Monday, April 30, 2012

Just Hold the Relish

Why do we have the Hot Dog bun?

Because a guy instinctively wanted to stop waste and improve his business.

A soon-to-published new book  recounts clever innovation.  Here's how one reviewer described the humble beginnings of the Hot Dog Bun, as recounted in the book:

...the best story comes out of St. Louis in the 1880s, and there was a street vendor who was selling [hot dogs]. At the time they weren't called hot dogs, they were called either red hots or frankfurters. And while selling them, he would give out white gloves, because when someone would buy the red hot they wouldn't want to get their hands scalded or wouldn't want to get too greasy. The problem was that a lot of the patrons were running off with the gloves, and this was really hurting his bottom line. What he ended up doing was going to a brother-in-law of his and saying, look I have this problem, and he was lucky enough that his brother-in-law was a baker and suggested the soft roll.
The white gloves constituted over-processing waste, doing too much to the product.  Yet, he also had to keep the grease off the customer's clothes to prevent a waste of defects.  Thus, he integrated the protection with the product.

Explain this to your buddy next time you visit the ball park.  Or better, bring along some white gloves to make your point!

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