LET’S BE FRANK! Is there anything more All-American than the humble hot dog? Whether it’s ball park or backyard grilled, New York or Chicago-style, “dirty water dog” or a high-falutin’ gourmet frank, our nation’s favorite tubular treat is a Fourth of July tradition that comes in many manisfestations. Ernie Smith
Just as I was retiring recently, my husband decided to start up a new business. He was a career fire fighter and has almost always had a gig on the side. He’s simply an entrepreneur at heart.
I was uncertain about this new business. Going from working 38- years as an administrator in higher education to serving hotdogs was a big switch. Also, I wasn’t really sure I wanted to tie myself down after working my entire adult life.
My husband named the place Harley Hotdogs because he and I have ridden bikes since the early days of our marriage. Also, where we located our restaurant happens to be just down the road from a big Harley- Davidson dealership.
Well, so far, it’s been a great family business for us. Our 8-year old granddaughter loves working it with us. She’s shown that she has an incredible work ethic. We don’t have to tell her to clean tables. She just does what needs to be done. She’s a sweet waitress and attentive to her customers. It’s amazing to see this young girl interact with the world.
We’ve hired a couple of employees, so it’s nice to know we’re creating jobs. I don’t work much in the restaurant as it turns out. I handle the Facebook advertising, create menus, order lots of stuff off Amazon, and make multiple runs to the grocery each week. Coleslaw sells abundantly and you have to make it fresh often. So I keep us supplied. I’m also good for saying what looks and tastes right and what doesn’t.
My husband is great for chatting up with customers and getting their opinions about what they like and want. He’s changed lots of things based on customer input. And he deals with vendors, employees and money.
I have no idea where we’re going with this business. It’s a fun place to hang out and meeting the public is a joy. It’s a whole new world for me.
I told my husband, and business partner, that I’m proud of him. If you have a quality product to sell, provide good customer service, keep your place really clean, and locate where people need additional choices for places to eat, you can be successful. That’s what he’s done through his vision. It wasn’t my dream; it was his. But I’m happy to be along for the “ride.”
I have enjoyed our first couple of months of family fun. May Harley Hotdogs live on!!
Oh, and give us another source of income in our retirement years! 😉