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 Survived a Year

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guspas

  • Total Posts: 197
  • Joined: 6/1/2003
  • Location: Evanston, IL
Survived a Year Tue, 09/5/06 10:12 PM (permalink)
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
    chicagostyledog

    • Total Posts: 3218
    • Joined: 9/10/2003
    • Location: Hot Dog University Chicago, IL
    RE: Survived a Year Tue, 09/5/06 10:28 PM (permalink)
    Way to go Gus. Your next year will even be stronger.

    CSD
     
    #2
      TheHotPepper.com

      • Total Posts: 322
      • Joined: 11/24/2004
      • Location: NY, NY
      RE: Survived a Year Tue, 09/5/06 10:31 PM (permalink)
      congrats
       
      #3
        Oneiron339

        • Total Posts: 2075
        • Joined: 2/13/2002
        • Location: Marietta, GA
        RE: Survived a Year Wed, 09/6/06 7:49 AM (permalink)
        Good for you Gus, keep it going and I'll be sure to visit when I'm in the area.
         
        #4
          MilwFoodlovers

          • Total Posts: 3090
          • Joined: 3/31/2001
          • Location: Milwaukee, WI
          RE: Survived a Year Wed, 09/6/06 7:53 AM (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

            • Total Posts: 534
            • Joined: 11/12/2003
            • Location: new holland, PA
            RE: Survived a Year Wed, 09/6/06 8:03 AM (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

              • Total Posts: 302
              • Joined: 11/14/2005
              • Location: Pasadena, TX
              RE: Survived a Year Wed, 09/13/06 12:56 PM (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

                • Total Posts: 3090
                • Joined: 3/31/2001
                • Location: Milwaukee, WI
                RE: Survived a Year Wed, 09/13/06 7:56 PM (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

                  • Total Posts: 451
                  • Joined: 12/15/2003
                  • Location: Bronxville, NY
                  RE: Survived a Year Wed, 09/13/06 8:23 PM (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

                    • Total Posts: 3716
                    • Joined: 10/11/2004
                    • Location: Springfield, IL
                    • Roadfood Insider
                    RE: Survived a Year Thu, 09/14/06 3:49 PM (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

                      • Total Posts: 302
                      • Joined: 11/14/2005
                      • Location: Pasadena, TX
                      RE: Survived a Year Fri, 09/15/06 10:48 AM (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

                        RE: Survived a Year Fri, 09/15/06 10:53 AM (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

                          • Total Posts: 3716
                          • Joined: 10/11/2004
                          • Location: Springfield, IL
                          • Roadfood Insider
                          RE: Survived a Year Fri, 09/15/06 6:34 PM (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

                            • Total Posts: 197
                            • Joined: 6/1/2003
                            • Location: Evanston, IL
                            RE: Survived a Year Fri, 09/15/06 9:58 PM (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

                              • Total Posts: 197
                              • Joined: 6/1/2003
                              • Location: Evanston, IL
                              RE: Survived a Year Mon, 07/30/07 12:31 AM (permalink)
                              made it to year number 2. Woo Hoo
                               
                              #15
                                UncleVic

                                • Total Posts: 6025
                                • Joined: 10/14/2003
                                • Location: West Palm Beach, FL
                                • Roadfood Insider
                                RE: Survived a Year Mon, 07/30/07 1:26 AM (permalink)
                                Congrats Guspas.. Your 2/3rds of the way over the hurdle!
                                 
                                #16
                                  chicagostyledog

                                  • Total Posts: 3218
                                  • Joined: 9/10/2003
                                  • Location: Hot Dog University Chicago, IL
                                  RE: Survived a Year Mon, 07/30/07 8:10 AM (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

                                    • Total Posts: 1421
                                    • Joined: 3/18/2005
                                    • Location: Carrizozo, NM
                                    RE: Survived a Year Mon, 07/30/07 9:19 AM (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

                                      • Total Posts: 36
                                      • Joined: 7/13/2007
                                      • Location: Galesburg, IL
                                      RE: Survived a Year Mon, 07/30/07 9:52 AM (permalink)
                                      Congrats! Sounds like you are doing a great job.
                                       
                                      #19
                                        guspas

                                        • Total Posts: 197
                                        • Joined: 6/1/2003
                                        • Location: Evanston, IL
                                        RE: Survived a Year Fri, 08/10/07 11:06 PM (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

                                          • Total Posts: 197
                                          • Joined: 6/1/2003
                                          • Location: Evanston, IL
                                          RE: Survived a Year Sat, 07/5/08 7:13 AM (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

                                            • Total Posts: 403
                                            • Joined: 12/23/2006
                                            • Location: denver, CO
                                            RE: Survived a Year Sat, 07/5/08 9:27 AM (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

                                              • Total Posts: 188
                                              • Joined: 2/27/2007
                                              • Location: East Wenatchee, WA
                                              RE: Survived a Year Sat, 07/5/08 5:54 PM (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

                                                • Total Posts: 197
                                                • Joined: 6/1/2003
                                                • Location: Evanston, IL
                                                RE: Survived a Year Tue, 07/8/08 8:32 AM (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

                                                  • Total Posts: 3218
                                                  • Joined: 9/10/2003
                                                  • Location: Hot Dog University Chicago, IL
                                                  RE: Survived a Year Tue, 07/8/08 2:30 PM (permalink)
                                                   
                                                  #25
                                                    spud

                                                    • Total Posts: 273
                                                    • Joined: 2/8/2004
                                                    • Location: sebring, FL
                                                    RE: Survived a Year Tue, 07/8/08 5:27 PM (permalink)
                                                    SERIOUSLY, you are truly living the dream! An absolute inspiration to everyone else! (I am so jealous)

                                                    congratulations
                                                     
                                                    #26
                                                      Nightshift

                                                      • Total Posts: 224
                                                      • Joined: 6/1/2006
                                                      • Location: Old Hickory, TN
                                                      RE: Survived a Year Wed, 07/9/08 3:02 PM (permalink)
                                                      Congrats, I hope my can be just as successful. Keep up the good work.
                                                       
                                                      #27
                                                        guspas

                                                        • Total Posts: 197
                                                        • Joined: 6/1/2003
                                                        • Location: Evanston, IL
                                                        RE: Survived a Year Fri, 10/2/09 2:32 AM (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

                                                          • Total Posts: 2851
                                                          • Joined: 2/4/2009
                                                          RE: Survived a Year Fri, 10/2/09 7:37 AM (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

                                                            • Total Posts: 1551
                                                            • Joined: 8/18/2003
                                                            • Location: wheaton, IL
                                                            RE: Survived a Year Fri, 10/2/09 11:52 AM (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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