Advertising & Marketing During A Recession
Going Out Of Business...

Selling Hot Dogs...

My friend Julian Rose sent me the following story.  He picked it up from a jewelery wholesale house (Ivan Allen Jewels) out of Chicago.  I'd seen this story years ago...and it's worth re-telling:

There was a man who started a street vending business selling hot dogs in the Lower Street Vender East Side of Manhattan.  Business was't the best so he put up a sign, "Hot Dogs For Sale!".  His business increased and so did his orders for more hot dogs and buns from the local supplier.  As time went on, the hot dog vendor put up additional signs and flags proclaiming the "Best Hot Dogs in New York City!".

Business doubled.  So, the hot dog vendor expanded his line.  He added sodas and chili and even a fresh potato and onion knish made by his wife.

Business was very good and he soon moved from the street corner into a little shop where he doubled his offerings, had tables and chairs and even an employee to help during the busy times.

He made enough money to send his oldest son off to the university to study business.  Three years later the son sits down with the hot dog vendor and says, "Pop, what's the matter with you?  Don't you listen to the radio?  Times are tough.  The economy is tanking.  There are serious financial issues out here.  People are cutting back, closing their stores.  It's really bad."

The hot dog vendor thought about it.  "My son, he is smart.  He reads the news, listens to the radio.  He is in college.  He should know."

And so he cut back on his hot dog and bun orders.  Decided he could save if he didn't offer so much.  Ended the knish sales.  Took down his "Best Food in New York City" sign.  Stopped advertising.  Within a week sales plummeted.

He picked up the phone and called his son, "You're right this is the worst I've seen in twenty years.  We are in the middle of a depression!"

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications