Opening a hot dog in the state of Arizona is a straightforward proposition that can become a new income source, while giving you introductory experience in running a small business. You will learn how to balance a small inventory of foodstuffs, while using the ability to change your location to find the optimum customer base. Through adequate preparation, adherence to county health laws and hard work, your hot dog stand can become successful without all of the headaches associated with a traditional brick-and-mortar location.
Pick at least three viable locations for your hot dog stand. Consider factors such as proximity to neighboring businesses and how far you are willing to travel to set up shop every day. Choosing multiple locations gives you more options in case business slows at your top choice.
Choose your pushcart. According to Maricopa County Environmental Services, a pushcart is a non-self-propelled vehicle designed to be readily movable. Purchase one according to your budget, desired size and mobility.
Decide where you will store your inventory. Your hot dogs, buns, condiments, snacks and beverages will all require space. Ease of access and transport to your stand's location will keep your inventory worries at a minimal. Your home is probably not sufficient; you must have a commercial location that is inspected regularly and has authorized potable water supplies.
Obtain a Mobile Food Unit permit. This will show that health authorities have checked your stand and deem it to be compliant with regulations. You will have to prove that your operation meets local codes for cleanliness, trash disposal, sanitary facilities for hand-washing and temperature control for condiments, among others.
Obtain a Food Handlers Permit. The permit demonstrates that you are knowledgeable about food safety practices. Check with your Arizona county for specific food handler requirements.
Gather feedback from your first customers. They will provide invaluable data on ways to improve your stand and spread news of your business by word of mouth.
Mobile fund unit and food handler requirements may vary between Arizona counties. Check with your local county to find out what officials need for you to get started.
Offer discounts or coupons to local businesses. This will encourage repeat customers and increase foot traffic to your stand.
Pay attention to trends in your customer market. Some locations may not be favorable at certain times of the year.
A great customer service attitude and friendly demeanor will also ensure repeat business.
Buy inventory in bulk so that your hot dog stand turns a profit.
Check with your specific city about the area you mean to do business in before you start selling hot dogs. This will ensure you do not need additional permits and avoid costly fines.
Be wary of the heat if you are operating in warmer regions of Arizona.
DaVaun Sanders' passion for writing hails back to the summer of 2002. He writes regularly for PhxSoul.com, is a New America Media Ethnic Elders Fellow and is currently editing his first novel. Sanders holds a bachelor's degree in architecture from Washington University.