Dave Hannah tells The Hot Dog Man story

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Dave Hannah loves to tell the story of The Hot Dog Man.

There once was an old man who sold hot dogs on the sidewalk of the streets of Boston, MA.

Now this was no ordinary man. He was a very successful business entrepreneur, who got up early, so he could set up several large folding signs several blocks away from where he set up his hot dog cart.

On the first sign it read; 3 blocks to the Hot Dog Man. On the next sign it read; 2 blocks to the Hot Dog Man. On the next sign it read; 1 block to the Hot Dog Man.

His last sign read; You have reached the Hot Dog Man! Signs went both directions from his hot dog stand.

Business grew and grew. He would call his suppliers and order more hot dogs and buns every week.

After several successful years, this man wanted to send his son to college to become a successful businessman. He paid for his son to go to the prestigious Wharton School of Business at the University of PA. He was so proud of his son becoming a smart businessman.

Dave Hannah chimneys.com

Around Thanksgiving, the man’s son came home from college for the holiday.

The son was shocked to listen to his father, who was still getting up at 5am to go out and place his signs several blocks away from his hot dog stand.

After all, the father had built up a very successful business and even paid for his expensive college tuition. But the son was concerned for his father’s health and well being.

He told his father, Dad….. don’t you realize we are in an economic depression?

Every business is cutting back on inventory and laying off their employees! You should take better care of yourself and sleep longer and forget about putting out those signs. People will not be buying hot dogs for very long anyway.

And besides, people want fast food with a drive-up window like McDonald’s. They won’t be walking blocks to buy a hot dog from you for very much longer!

The old man thought about what his son told him and decided with all his new expensive education, his son must be right.

When telling this story, Dave Hannah always likes to pause at crucial points to let the story sink in.

So, the man decided to sleep in and not walk several blocks each day to put out his signs. He called his suppliers and cut his orders in half.

And sure enough! His son was right!

People stopped walking several blocks to buy his hot dogs. Business was down by over half from the month before he stopped putting out his signs!
After one year, sadly the old man had to close his business because nobody was buying hot dogs anymore……

The moral to this story is simply…….

At this point, Dave likes to have a long pause and ask what the listener thinks is the moral of this story. The responses that Dave Hannah has received over the years have given him a good understanding of the listener’s marketing ability.

If you take down your advertising and cut back on your inventory expecting slower sales, you will probably be right.

Because in a slow down period due to outside influences, cutting your marketing efforts is the last thing you want to do!

As many in our industry are in panic mode and backing off from marketing, taking down their signs so to speak, this is an opportunity for the entrepreneurs out there to shine!

While your competition is asleep at the wheel, make the donuts man!

This could be your greatest year in business! Do not let the Debbie Downers ruin your business future. Reach down and find the strength to prove all those Nay Sayers Wrong!

The Hot Dog Man is reprinted with permission from

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