Survived a Year

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guspas
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2006/09/05 22:12:00 (permalink)

Survived a Year

Bought a long standing (31 years) Hot Dog Stand, The Wiener and Still Champion a little over a year ago and I'm glad to report that I am still here.

I haven't owned my own biz before so it was quite a learning experience.

The previous owner didn't do much to help the stands rep using cheap dogs when he ran out of Vienna and adding Indian Food to the Menu. Indian Food at a hot dog stand?????

Took the Indian food off the menu, made sure I had plenty of all beef natural casing hotdogs, switched to real fresh cut, double cooked fries and added freshly made corndogs to the menu.

Business has doubled and we are getting good word of mouth.

Looking forward to another year.




#1

46 Replies Related Threads

    chicagostyledog
    Filet Mignon
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    RE: Survived a Year 2006/09/05 22:28:59 (permalink)
    Way to go Gus. Your next year will even be stronger.

    CSD
    #2
    TheHotPepper.com
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    RE: Survived a Year 2006/09/05 22:31:42 (permalink)
    congrats
    #3
    Oneiron339
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    RE: Survived a Year 2006/09/06 07:49:07 (permalink)
    Good for you Gus, keep it going and I'll be sure to visit when I'm in the area.
    #4
    MilwFoodlovers
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    RE: Survived a Year 2006/09/06 07:53:15 (permalink)
    Gus, I enjoyed your company on the great Italian Beef tour and I look forward to having a dog with you soon. Congrats. Mike
    #5
    bassrocker4u2
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    RE: Survived a Year 2006/09/06 08:03:56 (permalink)
    congradulations!!!!! where are u?
    anyone ever thought of a shredded bbq dog? hey, you got the buns, just get some q, and sauce, and do it!
    #6
    texgrill
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    RE: Survived a Year 2006/09/13 12:56:53 (permalink)
    Gus

    Where are you located? There is a cool site of hot dogs eateries on www.hollyeats.com

    Bass
    I have kicked that idea around......we are thinking along the same lines.

    Ronnie
    Tex Grill
    #7
    MilwFoodlovers
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    RE: Survived a Year 2006/09/13 19:56:09 (permalink)
    Maybe Gus is too modest but here's your location and a small review http://chefmoz.org/United_States/IL/Evanston/Wiener_and_Still_Champion1112850807.html
    #8
    rjb
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    RE: Survived a Year 2006/09/13 20:23:41 (permalink)
    Well done and continued good fortune. I started two businesses earlier this year -- one in the barbecue business (www.wholehogllc.com) the other not so interesting -- and appreciate the effort it takes to be an independant businessman these days. Seems like half the work day is non -productive administrative crap.

    Keep at it.
    #9
    Dr of BBQ
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    RE: Survived a Year 2006/09/14 15:49:29 (permalink)
    Guspas you deserve a big well done. Congratulations on mastering the tremendous learning curve after opening your first business. The reviews were great and that along with word of mouth will make your 2nd year even bigger and better. Good job Gus!
    #10
    texgrill
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    RE: Survived a Year 2006/09/15 10:48:11 (permalink)
    Guspas

    I agree with MilwFoodlovers you are definately being modest. I ran the your restaurant on Google and Yahoo. Your business seems to be one of the most successful hot dog stands in the Midwest :)

    I would'nt change much with the place. The formula of the previous owner was very successful.

    You seem to have bought a gold mine!!

    Here is another set of reviews that I found on the net.

    http://chicago.citysearch.com/profile/35246137#editorialreview

    Ronnie
    Tex Grill
    #11
    Sundancer7
    Fire Safety Admin
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    RE: Survived a Year 2006/09/15 10:53:39 (permalink)
    Guspas, I read the reviews and you got a lot of compliments particularly on your fries. How do you do them.

    Paul E. Smith
    knoxville, TN
    #12
    Dr of BBQ
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    RE: Survived a Year 2006/09/15 18:34:56 (permalink)
    Paul E. Smith wrote you got a lot of compliments particularly on your fries. How do you do them.

    Paul hes to busy making them to explain how he makes them.
    Jack
    #13
    guspas
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    RE: Survived a Year 2006/09/15 21:58:59 (permalink)
    Thanks everybody for all the kind words.

    Mike, not modest just lazy.

    The stand is located in Evanston, IL just south of Northwestern University

    Speaking of reviews, my favorite one that I ran across is here: http://www.yelp.com/biz/TjlypHXquJGnRKzNEd4ysQ

    Ronnie
    Your reply made me laugh. One of the most successful in the midwest....not even close. Not on any "Best of" list for Illinois and not even regarded as the top stand in Evanston. That honor goes to Mustard's Last Stand. It is located next to the football stadium and closer to the University. They have a better location but if you compare the two, we have the better food. Give us time though.

    The comment of the previous owner being successful couldn't be further from the truth.

    Paul
    Yes..the fries are probably the best thing we make followed by the 1/3 lb cheddar burger and the corn dogs.

    No secret to them. Have to be Idaho..fresh cut and double cooked.


    #14
    guspas
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    RE: Survived a Year 2007/07/30 00:31:59 (permalink)
    made it to year number 2. Woo Hoo
    #15
    UncleVic
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    RE: Survived a Year 2007/07/30 01:26:01 (permalink)
    Congrats Guspas.. Your 2/3rds of the way over the hurdle!
    #16
    chicagostyledog
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    RE: Survived a Year 2007/07/30 08:10:42 (permalink)
    Two and still counting is a great accomplishment. Love your dogs, especially that deep fried francheezie, you specially prepared for me. Your fries are the best. Keep up the great work.

    Mark
    #17
    rouxdog
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
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    RE: Survived a Year 2007/07/30 09:19:05 (permalink)
    Congratulations! Sure would like to chomp down on some of those Taters and a pup or two. You are living out the American dream!!
    Ole Rouxdog
    #18
    Astennu
    Junior Burger
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    RE: Survived a Year 2007/07/30 09:52:48 (permalink)
    Congrats! Sounds like you are doing a great job.
    #19
    guspas
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    RE: Survived a Year 2007/08/10 23:06:46 (permalink)
    Thanks every but if i had to do it all over again...i would def find a spot that is free standing with parking. Hard to survive a bad location.

    on another note, a few cool happening. First off, Got mentioned on that TBS sitcom My Boys. Address mentioned was wrong but hey, thats hollywood for u.

    If anyone wants to view it: http://www.tbs.com/video/0,,98364|340865|,00.html

    good news, it's within the first 2 mins of the show
    bad news, u have to sit thru a chilis commercial

    Secondly, placed 4th in French Fries on Best of Citysearch. Not to bad considering no one knew who we were 2 years ago.

    http://chicago.citysearch.com/bestof/winners/french_fries



    #20
    guspas
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    RE: Survived a Year 2008/07/05 07:13:11 (permalink)
    Up to year 3. Where has the time gone?

    Still going strong. Business is better then last year and we're gonna be featured on an upcoming Food Network program but we still have a ways to go.
    #21
    biker jim
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    RE: Survived a Year 2008/07/05 09:27:38 (permalink)
    Way to go Gus!!! Who'd of thought that you could get famous selling hot dogs huh? But look around at a few people on this forum and you'll see that people love their hot dogs...and their hot dog guys! I'm a few months from my 3 year mark as well. Fun and fun.
    #22
    davebugg
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    RE: Survived a Year 2008/07/05 17:54:37 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by guspas

    Up to year 3. Where has the time gone?

    Still going strong. Business is better then last year and we're gonna be featured on an upcoming Food Network program but we still have a ways to go.


    Fantastic, guspas The three year mark is an important milestone.
    #23
    guspas
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    RE: Survived a Year 2008/07/08 08:32:22 (permalink)
    Well Diners, Drive Ins and Dives did sone filming. 11 hrs and they still have to come back at the end of the week. All that work a 6 min segment.
    #24
    chicagostyledog
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    RE: Survived a Year 2008/07/08 14:30:51 (permalink)
    http://www.driveintheater.com/intermission/hotdog2.htm

    Way to go Gus!

    Mark
    #25
    spud
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    RE: Survived a Year 2008/07/08 17:27:41 (permalink)
    SERIOUSLY, you are truly living the dream! An absolute inspiration to everyone else! (I am so jealous)

    congratulations
    #26
    Nightshift
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    RE: Survived a Year 2008/07/09 15:02:54 (permalink)
    Congrats, I hope my can be just as successful. Keep up the good work.
    #27
    guspas
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    RE: Survived a Year 2009/10/02 02:32:39 (permalink)
    Year 4 has come.  Where has the time gone.  Doing well.  Every year has been better then the last. 

    Still alot t learn and alot of improvement ahead.
    #28
    BillyB
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    RE: Survived a Year 2009/10/02 07:37:04 (permalink)
    Gus is doing things the way they should be done...Great job Gus.... IF the fries are what makes you a winner then let everything fall in behind them. It looks like everything you do is quality anyway. The thing is 99% of the places take the fries for granted. Dbl cooking a fresh cut fry is the same way the best restaurants do them. It takes a lot more work, but look at the results. The flavor you get from the fries being cooked this way is second to none....................Bill
    #29
    saps
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
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    RE: Survived a Year 2009/10/02 11:52:37 (permalink)
    I was there after the Minnesota/Nortwestern game last Saturday.  My son loved their burger.  Fries are great.  Great little joint.
    #30
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