Foodie Friday (at least I think it is!). Today we will deal with one of the most urgent food questions ever asked: is a hot dog a sandwich. If you ask The Google, you’ll get 120,000,000 results and I’m sure you have your own answer.
Of course, I have my own opinion but let’s think about a few of the factors that many people consider as they ponder this. First, there is a seam factor. To some, if the seam that separates one piece of bread from another isn’t open on all sides, the food in question is not a sandwich. Of course, in my mind, I wonder if that disqualifies many subs (a.k.a. heroes, hoagies, grinders, and such) from being sandwiches. Subway and Blimpie sell what they call sandwiches but they’re usually closed on one side. Obviously, a hot dog bun is usually not sliced all the way through and to some by the seam factor cannot be a sandwich.
Then there are those who say if it was a sandwich it would be called a sandwich. No vendor of tubular meat has ever said they’re selling sandwiches. They’re selling hot dogs, dammit. As The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council ask rhetorically, Does ESPN broadcast sandwich eating contests?
Then again, historians point out that when the hot dog was first created in the late 1800s, it was referred to as a “Coney Island Sandwich” or “Frankfurter sandwich.” Why someone would consider a lobster roll a sandwich but a hot dog not a sandwich when both are served on the same bun is beyond me.
There is a business point here, no matter where you come out on this issue. If you ask this question, you see just how eager people are to argue. You probably get that reaction in business a fair amount of the time as well when you ask certain questions. Have you ever noticed just how certain they are in their opinions as they offer them up? The hot dog/sandwich question can get people thinking about things such as seams and types of bread that they might not contemplate. That’s the sort of thinking that each of us needs to do with most business questions. Often, while the answers may seem obvious, further contemplation and including additional factors and constituencies into our calculus can change where we come out on an issue. We probably don’t do that often enough.
Oddly enough, most people I know have strong opinions about the identity of a hot dog as a sandwich. It’s hard to get them to change their mind on the matter. Me? I think by definition it is a sandwich but feel free to change my mind. As with most things in and out of business these days, I’m open to factual information that can do that. Are you?