Hot dog war in front of The Met

The New York Times has a story about a hot dog war, of sorts, in front of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Since 2007, Mr. Rossi has been battling city authorities and clinging to a spot directly in front of the museum steps at Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street. It is regarded as perhaps the most lucrative location for selling hot dogs in Manhattan. It is so coveted that the city once charged more than half a million dollars a year for vending rights there.

OK, math time:

Assuming, as the article states, $2 per dog and $1 per water, and the average customer buys 1 dog and 1 water which would total $3 per “meal”.

To cover the $500,000 fee at $3 per “meal”, the vendor would need to sell 166,667 “meals” per year.

166,667 “meals” divided by 365 days in the year, means 457 “meals” need to be sold per day, every day of the year. However, the museum is closed Mondays, so we need to take 52 days off that number, which leaves 313 selling days. The museum is also closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day, so that leaves only 310 selling days per year.

So, 166,667 “meals” divided by 310 selling days per years means that the vendor needs to sell 538 “meals” per day.

Most days the Museum is open 9:30am-5:30pm, and I’m assuming no one is getting lunch before 11:00am, so that leaves about 6.5 hours to sell 538 “meals”, which would be 83 “meals” per hour, or 1.4 “meals” per minute.

And that’s JUST to break even on the cost of the license.

October 2, 2011