Hot Dog Carts - Are There Any Franchises?

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hot dog franchises

Preparing and selling hot dogs from a street cart can be an extremely profitable business venture. Although there are many operating in most major cities, a hot dog cart can generate significant returns on investment. Most established hot dog franchises will have developed their own business strategies to which franchisees will be expected to adhere, but in general, there are many different options when it comes to working in the hot dog industry.

Vendors can sell their food from a simple push-cart, a larger towed trailer, a motorised van or even a gazebo stall, depending on where they want to base their business. Versatile business models will allow business-minded vendors to operate at shows, events, festivals, markets and at the roadside, but whatever the location, hot dog carts should be positioned in areas of high customer footfall to maximise earning potential.

Hot dog carts tend to be particularly successful business ventures because of their low start-up costs and high customer base. While hot dog carts can cater to students, office workers and tourists during the day, and people attending concerts and club nights later on, a hot dog cart should cost less than £4,000 to purchase and fit out.

There are a few tips and tricks hot dog cart vendors can take advantage of to maximise their success. Of course, maintaining a clean and tidy cart and personal appearance is a must, as customers will be less inclined to purchase food sold from an unhygienic setting. Vendors can tempt customers with the smell of their hot dogs by ensuring that they are always being cooked in the cart. Loyal customers can also be rewarded with discounts or freebies.

Advantages of a Hot Dog Cart Business

  • Hot dogs, along with burgers, are a key element of the food industry in the UK.
  • The UK has seen a growing number of street vendors selling a variety of cuisines in recent years. Hot dogs tend to work well as a street food choice because they are easy to eat on-the-go and can be customised to individual preferences with toppings and sauces.
  • Hot dogs appeal to a wide variety of people at all times of the day, which boosts earning potential.

Disadvantages of a Hot Dog Cart Business

  • There are always dangers when working in the food industry undercooked food and health and safety scares such as the recent horsemeat scandal can cause significant damage to food brands.
  • Hot dogs belong to the fast food industry, which has a negative reputation for its unhealthy and processed foods.
  • Competition is tough among street vendors, particularly at smaller festivals and events.

What Do You Need?

Firstly, hot dog carts will need a bain-marie, cool box, gas canister, storage and a hand-washing facility as a minimum. Secondly, there are a number of legal requirements to fulfil before vendors can start to trade. A CE label (gas safety certificate) and Level 2 Food and Hygiene Certificate must be obtained. After this, vendors must get permission from the local council, which will ensure vendor compliance with food safety standards, and any other relevant authorities to sell food in the desired location. This could include the landowner or event organiser. A separate licence must be obtained if hot dog vendors also intend to sell alcohol.

Hot Dog Cart Franchises

Weve established that a hot dog cart business can be a relatively simple and profitable business venture, so lets learn more about some of the UK hot dog cart businesses offering franchising opportunities.

The Sausage Man

Launched in 2005, The Sausage Man sells premium German meat products across the UK and offers the chance for investors to manage their own hot dog cart under the companys brand name. This franchise opportunity allows franchisees to buy or rent the necessary equipment, including a customisable cart, to which optional extras such as a hot dog roller, grill and sauce station can be added. Franchisees can also make use of branded deck chairs, cart umbrellas, pavement signs and even branded clothes and aprons.

Franchisees can expect to be up and running in just ten weeks, before treating their new customers to 19 different types of hot dog. With good-quality, 100 percent filler and gluten-free hot dogs, The Sausage Man represents an attractive prospect for franchisees.

The Hot Sausage Company

Founded in 1986, The Hot Sausage Company has ten mobile hot dog barrows and tramcars across the UK. Catering for parties, weddings, university and corporate events, this franchise is looking to partner with existing street traders in busy UK towns and cities who want to improve their business potential. Prospective franchisees will complete an application form, and will benefit from an extensive training scheme and the use of custom-designed equipment.

Similar Franchising Opportunities

Point Franchise does not currently offer any franchising opportunities with hot dog cart businesses, but there are some similar options out there for those interested in the food industry. Here are a couple of options:

Loaded Burgers

This UK franchise doesnt sell hot dogs, but it does offer the next best thing: burgers. The chain boasts high quality, meaty, flavoursome burgers with a large selection of toppings to contrast the sad, processed patties of other establishments. Founded in 2014, Loaded Burgers offers its customers affordable burgers in a cool setting. Those looking to join the brand must have great managerial skills and a passion for the industry. An investment of £150,000 will give franchisees access to the companys franchise package, which includes enrolment onto a training programme and support in marketing and sales.


If investors are interested in getting involved in a street food franchise, Wolf provides the perfect opportunity. Wolf is a chain of Italian street food stalls and began its life in 2015 in Chiswick Business Park, London. The food franchise now has seven sites and more in development. Wolf prides itself on its elimination of the high carbohydrate content and saturates fats associated with Italian cuisine and its use of locally-sourced ingredients. Meat is marinated for a minimum of 24 hours and bought from farms with high animal welfare standards. Investors can opt to be standard franchisees or master franchisees, but should be prepared to make an investment of at least £200,000.

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