Tag Archives: Hot dog

Burgers And Dogs

It’s Foodie Friday, and we’re heading into what I hope is a long Fourth Of July weekend for you. At some point, hopefully, your plans include firing up a grill of some sort and cooking some hot dogs and hamburgers. Simple? You bet, but this is a weekend for leisure time and not getting all sweaty in front of a grill. Besides, you never know when your crew will get hungry, and burgers and dogs can be ready in no time. And what meal could be more All-Amercian (even if both foods come to us from German origins)?

It wouldn’t be the screed if we didn’t use the simplicity of burgers and dogs as a jumping off point for some business-related thought, right? As I was musing about that, it came to me that there are, in fact, a lot of possibilities with either of those basic dishes, even if you’re not stuffing your own hot dog casings or grinding your own meat for the burgers (I do the latter; the former is well beyond my patience). Think about the almost endless variations on the hot dog. I used to patronize two very fine establishments who were renowned for their extensive takes on various dogs. You can change up the meat (all beef, beef and pork, etc.), you can change the dressings and roll (compare the classic Chicago dog with a classic Detroit Coney Island, a chili dog and onions), but the thing is still a boring old hot dog (not).

It’s the same with burgers. I have a few different burger books in my cookbook collection, and while the dressings, meats, and buns vary a lot, it’s still some form of ground meat shaped into a patty and grilled. Heck, you can even taste the difference (if you’re brave) between a simple burger from McDonald’s vs. one from Burger King (cooking on a grill vs. a griddle). It doesn’t take much to change the dish.

The business point is this. Even if you’re in a very crowded space, your business can distinguish itself. You do this by becoming a brand – something that is instantly recognizable for the promise to the customer it contains. You can do this through great service, great value, smart marketing, or any other number of ways.  What makes a Chicago Dog unique are the sport peppers, the poppy seed bun, and the celery salt. What makes you unique? How does your vision differ from all the other people in your business area?

Enjoy your Fourth and your cookout. Just remember that even if it’s plain old burgers and dogs, you’re the secret sauce that can make everything unique, both on the grill and in the office.

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Filed under food, Thinking Aloud

The Balancing Act

This morning I got to thinking about food topics because it’s Friday, after all, and what I found myself thinking about instead was people.  No, I don’t think I have cannibalistic tendencies.  What I mean is I was thinking about some of the ways in which we describe people through food terms.   You know what I mean – that guy is a hot dog, she’s a turkey, he’s nuts.  We also ascribe some taste characteristics to people – she’s so sweet, he’s a salty dude, they’re a spicy couple.

I thought about going into how some of these phrases came to mean what they do but that’s a lot of work both for me and for you at the end of what has been a busy week.  Instead, I’ll leave you  with this food thought:

You can make a meal out of any combination of foods and flavors as long as you take your time to taste along the way and are willing to bring in new ingredients to provide balance.  No dish stands on its own without some help from the cook to create, improve, and deliver it (I don’t think of a perfectly ripe piece of fruit  a dish).  It’s the same when you’re building an organization.  You’re going to run into people who are of all types and flavors.  Your job isn’t to make the business work based on one ingredient.  It’s to combine all the ingredients into something delicious.

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Filed under Consulting, food