About this type of business

Burgers and Hot Dogs are established favourites in both the fast food and mobile catering industries, with their affordability and versatility being key to their success. Second only to Coca-Cola, the hot dog and hamburger are America’s most famous food exports and have enjoyed widespread success across the globe. In 2013, three of the top ten fast food chains in the USA were burger restaurants; whilst Britain’s taste for burgers continues to grow – the UK burger market is now valued at more than £3bn.

The Main Advantages of a Burger or Hot Dog Business:

1) Street food classics

Street food events are becoming increasingly diverse in terms of food offerings, which is great news for foodies and caterers with a passion for doing something a little different! However, the mighty burger and hot dog are yet to be defeated in terms of popularity and are a staple at street food events the world over. In fact, the UK burger market is enjoying wide spread growth, with an increasing number of burger restaurants opening throughout the UK and beyond. Their unwavering popularity also ensures that the less adventurous amongst us go home feeling satisfied with the bao and burrito diners alike – all thanks to you!

2) Versatile

Burgers and hot dogs were once the staple of the fast food purveyor, but no longer. The number of restaurants and mobile vendors selling gourmet versions of these old classics, have surged in recent years to the delight of many. Fixed site restaurants such as Handmade Burger, Five Guys and Shake Shack have inspired a new, discernible burger customer looking for wallet friendly, flavourful street eats! This means that hot dog and burger vendors must no longer prescribe to an overworked formula and are free to let their creative juices flow. Quite literally.

3) Affordable

Burgers and hot dogs remain an affordable business venture for mobile caterers, not least because their popularity with customers ensures good profit margins. It is also possible to pre-cook both burgers and hot dogs which offers various advantages – not only does it ensure that you can meet customers’ needs in periods of high demand, thus reducing the chance of unhappy punters wandering off to your nearest competitor; it also means that you do not require high skilled workers (should you need all hands on deck) to cook and serve punters – experienced staff solicit higher wages, which potentially compromises revenue.

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The Main Disadvantages of a Burger or Hot Dog Business:

1) Food scares

In recent decades, there have been three substantial health and safety scares surrounding beef in the UK. BSE, Foot and Mouth disease and most recently, the horse meat scandal, have all compromised consumer confidence surrounding burgers and similar food types and have inevitably reformed the way burgers are produced, sold and eaten.

2) Reputation

In the late 1990s, awareness surrounding the dangers of fast food finally began to permeate with consumers. Scientific research about the dangers of obesity was augmented by documentaries such as ‘Super Size Me’ and ‘Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead’ which received wide spread media coverage. Food types which have long been systemically seen as fast food, such as burgers and hot dogs became vilified and larger brands were forced to reform their menus. However, the gourmet burger trend sought to change the long held perception that burgers have no nutritional value and as such the trend for high quality meat, buns and fresh toppings soared. Many traders now offer ‘bunless’ burgers to accommodate health conscious customers seeking high protein, low carb meals.

3) Competition

Whilst the gourmet trend has succeeded in increasing the nation’s appetite for a great burger, this has also led to greater competition – not only from fellow mobile caterers but also from an increasing number of fixed site restaurants dedicated to the food type. Competition inevitably means that securing your position at events can be difficult, whilst competition with likeminded vendors can be fierce once you get in! This isn’t all bad news for vendors though – it provides you with the perfect opportunity to get creative!

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