If you live within a 100 mile radius of Manhattan, you must’ve heard of the 53rd and 6th Halal Guys (also known as chicken and rice or platters). If you live under a rock and don’t know what I’m talking about, they’re a food truck located on the corner of 53rd St. and 6th Ave. and they sell chicken and rice platters. pretty self-explanatory. Anyway, I’ve been to the hot spot many times over the years, and every single time I’ve gone there’s been a line at least 20 people deep, regardless of the hour. I’ve heard a rumor that each Halal Guy makes $100k per year (though I’ve no clue how many there are), and another rumor that the Hilton offered the Halal Guys $2 million per year to not do business on that corner. Last night, wondering whether these rumors could be true, I decided to take on a little project to find out how much the Halal Guys make in a year.
My dear friend Eric and I watched the main cart for 20 minutes (while our friends were diligently waiting in line) and counted 24 platters sold, which is a rate of 1.2 platters/minute. Assuming the Halal Guys are in business 10 hours per night (7pm-5am), 365 days per year, and that there is a constant line and selling rate of 1.2 platters/minute and each platter sells for $6, the main cart brings in $1.58 million per year. The Halal Guys also have a secondary cart across the street, and if we assume they do half the business of the main cart (downtime, slower serving rate, etc), they bring in $788k per year for a total Halal Guys revenue of $2.37 million per year.
I don’t know how much they pay in taxes/production costs, but it seems totally feasible that each HG makes $100k per year. However, it must be false that they’d turn down $2mil to move one cart off the Hilton’s turf. This was confirmed when I asked a Guy whether the rumor was true- he chuckled and said, “Hey, give me $2 million. Give me 2 million and I’ll move right now!” Bummer, but hey it’s still an awesome business.