Students continue to show enthusiasm for the Dog House food cart, despite the $8 cost of hot dogs.
The Dog House is one of UBC’s four new food trucks that serve students a variety of meals to be taken on the go. The Dog House’s prices are largely comparable with the other trucks, with costs ranging from seven to eight dollars. The cart has remained popular despite the price of the hot dogs according to Executive Chef David Speight, who oversees all menus for the campus’s mobile food operations.
“Hot dogs [are] pretty staple for street food so we didn’t know if that was going to be a good thing or a bad thing and it seems to be working out to be a good thing,” said Speight. “It’s been kind of outperforming what we thought it would.”
Speight estimated that the Dog House serves anywhere from 75 to 150 customers on a given day. He also noted that this is within a relatively small time period, operating mainly over two or two and a half hour time frames.
However, Speight acknowledged that eight dollars is on the higher side in terms of price. According to Speight, the factors that hike up the cost are premium ingredients, providing staff a living wage, sustainable packaging and paying a dividend back to the university.
“In essence, every hot dog you buy is an investment in the university,” said Speight. “So if you add all those things up it does come to that eight dollar price point.”
While the food trucks aren’t directly marketed as a branch of UBC food services, they are under the control of UBC food services, whose members decided on the price.
“We basically put all that together, saw what our raw costs were and then that’s where we agreed upon those price points,” said Speight.
In terms of what the future looks like for the Dog House and its prices, there is little reason to suggest that prices will be lowered if students continue to consistently patronage the cart.
“If it was just going to be too much we were going to revisit that whole procedure around that,” said Speight. “I think it’s at a comfortable spot where the quality is there, so with that quality you’re seeing value even with that eight dollar price point.”