John Carruthers

Writer, occasional caterer, co-head of grilling and social club ManBQue.

  • Website
  • Location: Chicago
  • Favorite foods: Hot dogs, skirt steak, gyoza, cheddar, pretzels, all the mustards.
  • Last bite on earth: Braised beef cheeks with birdseye peppers.

What It's Like to Work at a Hot Dog Cart

@SeriouslySuzanne: Sure thing! in order:

1. Kind of a tricky question. The Mayor's office has changed things up a bit. It's $700 for a two-year license, as well as a $100 fire safety permit. And at least $350,000 worth of general liability insurance per occurrence.

2. Nada. It's handled through Parks, and they don't really pay attention to or try and hoard prime spots. Will and Marci stumbled on to Oz Park (great location) just because there was nothing there yet. They got to walk right in and start selling once they were licensed with limited fuss.

3. $0. But I did get to go to Hot Dog University for free, which is definitely something. I also love Vienna Beef dogs, but I already did before all this.

What It's Like to Work at a Hot Dog Cart

@healthytouch101: You seem fun. We should hang out.

What It's Like to Work at a Hot Dog Cart

@RealMenJulienne I'd totally work at an Italian beef stand. You know a guy?

@joe.distort I sort of alluded to it, but when Will and Marci left their jobs, they were giving up benefits, insurance, and all the security that comes with that. Corporate success or no, that's a huge leap. Most corporate people tend to live fairly close to their paychecks like everyone else. It's not like they started the business with a pile of trust fund money. They took a gamble, and I'm glad it's paying off for them.

What It's Like to Work at a Hot Dog Cart

@efato8: First time I've been told my writing could stand to be more tedious. I could tell you stories about slowly making big batches of molé that will put you to sleep, if that's your thing.

How I Got My Degree From Hot Dog University

@jwardell: I'd love to, but that's the one part of the whole deal where they don't allow photography. Rest assured, it's etched in my mind - but for factory floor images, I'd have to draw you a stick figure landscape of the scene.

How I Got My Degree From Hot Dog University

@dFresh - I agree that the laws are in critical need of updating, but you're a bit off on the assertion that it hurts hot dog carts. I actually run a hot dart cart in next week's installment. Hot dogs are cured and smoked at the factory, so in essence they're all "pre-made." It's a different class of vending than the food trucks you're talking about.

How I Got My Degree From Hot Dog University

@DzhokharDudayev: PR/Advertising. The hot dog diploma will probably get that spot on the wall when it comes.

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