By Laura Isensee | MiamiHerald.com
One of the owner’s sons came up with the innovative idea to deliver hot dogs and fast food on kayaks to boaters.
Food trucks feed hungry customers nearly everywhere — on land.
On the water, a new food service has launched: kayak-delivered hot dogs.
That’s the entrepreneurial strategy of Bay Sweep Concessions, a family-owned business that caters to boaters and water enthusiasts.
They sell hot dogs, hamburgers and ice cream at the sandbar near the Haulover Inlet. A lot of people wade up to the two main concession stands floating at the sandbar and order. But a kayaker will paddle up to big boats that can’t reach the concessions in shallow water. The kayakers take orders and deliver.
“Nobody’s complained about their food getting wet,” said Diann Devine, the owner of the 15-year-old family business.
It was actually one of her three sons, Thomas, who came up with the idea about seven years ago.
“When he was younger, he said, ‘I want to work, I want to work,’ ” she recounted.
He made a frame out of PVC pipe. It has hook to hang a bag, a sign that says “Hot Dog Boat Delivery” and a pole to fly an American flag.
Devine runs the main stands. Before anchoring at the sandbar near Haulover Inlet, she usually makes a stop at Beer Can Island in North Biscayne Bay to sell ice cream to families there.
Her three sons, Thomas, now 22, Matthew, 20, and Austin, 18, paddle the kayaks, mostly on weekends during the summer.
Labor Day is one of the last busy days of summer. Devine expected to sell 300-4000 hot dogs, at $3.50 each, either Hebrew National or Nathan brands.
Besides satisfying their fast-food fix, boaters are often surprised by the kayaks and floating concession stand.
“Everybody always wants to take our picture,” she said. “We get that all the time, especially with the Northerners — ‘Wow, we can’t believe you’re selling hot dogs on the water.’ They take it back to New Jersey or wherever and try it out.”
No reports yet if kayak-delivered hot dogs are as popular up north as in South Florida.
One local customer is thinking of starting her own boat-delivery service, with a twist.
“I told my husband, we should look into it. I would serve Latin food — pan con bistec, medianoche,” said Maritza Gomez.
She and her family often motor in their 24-foot boat to the Haulover Inlet. The boat-delivered food is part of the draw.
“We like it here because of the service they have. They do the delivery. It’s very convenient,” she said. She added: “I do think later on it will be a boom like the food trucks.”