By SOPHIA ROTHMAN, age 10

The vendors working the carts are often not even the owners, and some work as long as 12 hours in one day. PHOTO: Eric Konon
The vendors working the carts are often not even the owners, and some work as long as 12 hours in one day. PHOTO: Eric Konon

When you buy something from a hot dog vendor, do you ever think about how much they’re earning? It may be a question worth exploring. The cost of operating a cart in New York City is very high due to the rent that the vendors have to pay. Also, there are other expenses that need to be covered.

Vendors have to pay rent based on where they sell their hot dogs. The prices range from $700 a year in soccer fields in Inwood Park in Upper Manhattan to $289,500 a year in Central Park. In addition to the high rent, the cart owners have to pay for the carts, the food and drinks that they sell, and city permits that have to be continually renewed.

According to the New York Times, the vendors working the carts are often not even the owners, and some work as long as 12 hours a day.

In an interview with IndyKids, a vendor in Astoria, Queens, said that weather is the biggest problem for hot dog vendors in New York City. Mr. Alam, a vendor who works a cart near the Central Park Zoo, told the New York Times, “When it’s raining, sometimes empty, nothing, zero. Lots of times I go empty.”

However, the days of traditional vendors may be numbered. An organization called Washington Square Park Conservancy is now trying to rid the park of the current hot dog vendors and replace them with more expensive, upscale vendors who can pay even higher rent.