitely beats sitting around for 4 hours and not doing anything.  I think we are getting people who ate an early lunch and don’t plan on having dinner till much later.   Will need to figure out how to get the lunch people in and we should be set.

Increased the outdoor seating during good weather.  We now have our 2 little bistro sets and a tall pub table with 3 barstools.  I plan on getting another tall table and more barstools, because now no one sits on anything else.  Go figure.

I am needing to be busy this week.  Please come by and see us.  We should be open all week, unless the weather turns off really bad.

Will try to update the blog this week.  I am in favor of doing a video blog, but will just need to find the time.  I can record during business hours, but have to find any time to edit the video.  I always have lots more to say, but it never really gets across when I type it.  If anyone knows of a good video editor, please let me know.

Everyone have a great week and go buy a hot dog…even if it isn’t from me.