1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

Fast Food lots/pricing

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by PGHplowguy, Aug 14, 2010.


What to charge per plow (only) event

  1. $50 - $100

    12 vote(s)
  2. $101 - $175

    21 vote(s)
  3. $176 - $ 250

    9 vote(s)
  4. Would not even take it because you will not salt

    6 vote(s)
  1. PGHplowguy

    PGHplowguy Senior Member
    Messages: 102

    Hi. I am going to bid on a chain of fast food restaurants in my area, Pittsburgh. Here is the details:
    The lot is the same as you would see in your area at a Wendy's, Burger King...
    There should not be any cars parked at night.

    Weird thing here, they do not want salt put down. I never ran into such a request. Obviously insurance/liability would have to be put into the contract. This hurts me on not making money on salting. I have a route that takes me around 8 hours to plow/salt. If I hit
    the first location at midnight and it snows all night with no salt down then I'd have to go out and plow it again. How would you approach that and word it?

    What price would you charge with a trigger of and at every 2''? Keep in mind pricing is different in Pgh over many of your cities.

  2. ajslands

    ajslands 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,033

    Well I would factor in my hourly rate for salting and for plowing, next I would figure how much it cost to replace my salter and plow and how long those will last. Then I ould want to decide whether what type of lot it is and what my efficency is. Finaly I would tell you, that if you dnt know how to bid it, then you probably shouldn't plow it because you might be not only hurting other bussiness, but you might be hurting your bussiness! Also You have to calculate overhead too! And all your bills and insuarnce. It all has to be factored in there.

    Btw no one on here will know what you should charge unless they work for your company and know all your invoices, dues, etc...
  3. terrapro

    terrapro PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,912

    We have a couple fast food joints and they go for cheaper than I want but they are 24hrs and the trigger is 1.5" so we can be there alot in one storm. Last year I think our max was 4 times in one 24hr period. payup

    They also don't want salt, in the contract it says by request of listed management only.
  4. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    We have bid on Wendy's & Burger Kings, they go too cheap like $ 1500/season, last year we did 2 Friendly's PITA, they gave our number to any "kid" manager, they wanted a 2" contract no salt but calld to have slush scraped up because the lot next door had been done (clear lot). I wrote them a nice letter this spring complimenting their managers diligence in understanding the libilities involved, etc...if they want to continue using us we need to revisit the specifications as specification & expectations were not in line.
  5. PGHplowguy

    PGHplowguy Senior Member
    Messages: 102

    AJ "Finally I would tell you, that if you dnt know how to bid it, then you probably shouldn't plow it because you might be not only hurting other business, but you might be hurting your business! "

    I can plow just fine and my business is thriving. I asked the question on how others would approach it. I personally never had a request of no salting. Thanks!

    Thanks to all other with their opinions. They do help me.
  6. Matson Snow

    Matson Snow PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,985

    AJ gave good advice ....Hes on the fast track to become the first CSP on Groose Isle...:salute:
  7. Brant'sLawnCare

    Brant'sLawnCare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,756

    I think a lot of the ones around here should be around $100. Maybe a tad less. But "should" and "do" are 2 different things...
  8. wizardsr

    wizardsr PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,584

    Fast food places always take the lowest bid, and never want salt. They never have a shortage of plow jockeys, because it seems to be a status thing for plow guys to say "I plow xyz fast food places". The PITA and liability isn't worth it, there's so many better customers out there...
  9. clark lawn

    clark lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    from NE ohio
    Messages: 1,233

    we have a chain around here that wont sign a contract with anyone they try to barter with guysthat stop to get food. when we had our big storm over here last winter theyhad to close for a couple days cause nobody would stop their normal route to do them. one store called me 5-6 times in 48 hours. it is right by my shop and i stop there alot, i have never plowed the lot but i have cleared the entrances for a $25 gift card.
  10. redman6565

    redman6565 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,411

    haha the tim hortons in my area did the same thing. guy is plowing for coffee and doughnuts for his employees.
  11. chs1993

    chs1993 Senior Member
    Messages: 297

    2 years ago i did a chain of KFC's in my area NEVER AGAIN it was a PITA!
  12. procut

    procut Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    Same thing around here. Everyone wants to plow McDonalds, Burger King, Wendys, ect. like it's some kind of status symbol.
  13. Brant'sLawnCare

    Brant'sLawnCare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,756

    I went to bid on 2 Dairy Queen locations today. Wow, I never thought anyone would be dumb to be doind them as cheap as they do. One is about 18-20k square feet and would take about 45 mins to plow 1-3", the other is about 15k square feet and would take about 30 mins. There is about a half hour of shoveling/snow blowing at each place. The company that does them charges $40 for plowing and shoveling..... Need I say anymore?
  14. dumbyankee

    dumbyankee Member
    Messages: 66

    In the past I have placed bids on various commercial lots. Each seem to have thier own little tweak as to what they require for snow removal. CYA on the no salt issue. Add a clause in the agreement in relation to responcibilty of slip and fall issues. Then bid the job as you would any other. If you choose to work for a sub and a coke thats up to you. As far as not salting the lot, there is no wear on the equipment, nor are you puting out product so why is it a loss?
  15. PGHplowguy

    PGHplowguy Senior Member
    Messages: 102

    DumbYankee... Not salting is a loss for a few reasons. One, contractors make money on salt. if your putting down $50 in salt you should be charging at least $100 for doing it. I am not plowing a lot just to make money on that lot for that year. I do any lot to do the best job possible. I want to keep that business and by doing a good job get more businesses in that area for the following years. By not putting salt down the lot looks terrible and is even more slippery then when there was a few inches of snow on it. In reality when businesses, mostly large chains tell you they do not want the lot salted it is hurting one person the most. Not them. Not the customers that fall on their asses. It hurts us, the plow contractors. All it is doing is lowering the bar for both service and costs. It encourages more and more low balling assholes to get in their Dodge Dakotas and Jeep Wranglers and charge $40 to plow a lot with 30 spaces in it. Anyone who takes these contracts and makes pennies is garbage in my eyes. It takes a lot to run a plow company. These people are just going to starve the real companies.
  16. dumbyankee

    dumbyankee Member
    Messages: 66

    I do agree PGH, That is lost income out of your pocket. How ever if you pursue the salt issue they just might get some POS who thinks they can take care this site with a Jeep and a 6 foot plow. I can also see you care about the work you do which is great. But the main thing is to keep the account. Every few years this cycle comes around. People who have to pay for snow removal are allways looking to cut back just a little. Now if you dont salt and put the liabilty back on them, some one WILL slip and fall like they allways do and the place gets sued. Its cheaper for them in the long run just to pay the F***** bill for salting. Also some insurance companies have a small section in their agreements that cover what they consider proper snow removal. Some times its easer to let the insurance carrier sell the fact on salting than you. Once the customers premium goses up you know it will not go down.
  17. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,394

    Hey, I didn't see where to vote if you were paid in burger's. I wonder how the place I bid is doing with offering free food in leu of money for plowing. :laughing:
  18. PGHplowguy

    PGHplowguy Senior Member
    Messages: 102

    Right Yankee. I ended up saying no to the place. Not salting and only getting what I charged to do my neighbors driveway when I was 12 wasn't going to happen. I really would like to start some kind of group that only has members who have insurance, pay taxes and do a good job. Some how be big and strong enough to weed out all the schmucks who come in and low ball accounts. This site is a great tool in starting that idea. Just not sure how to make it work.
  19. dumbyankee

    dumbyankee Member
    Messages: 66

    Im not sure if this business or any other will ever weed out the fly by nights. Its common to hear about a customer who had their building run into or something run over and the fly by night plow dude denied it ever happened. The honest people who do a great job, at a fair price will allways stand out. We are in business to make money. To do so we have to be a little better than the rest. As far as customers who nickle and dime, walk away and they get what they pay for. This also opens the door for the fly by nights. On the other hand, if a customer dosent want to pay for quality services, They will more than likely stiff you at some point in their payments or try to pay you with a #1 and a large orange drink. Let the fly by night get stiffed. I would rather collect my money, make my payments, and sit around talking with other pros in the biz, than to worry about who is and who isnt going to make the next snow removal payment.
  20. wizardsr

    wizardsr PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,584

    Well said. As long as there's cheap customers, and cheap snowplowers, this is going to be a problem. The sooner a guy comes to this realization and the fact that he can't change it, the happier he'll be. I never bid restaurants and fast food places. They're all too cheap; the low ballers can have them and put themselves out of business while I'm taking good care of customers that realize their risks and are willing to pay what it takes to eliminate it.